THE HEALTHY HAPPY KITCHEN for all blood types by Sue Visser
Lesson 2: GET THE MOST OUT OF A PINEAPPLE
Don’t peel the pineapple: cut it in half!
A pineapple is fully ripe when the central leaves can be easily plucked out. With a sharp, strong knife, cut the pineapple in half, from tip to tail, right through the leaves. For each half: cut a curved slit in the flesh, down the middle to just above the skin. Then another slit in each side, so the central pith is divided into fours. If you do not have a curved grapefruit knife you can make one by bending round the top half of a cheap serrated kitchen knife. Use this curved knife to cut around the edge of the pineapple, about 1cm from the outside, as far down into the flesh as you can. With practice, this first cut will release the outer quarter segments. Then you can cut out the inner pieces, keeping to the same skin thickness.
Ideas for enjoying the pineapple pieces: Note: there are no burrs in the pineapple segments!
PINEAPPLE LOLLIES: pop a skewer into the tip of each piece of pineapple. Enjoy as is, or with party dips. They can also be frozen for a cool treat and are great to put in fresh juices and cocktail glasses.
CHOPPED PINEAPPLE: finely chop the segments- especially the ones that didn’t turn out so well, to use in recipes. For example: stir-fries, fruit salad or fruit juices or to mix with rice, etc. The segments can also be neatly chopped in larger pieces to be threaded onto skewers for kebabs or fruit skewers. Pineapple tastes good with strawberries or grapes. Don’t mix with watermelon, as that should be eaten separately.
PINEAPPLE AND GINGER PRESERVE: place finely chopped pineapple and fresh ginger in a pot. Cover with a little water and boil with the lid on until soft. Remove lid, add a few spoons of sugar and boil rapidly on high to reduce until you have a sticky sauce or jam – it’s divine with cottage cheese or tofu.
PINEAPPLE PULP: scrape out the pulp from the skin with a spoon. You need to press quite hard and work around all the scratchy stumps to release the juice and pulp. It can be used in juices or frozen and served as a sorbet with ice cream or yoghurt.
Stuffed pineapple for a sweet or savoury treat
GRILLED or BAKED: fill the scooped out pineapple shells with a mixture of cooked rice, chopped onion, peppers, celery and pineapple. Also try various types of leftover rice, chopped nuts, water chestnuts, cooked fish, and chicken or meat slivers. Season with soy sauce and spices. Add a tablespoon of olive per person. Top with mushroom slices or prawns and a spreading of tomato relish or chutney. Now sprinkle with grated cheese or thin slices of Tusser’s cheese and grill for 5 – 10 minutes. Keep warm till served. To bake, cover the pineapples with a lid or some foil and bake in a medium oven for ½ hour.
HOT OR COLD DESSERT: make a fruit salad and serve it in the pineapple shells. Top with yoghurt or cream. For a hot dessert: fill with chopped apple and pineapple. Add chopped ginger or nuts and honey. Sprinkle brown sugar on top and a few blobs of butter and grill for 10 minutes.