Although pineapple is available year-round, it’s peak season runs from March through July.  Aside from the irresistible taste, there are some healthy reasons to indulge in this flavorful fruit.  It’s a great source of vitamin C, which protects from heart disease, cancer, and cataracts: it contains manganese, which helps keep your bones strong.  Pineapple is also a good source of bromelian, a natural anti-inflammatory that is helpful for addressing the symptoms of sinusitis, gout, arthritis, swelling and bruising.  Plus, pineapple contains an enzyme that helps relieve indigestion; making it a dessert your tummy will appreciate. One cup of raw pieces weighs in at 76 calories, 1.9 grams of fiber, .6 grams of protein, .7 grams of fat (none of it saturated), 2.0 milligrams of sodium, and no cholesterol.

For both flavor and health benefits, fresh is best when it comes to pineapples.  Select one that is heavy for its size and a sweet tropical aroma at the stem end.  It should have a strong color and be slightly soft to the touch, with crisp, dark green leaves.  Signs of over ripeness are yellow or brown tipped leaves as well as soft or dark areas on the skin.

Cut it up and store in an airtight container with some of its own juice for a healthy treat.  If you are unable to use it within 3 days, freeze for use in blended drinks.

Suggestions for eating:

Eat it plain.

Kebob it:  Thread fresh pineapple chunks on skewers with meat and veggies for grilling.

Add wedges or chinks to all types of salads- fruit, tossed green, chicken, and tuna to name just a few.

Grill or broil pineapple slices for a great burger topping or dessert.

Use it in relishes and serve with simply prepared chicken and pork dishes.  See my Mango Pineapple Salsa Recipe.

Take leftover rice or other hearty grain and pan fry with pineapple