Pineapple is loaded with a lot of health benefits. Pineapple contains antioxidants, nutrients, and other helpful compounds. Pineapple can help to boost digestion and keep everyday infections away. Pineapple is also a great condiment in smoothies, frozen juices, and Pina Coladas.
Pineapples have a very short shelf life. In the refrigerator, if you are lucky it would last for about 3 days. So, there is always the dilemma of how to preserve this fruit.
Can you freeze pineapple? Yes, you can. It doesn’t take much effort and freezing it helps it to last for about 6 months. You don’t even have to worry about a change in taste, as the pineapple would taste as fresh and juicy as before you froze it. Although, freezing for too long can result in a slight change in taste.
The trick with successfully freezing pineapple is by picking the right fruit. If you will be freezing store-bought pineapple, check that it is a ripe one. Check for signs of mold on the pineapples before picking them from the store. If you notice any mold put it back in the rack. So, check for soft or dark spots as these can indicate spoilage. However, if you are picking the pineapple from your garden, ensure that it is ripe before you pick it.
With all these said, how do you freeze pineapple?
How to Freeze Pineapple
Freezing Pineapple is easy. All you need are items that you can get in the kitchen. A very sharp kitchen knife, cookie tray, and wax paper or parchment paper. In easy steps, here’s how to freeze pineapples.
Step 1: Cutting the Pineapple
Before freezing, you need to cut up your pineapple. You can decide to cut the fruit into wedges, slices, or cubes. For easy peeling, cut off the top and bottom of the pine and shave off the peel with your sharp knife. A dull knife can make this process hard for you. After shaving off the skins, cut out the core. Then cut the pineapple into your desired shape. You can use a pineapple corer if you’d like to have some fun while doing this.
Step 2: Pre-freezing
The slices of pineapple will clump together during the freezing process because of their high water content. So to prevent this, we pre-freeze or flash-freeze. Spread the pineapple slices on a baking sheet or cookie pan lined with parchment paper or wax paper. Put the slices individually, with enough space in between them so that the aim of this step will not be defeated.
Place the pan into the freezer and freeze for some hours, or the better part of a day. The parchment paper helps to keep the slices from sticking to the cookie pan. If you don’t have wax paper or anything to serve that purpose, you can use a spatula to lift the slices from the sheet after freezing.
Step 3: Storage
Place the half-frozen slices of pineapple into Ziploc bags or airtight freezer bags. The key to freezing is to keep the food item away from air as much as possible. So, ensure to expel excess air from the bags before sealing them up. You can do this with a straw.
A vacuum sealer is a great thing to have if you would be freezing things a lot. With a sharpie, label the date of the freeze so that you can keep track of how long you have stored the pineapple.
How to Defrost Frozen Pineapple
The variety of recipes in which frozen pineapple can be used is lengthy. Without defrosting, frozen pineapple can be used in ice cream, eaten ordinarily, smoothies, juice, and salad toppings. When you add your frozen pineapple to juices, smoothies, or drinks, remember to use less ice as the frozen pineapple is almost enough to chill your drink.
If you want to defrost your pineapple before usage, leave it in the fridge to thaw overnight. When eating pineapples raw, you can try it with a bit of lemon juice. This same treatment can apply to other fruits like raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries.
Can Freezing Pineapple Destroy Bromelain?
Bromelain is an important enzyme present in pineapple that helps to break up the protein for easy digestion and absorption by the body. Pineapple should be eaten raw without sugar or additives so that the body can benefit greatly from the nutrients present in the fruit.
Since freezing doesn’t expose the pineapple to extreme heat, it is safe to say that it doesn’t destroy Bromelain. However, this doesn’t mean that some nutrients would not be lost during the freezing process. But, you would still have enough left over for your body to benefit from. Cooking pineapple does destroy Bromelain.
What Part of Pineapple is Considered Poisonous?
Pineapple fruit is considered a non-toxic fruit. The skin of the pineapple is not considered poisonous either. But, the unripe flesh, leaves, and thorns have a level of toxicity. It can have toxic effects, and this is due to the presence of the enzyme Bromelain.
Bromelain can be used as a meat tenderizer. Because of the low level of toxicity of this enzyme, it is only considered toxic when ingested in large quantities. Unripe pineapples have a more concentrated level of Bromelain than ripe ones.