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At The Core of It…


IMG_2477A few Christmases ago, I was the lucky recipient of a pineapple corer.  The real story is I took it from my cousin's girlfriend in the white elephant gift exchange!  At the time, I didn’t really know what it was, but it seemed better than the other choices!  I had no idea I would fall in love with this cool little gadget!  Keep in mind, I can be picky about kitchen gadgets.  In order for me to feel like it's worth the cleaning and devoting a space in the kitchen, the convenience must be worth it!  And, this one is completely worth it...it not only cores the pineapple but slices and dices too!

The first time I used this super cool pineapple tool, I am embarrassed to tell you how ecstatic I was!

So, how does it work?

IMG_24651.  Cut the top of the pineapple off, just below the spiky crown.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_24662.  Next, you line up the middle tube of the gadget with the core of the pineapple and start twisting.  You twist until the corer reaches the bottom of the pineapple.

 

 

 

 

 

IMG_24693.  Holding on to the outside of the pineapple with one hand, you pull the corer out of the pineapple.

4.  How can you resist the juice?!  (Yes, you can now drink the juice out of the hollowed pineapple!)

 

 

 

IMG_24735.  Then, you set the corer (with the inside of the pineapple still attached) on a cutting board, and carefully push the dicer contraption down through the pineapple slices.  (If you just want slices, you would remove this dicer part of the tool before you begin.)  I say carefully because the diced pineapple pieces will start to fall onto the cutting board and you want them to stay there (not on the floor!).  The last slice probably won’t cut into smaller pieces, so just remove that slice and cut it yourself (or eat it for a job well done!).

There you have it…diced pineapple!

One thing to keep in mind...sometimes you can get a pineapple that is a little lopsided, or the core is a little off-center.  This can result in the corer leaving some edible pineapple behind.  If this happens, you can easily use a knife to cut away the outer part of the pineapple to preserve what the corer wasn’t able to cut.

 

What to do with the pineapple?

IMG_2475First, don’t throw away to the core!  You can use the core to add some flavor to a simple pitcher of water!  Add the pineapple core, sliced limes or your favorite fruit to a pitcher of water.  Keep it in the refrigerator and enjoy a cool glass of water with a citrus kick!

Of course, we have several incredibly delicious, mouthwatering, easy-to-prepare pineapple meal ideas on Eat REAL America!

Pineapple Salsa - according to one of our Eat REAL America members "This is the bomb - so yummy we could eat the whole bowl!"  And, our daughter took this to a class party at school and the kids ate it all and wanted more (so it's definitely kid-friendly).  Find it at .

Then, use the Pineapple Salsa to top the Jalapeño Burger or Steak Tacos!

Pineapple Chicken Quesadillas

Hawaiian BBQ Turkey Pizza

Pineapple Pork Fried Rice

Baked Pineapple Chicken Kabobs

Just in case you are interested, here are some additional information and tips regarding pineapple:

Where do pineapples come from?  Natives of Southern Brazil and Paraguay spread the pineapple throughout South America and it eventually reached the Caribbean, Central America and Mexico.  Pineapples were discovered by Columbus in 1493 on the Caribbean island now known as Guadeloupe and taken back to Europe.  The first commercial plantation in Hawaii was started in 1886.  Hawaii used to be the largest producer, but has now fallen behind other countries such as the Philippines, Brazil, Costa Rica and Thailand.

How do pineapples grow?  Pineapples grow on a plant, which can grow to about 5 feet tall.  The plants can produce up to 200 flowers and the individual fruits of the flowers join together to produce pineapples.  From the time it is planted, it can take 3 years for a pineapple to be ready for harvest!

Is pineapple good for you?  This delicious fruit is a great source of manganese (helps with fat and carbohydrate metabolism and helps regulate blood sugar) and Vitamin C.  Fresh pineapple is the only known source of an enzyme called bromelain, which studies have shown to reduce inflammation, joint pain, arthritis, and even inhibit tumor growth!

How do you select a pineapple?  Once they have been picked, pineapples do not ripen or become sweeter.  In the U.S., the freshest pineapples typically come from Hawaii or Costa Rica.  You want to choose one that is plump, with a bright green spiky crown, golden yellow body and sweet aroma at the stem end.  I have also been told to pull out one of the spikes towards the middle of the crown and, if it pulls out easily, it is ripe and ready to eat.  You do want to avoid pineapples that have bruises, soft spots or super dry looking leaves.

How do you store a pineapple?  You can store a pineapple on the counter at room temperature for a couple of days, but after that it is best to store it in the refrigerator where it will stay good for 3-5 days.  Once the pineapple is cut, it should be stored in a covered sealed container in the refrigerator and will keep for at least a week!

We hope this helps make it even easier to enjoy pineapple in your REAL meals!

 

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