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Learning how to cut a pineapple is not hard once you’ve been shown how! Maybe you are wondering why you would want to do such a thing. After all, they have them cut up nice and pretty for you at the grocery store in plastic containers, no cutting required! For years, I was super intimidated to even try so I just purchased the frozen chunks at Costco! But there’s just nothing like fresh fruit for its taste and nutritional value. Frozen fruit like pineapple is best used in smoothies.
Why You Should Learn to Cut a Pineapple
- More affordable: This is by far the biggest reason with this particular fruit. Other fruits have preservatives and chemicals added that prevent browning and spoiling. Pineapple, on the other hand, has a short ingredient list: Pineapple. But the cost is staggering! Our local Walmart had pre-cut pineapple in the refrigerated produce section for $4.99 a pound! The container held what I would estimate to be around one to one and a half pineapples but cost a total of almost $12.00!! Y’all, Aldi has pineapple at $1.99 for their every day price and 99 cents when on special! Pre-cut is obviously NOT a frugal option.
- Nutrient loss: Once any fruit or vegetable is peeled or cut, it’s exposed to oxygen and light, the two things that rob of freshness. This means it also robs produce of their nutrient content. Water content is lost, so water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C evaporate as well.
- Exposure to BPA: Many fruits and vegetables come in their own wonderful package, otherwise known as skin or rind. Once a fruit such as pineapple is cut, the flesh obviously has to be stored somewhere! Unfortunately, as with most everything else in our world of cheap goods, plastic is the go-to for storage. Plastics are a huge burden on our world, but also our bodies. They contain not only the well-known BPA, but multiple chemicals that are linked to asthma, hormone disruption, infertility, thyroid disruption, and even breast cancer. I avoid plastics as much as possible in our home, and while you can’t avoid them altogether, buying fresh produce is a simple solution that also saves you money.
How to Know When Your Pineapple is Ready to Cut
A pineapple can go from perfectly ripe and delicious to somewhat pungent in a matter of days, so you want to watch for some signs it’s ready to cut.
- The stem- otherwise known as the palm tree looking thing. 🙂 Slight wilting is ok, but when the leaves start to curl or turn brown, you’re about to miss it. You can see in my picture below a good example of this!
- The color- Your pineapple should be perfectly yellow. It’s ok if it’s SLIGHTLY light yellow toward the stem (not green) and SLIGHTLY darker toward the bottom. Once the bottom starts leaning toward an orange or dark yellow at the bottom, you’re about to miss it. My pineapple below was dark yellow. This isn’t enough to affect taste, but it will start to go bad quicker after cut.
- Firmness- If you’re pineapple’s spikes start curling a bit, the next step will be a slight wilting. This won’t look as obvious as a fruits like berries, but you will for sure see it losing its firmness and start to shrink in a bit.
- You can still salvage it! The good news is that you can still cut your pineapple as detailed in the steps below, and cut off overripe parts as you would an apple. Pineapples tend to be more ripe toward the bottom end, so all is not lost if you’ve let it go too long.
Steps For Cutting a Pineapple
Get out a cutting board and sharp knife. I like using a sturdy bread knife as it’s both long enough and seems to help with cutting since it’s serrated. Cut off the stem (palm tree!) and bottom. Cutting the bottom will give you a nice flat surface to slice on.
Stand the pineapple up on the flat bottom, and slice straight down, slightly off center to avoid the core.
Continue cutting all the way around the core on all sides until your core is squared.
Stand each piece up and use your knife to cut straight down, slicing off the peel. Some of your larger pieces may need to be cut thinner so you can accomplish this in one cutting. You can also just work the knife from top to bottom working around larger pieces.
Cut the pineapple flesh in smaller pieces for eating.
Serve fresh or store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You are now a pineapple cutting pro! Say goodbye to those $12.00 plastic containers, and enjoy this delicious, healthy fruit with your family!