I remember the first time I drove past a pineapple field. I was in Maui with my partner at the time (we are talking 20 years ago now) and I was like ‘OMG I thought pineapples grew on trees’. He said, well you’d be surprised, most people actually do. Hahaha!
Did you know, if you twist the top off a pineapple and plant it in the soil, a couple of years later you will have a while new pineapple grow out of that? I just love the miracle of nature.
When you get a deliciously sweet pineapple, they are like divine nectar… one of those rare moments to be treasured. Meanwhile, back in England, I tend to buy frozen pineapple for smoothies. Pineapple makes for a sublime treat.
Hawaii used to be the largest producer of these big, tantalising fruits, although you’ll find them growing all over the world in countries like the Philippines, the Caribean Brazil, and Costa Rica. It is commonly thought that the pineapple was first brought into Europe by Christopher Columbus in 1493 (keeping fruits fresh over that long sea voyage is beyond my comprehension though).
Pineapple has tough, waxy skin that is removed before eating the inner, yellow fruit. The tough fibrous leaves are also generally discarded. One of the most innovative and exciting uses for these leaves in recent times is as an alternative to leather! This is excellent news for animals as we find ever more compassionate and sustainable ways to harness the waste, by-products of the pineapple industry.
Health benefits of pineapples
The health benefits of pineapples excite me. The best-known benefit is from the bromelain enzyme in pineapple (I believe that pineapple may be the only source of this enzyme). Bromelain is said to break down complex proteins, which helps aid digestion. Bromelain is also supposed to have top-notch anti-inflammatory benefits and has been shown to help improve symptoms of arthritis.
Pineapple has a whopping great level of vitamin C – a vitamin that is known to help against the harmful effects of toxins and free radicals in the body. It also has high levels of manganese, various flavonoids, beta-carotene, and other anti-oxidants. These are all excellent for boosting the immune system, preventing cancer, and overall health and wellness.
The manganese in pineapple is also known for supporting and strengthing your bones. Pineapple contains an impressive amount of this mineral… in fact, one serving is said to contain up to 70% of your recommended daily amount of manganese.
Pineapple is also said to be great for regulating blood pressure, eye health, and for oral health. A bit of a winner I would say.
My ‘pineapple bliss’ smoothie recipe is pretty simple, so I thought I’d share it here today. I use a hand blender to make mine, although any blender will do.
I add ripe bananas, almond butter, and a little bit of plant-based milk (although water will work fine too).
This smoothie is nice and thick, so you can also make this up as a smoothie bowl and enjoy it with a spoon along with favourite toppings.
This recipe features in my cookbook Angelicious…
- 2 bananas (medium sized)
- 2 handfuls frozen pineapple
- 1 tablespoon almond butter
- 100ml water
- Peel two ripe bananas (ripe is best for sweetness).
- Add to a jug.
- Put in two handfuls of frozen pineapple.
- Add one tablespoon of almond butter.
- Add 100ml (just under half a cup) of water or plant-based milk.
- Blend until creamy smooth.
- Enjoy in a glass or as a smoothie bowl (with fave toppings).
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