[Wellbeing & You] Pineapple
Pineapple is an iconic tropical fruit that is found year-round nowadays, but it is the most flavourful from April to July each year. In Hong Kong’s market, pineapples are mainly shipped from Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. Interestingly only 17% of the total pineapples in Philippines is output as fresh fruits, while the rest of them are processed into juice, jams, dried fruits etc. To taste the freshness of this seasonal produce, store it at room temperature on the countertop and consume it within 3 days. You can also put the uncut fruit in the fridge to extend its shelf life by a few more days. Cut pineapple pieces can last up to a week in an airtight container in the refrigerator or up to a year in the freezer.
Pineapples were a rare and expensive commodity centuries ago, because they could only grow in sub-tropical or tropical regions and most of them would got rotten during transport back in the days. However, as our technologies advance, pineapples can now be enjoyed anytime around the globe.
Unlike many other fresh fruits, pineapple tastes just as delicious when it is cooked. Grilled pineapple slices in burgers, chunks baked on top of a Hawaiian pizza and cubes stir-fried with sweet & sour pork are some popular dishes in Hong Kong. These are good ways to boost our nutrition intake by including fruits in cooking if eating fruits is not yet your daily routine. Pineapples are rich in vitamin C and manganese, providing 131% Daily Value (DV) and 76% DV respectively in just one cup of chunks (165g). These nutrients are strong antioxidants which act as free radical scavengers in our body protecting our cells from being harm. To retain the most heat-sensitive vitamin C, eat fresh pineapple raw or shorten the cooking time as much as possible.
Fresh and raw pineapples not only offering more vitamin C, but also containing a natural digestive enzyme, bromelain, which may aid digestion of protein. While more evidence is needed to prove how bromelain helps with digestion in our body, pineapples have been used as a natural meat tenderiser for a long time. Bromelain can break down protein in meat to give a more tender texture but overdoing it can cause the meat to be mushy, so keep the marination under 2 hours.
Pineapples are nutritious and they can be a great tool in the kitchen. Make good use of this exotic looking fruit, which was once a costly food, to gain the most benefits from it.
Transportation emission is one of the major contributors of pineapple’s carbon footprint, yet in comparison to others animal-based foods, pineapples generate a relatively low amount of carbon dioxide. Luckily, most of the pineapples sold in Hong Kong are grown in nearby countries, which makes reducing our carbon footprint easier.
Compass Chef’s Recipe Sharing
Spicy Pickled Pineapple
|· 1 1/2 cup rice vinegar
· 1 tablespoon sugar
· 1-2 red chili, chopped
· 2-3 slices fresh ginger root
· 1/2 tablespoon salt
· juice of 2 limes
· 1/2 pineapple cut into half circles
|1) Place the vinegar, sugar, chili, ginger, salt and lime juice in a small sauce pot. Bring to a simmer stir until sugar dissolves, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
2) Place the pineapple into a large jar.
3) Pour the vinegar mixture over the pineapple, it should just cover the top slice.
4) Seal and refrigerate at least 1 day before eating.
5) Store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Pineapple will become tangier with time.
- Census and Statistics Department – Hong Kong Merchandise Trade Statistics Imports. Available at: https://www.censtatd.gov.hk/en/EIndexbySubject.html?pcode=B1020001&scode=230 . Access on 27Mar2023.
- MasterClass – How to Store Pineapple: 4 Easy Storage Methods. Available at: https://www.masterclass.com/articles/how-to-store-pineapple . Access on 27Mar2023.
- Nutrition Data – Pineapple, raw, all varieties. Available at: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/2019/2 . Access on 3Apr2023.
- Impactful Ninja – What is the Carbon Footprint of Pineapples? A Life-Cycle Analysis. Available at: https://impactful.ninja/what-is-the-carbon-footprint-of-pineapples/#:~:text=Pineapples%20have%20a%20carbon%20footprint,and%20their%20low%20composting%20rates. . Access on 3Apr2023.