Pineapples are tropical fruits that are delicious, versatile, and full of health benefits. But picking the perfect pineapple can be challenging since all you have to go on is the color and appearance.
Here are 6 simple tips to help you tell whether a pineapple is ripe.
6 ways to tell a pineapple is ripe
1. Check the color
Color is usually a good indication of whether a pineapple is ripe.
Ripe pineapples should be yellow-green around the spiny points and have healthy leaves. If the pineapple is mostly green, it will likely be unripe and sour. If the pineapple is very yellow, it may be overripe. Avoid pineapples with wrinkled, reddish-brown skin, cracks, or brown withering leaves because these are signs of rotten fruit.
2. Take a sniff
Because pineapples ripen from the bottom up, they are the most fragrant at their stem end. Flip the pineapple over and smell the bottom. If it smells sweet, it is usually a sign of ripeness.
3. Gently squeeze it
Lightly squeeze the pineapple using the fingers of one hand. The pineapple should be firm, but soft enough that it goes in slightly when you press on it.
4. Feel the weight
Choose a pineapple that is heavier for its size because it will likely be juicier and sweeter. It is the extra juice that gives the pineapple that extra weight.
5. Pluck a leaf from the top
According to one theory, an easy way to tell if a pineapple is ripe is to pluck a leaf from the top. If it comes off without much resistance, it may indicate that the pineapple is ripe.
6. Check the shape
Always choose pineapples with bigger eyes or diamond-shaped patterns on the skin. The larger the eyes, the longer the pineapple was left to ripen naturally before being picked. You should also choose pineapples with a plump, round body instead of those that taper too much at the top. Those that taper at the top will not have much pineapple flesh in the upper half after cutting away the skin, eyes, and core.
What are the health benefits of pineapple?
High in antioxidants: Pineapples are rich in flavonoids and phenolic acids (antioxidants) that protect cells from free radical damage that can lead to chronic diseases. Pineapples also contain high amounts of vitamin C, which can help strengthen the immune system.
High in manganese: Manganese plays an essential role in several bodily functions, including food metabolization, blood clotting, and maintenance of healthy bones.
Rich in vitamins and minerals: Pineapples are packed with vitamin B6, copper, thiamin, folate, potassium, magnesium, niacin, riboflavin, and iron. These nutrients help with energy production and blood cell production.Rich in bromelain: Pineapples contain a mixture of proteolytic enzymes called bromelain, which breaks down proteins, promotes healthy digestion, and has anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Bromelain has been linked to a reduced risk of certain types of cancer.
5 ways to use ripe pineapples
- Pineapple salsa: Add diced pineapple to your favorite salsa recipe for a splash of sweetness.
- Pineapple juice: Use fresh pineapple to make a bright, sweet, tangy juice.
- Homemade piña coladas: Use fresh pineapple pulp to make a sweet homemade pina colada.
- Pineapple smoothie: Toss pieces of pineapple into a blender with bananas, almonds, yogurt, instant oats, ice, water, and a dash of cinnamon to make a delicious smoothie.
- Fruit salad: Combine pineapple chunks with berries for a fruit salad that will have a pleasant mixture of tartness and sweetness.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
WebMD. Health Benefits of Pineapple. https://www.webmd.com/diet/ss/slideshow-health-benefits-pineapple
Cleveland Clinic. The Many Health Benefits of Pineapple. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/benefits-of-pineapple/
The Burning Kitchen. 6 Tips on How to Choose a Ripe Pineapple. https://www.theburningkitchen.com/6-tips-choose-ripe-pineapple/
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