Cutting up a whole pineapple can feel like a daunting task. Its prickly exterior seems to ward off invaders of its delightfully sweet insides. It is not, however, as difficult a task as it seems. Although there is no miracle “quick” way to free the bright yellow fruit from its bristly skin, here are the steps for making it a less discouraging experience.
Start with a ripe pineapple. Ripe will be easier to cut. How do you know?
- Smell the butt. Bad advice in the context or humans and animals, however in the case of pineapples, this is the first tell-tale sign to determine sweetness. If the bottom of the pineapple smells sweet, it is ripe. If there is no odor, it is not ready. If the smell is fermented or vinegary, that’s bad news, because it’s over ripe.
- Watch for color. The best pineapples have a yellow or golden color. The higher the yellow rises from the bottom to the top, the more sweetness it will have. (Note: Once harvested, pineapples don’t continue to ripen.)
- Pluck a leaf. If you can easily pull out one of the center leaves at the top, it is ripe.
Another tip: Use a sharp serrated knife. Pineapple is fairly fibrous as well as juicy, so it can be slippery. A serrated blade makes your job of cutting easier. And don’t worry about getting every little piece of the pineapple’s “eyes” (brown spots) cut off. It may be more esthetically pleasing to have them removed, but personally, we don’t believe it’s worth the effort to remove them all—and they won’t hurt you. (Neither will the core; it actually has some great health benefits, but can be very woody, so you may want to cut it off.)
Getting the Job Done
- Trim off the top. Be generous with your slice; the top of the pineapple can be woody and fibrous.
- Trim off the bottom. Again, be generous.
- Trim the sides. Stand the pineapple on its end and slide down the sides in a slightly curved motion, following the curve of the fruit. Work your way around taking off just enough so there is no dark green or brown skin remaining.
- Split lengthwise. Keep the pineapple standing on its end and split each half lengthwise again into quarters.
- Trim the core. Like the top and bottom, the core can be very woody so it’s best to remove it. Stand the pineapple quarter on end and use the knife to feel where the fibers start to “give” more.
- Slice quarters up into desired size/shape pieces and serve!
Easy Blueberry Mini Tarts
Mini Blueberry Tarts
Ingredients (yields 4 tarts)
- 1C raw almonds or 1C almond meal
- 2T butter, melted
- 2T brown sugar
- 1/4t salt
- ~6T blueberry jam (homemade or store bought)
- ~1C fresh blueberries
- Preheat oven to 350F and spray tart pans with nonstick cooking spray.
- In a small food processor, process raw almonds into almond flour. Then add in brown sugar and salt and pulse. Place mixture into a medium sized bowl and pour in 2T melted butter.
- Using a fork, thoroughly mix together the crust ingredients.
- Separate crust mixture into four equal sections. Then, evenly pour ¼ of the mixture into a small tart pan and press firmly with a spoon or your fingers. Repeat x 3.
- Place tart pans on a cooking sheet and cover with tinfoil. Then, bake (covered) for 15 minutes.
- Uncover tart pans and bake for an additional 10 minutes or until the crust begins to brown. Rotate pans every 5 minutes.
- Let the crusts cool for about 30 minutes. Then, evenly spread on about ~1 ½ T of blueberry jam (or any kind of jam).
- Finally, place blueberries on top of jam. Enjoy!
Nutrition per serving (1/2 tart): 154 calories, 8g fat, 18g carbs (2g fiber, 12g sugars), 3g protein
Also check out some of our favorite healthy tart recipes from around the blogosphere:
- Strawberry Rhubarb Tartlets
- Dark Chocolate Cherry Amaretto Tart
- Healthified Blueberry Lemon Tart
- Rustic Pear Tart
- Very Cherry Tart with Almond Crust
- White Chocolate Berry Tart
What is your favorite kind of Tart?
Share in the comments below!
4 Outstanding Reasons–and Recipes–to Eat More Blueberries
Heads up: It’s peak blueberry season. And no doubt you’ve heard that blueberries are totally beneficial super foods with almost magical health benefits. Well, it’s true. They’re considered “brain food,” with the ability to fight toxic proteins, and can harness their crazy-good antioxidants to fight harmful molecules and potential infections (so long, UTIs!). With all these benefits, and the United States’ role as the world’s largest supplier, there’s an entire month— July—dedicated to their greatness. Do you need more reasons to eat them? If so, here goes. Skip to the end for blueberry recipes, if you’re already convinced.
1. Digestive health. Blueberries have high fiber content. Enough said.
2. Weight loss support. That fiber also increases your general sense of fullness, and extends the sensation between meals, reducing overall appetite.
3. Better bone health. Bone structure, strength, and elasticity are all helped by the great combo of iron, zinc, vitamin K, magnesium, calcium, phosphorous, and manganese found in blueberries.
4. Smoother skin. Say so long to some extra wrinkles thanks to the vitamin C that helps collagen improve overall skin texture, and acts as an antioxidant to help prevent skin damage from the sun and pollution.
5. Lower blood pressure. Blueberries contain potassium, calcium, and magnesium, which naturally decrease blood pressure. They do not include sodium, the concerning element connected to a high BP.
Here are five tasty ways to add more blueberries into your diet:
Toss Them in Fresh
A handful can be added to a salad, smoothie, oatmeal, or any number of other meals that could use a boost.
Breakfast: Vanilla Blueberry Yogurt Parfait
Take an idea from above for your first meal of the day, or prepare these delicious single-serving breakfasts.
Baked Goods: Lemon Blueberry Yogurt Muffins
Lemon and blueberries are both beneficial for your health. Enjoy the combo in this gluten-free side.
Snacks: Frozen Red, White & Blue Yogurt Bites
Take a break from Fourth of July activities with these colorful, cool morsels.
Dessert: Blueberry Mini Tarts
Enjoy a healthier dessert, and limit your sweets consumed— unless you pop too many!
Note: Beware of food that’s blueberry-flavored. It often doesn’t include actual blueberries. We want the real deal! And remember to hold off on washing the “dusty” fruit until you’re ready to eat them (to make them longer-lasting), and watch their juice; blueberries are a natural dye.
Sources: Medical News Today, Health.com and WebMD
7 Better-For-You Desserts We Love
There are times when your sweet tooth is insatiable, and some days – ok, most days – it’s enjoyable to cap off dinner with a treat. If you’re itching to turn to a homemade option, we’ve got seven recipes packed with so much flavor, they’re sure to satisfy even the sweetest of teeth!
Nuts pack a healthy punch, and these babies… wow, they’re sweetened just right with a touch of maple syrup.
Dark chocolate, pistachios and popcorn come together for an unexpected treat. Nutty and finished with a chocolatey sweetness, these bars are such to satisfy.
Made with ingredients you love like peanut butter, coconut oil and oats, these easy “cookies” skip the oven toil. They’re sweetened with honey and are ready in a half hour!
If you’re craving a Reese’s, you may want to opt for the homemade route. These peanut butter and chocolate treats are made fresh and you decide everything that goes into them!
Salted dark chocolate mousse by Fit Foodie Finds. You’ll never guess what gives this mousse its creaminess… avocado! It’s packed with healthy fats, free of refined sugar, and incredibly delectable!
The perfect healthy six-ingredient treat for you and your special someone!
Made with chia seeds and unsweetened cocoa, these pudding cups are a healthier version of tapioca pudding.
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