Fruit for Thought: Pineapple
The Pineapple* (Ananas Comosus*) is a tropical plant with edible fruit. It has a bright yellow fibrous inner flesh that is naturally very sweet and best when ripe. Its aroma is pleasant, and the juice thirst quenching. Pineapple does not ripen well post-harvest, and it is available year-round.
**Ananas comosus, the most economically significant plant in the Bromeliaceae family.
**The plant is indigenous to South America and is said to originate from the area between Southern Brazil and Paraguay. Columbus encountered the pineapple in 1493 on the Leeward island of Guadeloupe. He called it piña de Indias, meaning "pine of the Indians," and brought it back with him to Europe, thus making the pineapple the first bromeliad to leave the New World. Many say the fruit was first introduced in Hawaii when a Spanish ship brought them there in the 1500s. The fruit was cultivated successfully in European hothouses beginning in 1720.
As a very subtle healer of many body ailments, below is a list of some of the benefits of pineapple:
- Its most essential ingredient is bromelain, a natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller. In the upper respiratory tract, bromelain fights bronchitis and sinusitis. Bromelain is effective in healing stomach ulcers and repairing body tissues.
- Pineapple juice contains natural collagen which boosts the immune system.
- Damaged, chapped or burnt skin can be reconditioned by drinking pineapple juice.
- Pineapple contains detoxifying elements and chemicals that stimulate kidney functions.
- Helpful in treating bruises, cuts, muscle pain, arthritis, joint pain, sprains, and back pain. Pineapple has proven to positively supplement recovery from knee injury, reduce fever, body wrinkles, and aid digestion.
- Consuming pineapple often drastically reduces recovery after surgery.
- Excellent antidote for cardio-vascular disease due to its ability to break-down cholesterol compounds.
**Children should not eat it in excess as it can cause gingivitis in children.
Recipe: Spiced Tropical Fruit Compote
Makes: 6 servings, 2/3 cup each Active Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 50 minutes
Whole spices give a subtle but distinct flavor to this tropical fruit compote. Here the fruit is not cooked in the syrup, but simply macerated so that the taste remains fresh and distinct. The spiced syrup is also a wonderful sweetener for hot tea or as a base for a veggie-stir-fry.
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup fresh pineapple juice
1 teaspoon freshly grated lime zest
1/4 cup lime juice, (2 limes)
10 whole cardamom pods
8 whole allspice berries
8 whole black peppercorns
8 whole cloves
2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half
3 kiwi, peeled and sliced
2 mangoes or papayas, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks
2 seedless tangerines or small oranges, peeled and sliced
2 star fruit (carambolas), thinly sliced
1 cup fresh pineapple chunks
1 banana, peeled and cut into thick slices
- Combine sugar, pineapple juice, lime zest and juice in a small saucepan.
- Tie the spices in a small cheesecloth bag and add it to the saucepan.
- Bring the liquid to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 24 hours.
- Toss all the fruit in a serving bowl.
- Add syrup and stir gently.
- Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Remove spice bag and serve.