Friday, April 2, 2010

Take a (Tasty) Trip to the Tropics

Has our on-again, off-again warm weather made you crave somewhere where it STAYS warm? You might not be able to escape to the tropics right now, but you can enjoy a bit "tropical" flavor with your next meal. I have been delighted that fresh pineapple has been on sale quite a bit recently. I think my family and I have eaten more fresh pineapple in the last couple of months than we did for the entire year last year. And while my son will not eat canned pineapple, he loves the fresh stuff!

What's so great about pineapple?
1 cup of fresh pineapple contains 131% of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin C. That is a pretty good deal considering it only contains 82 calories. You will also get about 2 grams of fiber in that cup of fruit. In addition, pineapple contains bromelain, a protein-digesting enzyme. The bromelain in pineapple has been used for centuries in Central and South America to treat indigestion and decrease inflammation. (By the way, this enzyme is the reason that you cannot add fresh pineapple to gelatins and expect them to firm-up, the enzyme breaks down the protein).

My favorite way to eat fresh pineapple is to cut it up and chill it for about an hour, I think it is perfect just by itself. If your kids think that fresh pineapple is a little too acidic or sour, try freezing it and making a smoothie with it. Try frozen pineapple chunks mixed with frozen banana chunks and plain yogurt all whirred up in the blender-my kids love it!

1 comment:

  1. Around here, we like to make "banana splits" that have fresh pineapple. cut open a banana longway, put on cottage cheese scoops (instead of ice cream) topped with diced pineapple, diced strawberries (for the strawberry sauce), and just a drizzle of chocolate sauce. the kids just love them.