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California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

California State University East Bay

The Pioneer

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Pineapple Party

With spring here and summer fast approaching, tropical fruits are in season. Pineapple is second to bananas as the most consumed tropical fruit in the United States.

Even though pineapples have a decent amount of natural sugars, their health benefits are unlike many other fruits. Aside from being rich in Vitamin C and B1, pineapples have a highly concentrated amount of bromelain. Bromelain is an enzyme that breaks down mucus in our airways, reduces any kind of internal inflammation or swelling, and stimulates secretions in our pancreas to aid in digestion.

Best of all, pineapples are delicious! Pineapples are extremely versatile and can be eaten raw, baked, grilled or pan fried. I’ve chosen three recipes that show the variety of pineapple applications in raw, baked and sauteed form.

I prefer fresh pineapple for these recipes. The best way to test if a pineapple is ripe is to make sure there are minimal green spots. The pineapple should also have a slight give (with a delicate squeeze) and most importantly, smell delicious. To cut up a pineapple, first cut the top and bottom off so that it can stand flat on your cutting board. Then, take your knife and peel away the skin. Coring the pineapple is optional; the core is completely edible, although it is a little tough.

Assuming that you are now terribly excited to eat pineapples in as many ways as possible, here are three easy recipes that show the true adaptability of summer’s favorite tropical fruit.

Leftovers for any of these dishes should be stored in airtight containers. Aside from the cornbread, these leftovers must be refrigerated and will last for 3-4 days.

With summer approaching, now is the best time to start experimenting with this versatile, delicious fruit.

Warm Pineapple and Toffee Sauce

Warm Pineapple and Toffee Sauce

4 tablespoons butter

2 tablespooons brown sugar

4 slices of canned or fresh pineapple

Melt butter and brown sugar over medium heat in a small, non-stick saute pan and let it bubble together for one minute. Then, add the pineapple to the pan and let it warm through for 1-2 minutes. Flip the slices and wait another minute. This simple, sweet dessert is best served with vanilla ice cream.

Pineapple Jalapeno  Corn bread

Pineapple Jalapeno Corn bread

3/4 cup fresh or canned pineapple, diced

1 diced, seeded jalapeno

Your favorite box cornbread mix

1 tablespoon of flour

This one is really easy. Follow the instructions on your favorite boxed cornbread mix, then add the pineapple and jalapeno to the raw bread dough and stir in. Then, mix in the flour. This little bit of extra flour will balance out the excess juice the pineapple will give off during baking. Bake according to package directions.

Pineapple Salsa

Pineapple Salsa

2 cups fresh pineapple, diced (about one small pineapple)

1 diced, seeded jalapeno

1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Juice of 2 limes

1 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 tsp salt

After you’re done chopping, just combine all the ingredients in a small bowl. This salsa is great on corn chips, but also makes a fantastic topping for grilled chicken or fish.

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