Summer is in full swing and it is hot, hot, HOT! Cool down by making your own frozen fruit pops. Homemade frozen fruit pops combine freshly fruit juice and the juice pulp to bring a taste of summer to your own backyard.
Pineapple is a fruit that’s exceptionally juicy and therefore makes a great frozen treat. Plus, pineapple brings a taste of the tropics which lets us dream of sandy beaches and enjoying frosty treat under a palm tree.
Pineapples are unique in that they are an amalgam of many blooms whose solo fruitlets fuse together around a core. The fruitlet is identifiable by its “eye” marked by the spiny marking on the pineapple’s surface. Pineapples are cylinder shaped with a scaly green, yellow, or brown skin topped by a spray of blue-green leaves. Even though the fruit may look sort of ‘scary’, it’s the inside that counts – a vibrant and fibrous yellow flesh that is tender and sweet.
Preparation of the Pineapple
Place the pineapple on its side and slice off the stem. Set the pineapple upright and slice off the skin as close to edge where the flesh and the skin meet. Cut away any ‘eyes’ that need removed. Cut the edible flesh away from the core.
Juicy Pineapple Pops – add more juice than pulp
- ½ cup fresh pineapple juice
- 1 tsp pineapple pulp
Fruity Pineapple Pops – add more pulp than juice
- ½ cup pineapple pulp
- ¼ cup pineapple juice
To Make Frozen Treats
- Juice the pineapple (and other fruits as desired). Remember to reserve the pulp as needed.
- Mix the fruit and pulp in a liquid measuring cup that has a pour spout.
- Pour the mixture into paper cups or popsicle molds. Put popsicle sticks into the cups/molds and freeze.
- Add an equal amount of both fruit and juice (1/2 cup of each)
- Mix more than one flavor, for example ½ cup pineapple juice and ½ cup strawberry juice. Try any and all combinations that strike your fancy.
One cup of pineapple has 75 energy packed calories. Dense in manganese, the pineapple provides over 120% of the recommended daily value. Our mitochondria, i.e. our energy production factories, require manganese to stay at top performance. With the pineapple’s quality dose of Thiamin (Vitamin B1), the pair further promotes energy production and antioxidant defenses.
Of course, Vitamin C is a big part of the pineapple’s allure, containing over 40% of the daily value. Need more Vitamin C? Simply eat a 1 cup serving of pineapple.
Due to a complex mix of substances collectively called “bromelain”, it’s believed that eating pineapples can improve digestion. Though bromelain exists primarily in the stem and core, those with digestive issues may wish to talk with their healthcare provider about bromelain extract.
Pineapple History – A Sweet Tale of Travel
The pineapple is thought to have origins in South America, but this fruit came to European attention when it was discovered on Guadalupe Island in the Caribbean. While cultivation in Europe failed due to climate, the fruit spread throughout Asian, Africa, and the South Pacific where conditions were just right.
Pineapples are highly perishable. American colonists typically had to make do with sugar-coated pineapples since transportation of foods was exceptionally slow. So, fresh pineapples inevitably became a status symbol of wealth and class.
The pineapple was a symbol of hospitality in the Caribbean. European visitors soon recognized their welcome if a pineapple was placed outside a village. This tradition spread to Europe and then to colonial North America. You can still see carved pineapples and pineapple statues on top of gates and columns in North American historic homes.
Selection and Storage
Choose a pineapple that feels heavy for its size. The only difference in size is that a larger pineapple has more edible flesh. Size does not typically indicate sweetness or juiciness. Avoid fruits with soft spots, bruises, or darkened ‘eyes’. Pineapples with a fragrant sweet smell at the stem are the best choice.
The pineapple can be left at room temperate for a couple of days. Allowing it to sit out for two days will give the fruit more time to become softer and juicier. Do watch the pineapple closely to make sure it doesn’t spoil. Otherwise, wrap the fruit in a plastic bag and refrigerate for 3-5 days.
Store cut up pineapple in an airtight container in the fridge. Retain some of the juice when you cut the pineapple as this luscious fruit retains its flavor best when it marinates in its own juice.