I recently had the pleasure of attending an event held by Aussie Pineapples – in Winter! I have always thought that pineapples are a Summer fruit but it turns out that they are in season year round. Did you know that? It’s just the colour of the skin that is different in Winter (more of a grey colour) than it is in Summer (more golden) due to the different growing conditions. Despite the colour change the fruit inside is still good to eat and ready to be incorporated into some warm winter meals. As well as tips on how to prepare a pineapple and how to tell if it’s ripe to eat, I’ve included my favourite warm Pineapple dish recipe, this Warm Winter Pineapple Nourish Bowl.
Opt for Australian Pineapples
As with the majority of the brands I love, Pure Aussie Pineapples is an Australian brand. It incorporates all of the independent pineapple growers in Australia under one brand. So it is 100% owned and grown. I even met farmer Ben from Yeppoon and the pineapples pictured in this recipe are straight from his farm.
How can I tell if a pineapple is ready to eat?
Have you found yourself in a grocery store carefully picking your pineapple by giving it a big sniff? Tapping it on the side of the fruit stand to check the firmness or pulling a leaf from the crown of the fruit? I know I’ve done a couple of these things before. But with pineapples it turns out that all you have to do is make sure the skin is free of bruises or spots and that it is nice and heavy for it’s size, so no more embarrassing grocery store antics!
Tops on or off when buying pineapples?
Some pineapples have the tops left on. If you’re buying a pineapple with the top still attached make sure the leaves are fresh and green. Whether the top is on or off the pineapple is the same on the inside, some farmers just keep the tops to replant them for next year. They don’t need to ripen any longer in your fruit bowl at home – just like those with the tops on, they are ready to eat when they hit the shelves, so dig in!
How do I prepare a pineapple?
Do you find that when you buy a pineapple it sits on your bench for far too long because you can’t bring yourself to get around to the effort of chopping it up? Don’t fall into this trap! It’s surprisingly quick and easy when you know how. Aussie Pineapples have the instructions below, so you are learning the best technique from the experts. Start by chopping the top and bottom from the pineapple, then with the knife away from you, working in a circular direction slice the skin from top to bottom. Quarter the pineapple (remove the core at this step if you prefer it that way) and chop into bite size pieces – easy!
What are the health benefits of Pineapple?
Pineapples are a great source of Vitamin C, but they also provide Magnesium and Thiamin (vitamin B1), minerals which are important for energy production in the body. On top of this they contain enzymes that work to digest proteins, which may make them helpful to digestion and act as an anti-inflammatory. It makes them a great ingredient in cooking!
Also, Pineapples are part of the ‘clean 15’ which means they have been identified as using very low levels of chemicals or pesticides in their production. There are so many reasons to get them into your diet!
You can even cook with Pineapple in Winter!
Cooking with pineapple in winter adds a summery flavour to your dishes. There are many ways to incorporate in into your meals!
* Grill it – this is what I have done in the recipe below. It caramelises perfectly on it’s own when thrown on a grill with some extra virgin olive oil.
* Add to a curry – This adds a sweet element to your spicy curries. Just stir some into your next curry a few minutes before serving.
* Bake it – add it to a Sunday roast, just pop it in the oven with all your other vegetables.
* Toast it – just like a Hawaiian pizza you can add some fresh pineapple to your next toastie!
Winter Pineapple Nourish Bowl Recipe
I use this Winter Pineapple Nourish Bowl as a base recipe for a meal and add whatever protein I want to include on the day. It could be cannellini beans, tuna, chicken or another type of fish. It’s up to you! For this recipe I’ve used a Winter Sweet Pure Gold pineapple because it is what it says – Winter sweet! YUM!
- ⅛ Pineapple, diced
- ½ cup quinoa, cooked
- 2 slices sweet potato (~1cm thick)
- 1 cup Zucchini, prepared as zoodles
- 1 cup mushrooms, quartered
- 1 tbsp Hemp seeds
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and pepper to season
- Heat griddle pan on med-high heat. Add a small amount of EVOO and grill the sweet potato for ~5 minutes each side or until soft.
- Add pineapple chunks to griddle pan and grill for ~2 minutes each side or until soft.
- In a separate small fry pan heat a small amount of olive oil, add chopped mushrooms and saute until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Steam zucchini zoodles in a covered container in the microwave for ~2 minutes (alternatively I add my zoodles to the rice cooker when I cook my quinoa, they sit on top of the quinoa and cook perfectly without the need for an extra cooking container!).
- Combine all ingredients in bowl. Top with lime juice, hemp seeds, EVOO and salt and pepper to taste.
This Winter Pineapple Nourish Bowl is garnished with hemp seeds, if you’re not sure about hemp, read my article about hemp as Australia’s latest health food trend to get the low down.
Did you try this Winter Pineapple Nourish Bowl recipe? What did you think? Have you got any other great ways to incorporate pineapple into your Winter meals? I’d love to hear about them – let me know in the comments below!