Love pineapple? Believe it or not, this juicy tropical fruit is much more than just a pretty garnish for your Pina Colada. From soothing a cough to a foot scrub, these pineapple remedies, hacks, and crazy uses are sure to amaze!
Pineapple’s Unique Story
The pineapple is a unique and interesting fruit with a variety of uses. It grows upward from the center of a tropical plant that yields only one pineapple fruit per growing season. One pineapple is the result of 200 or more colorful flowers fusing together to form the fruit. Pineapples are grown in tropical climates and enjoyed world-wide.
For hundreds of years, the pineapple has symbolized hospitality, especially in coastal areas in North America and Europe. It signifies welcome when used in architecture, home décor, and hosting or entertaining guests.
How it got its name is unique too. Pineapple took its name from the pine cone, which was originally called pineapple. When early European explorers saw the tropical fruit and noticed it resembled “pine cones,” they called them pineapple too. Throughout the 1600s, the fruit and “pine cones” were both called pineapple. Finally, around 1694, to differentiate between the two, the pineapple fruit retained the name, and pine cones were no longer referred to as a pineapple.
11 Pineapple Hacks and Remedies
1. Easy Way To Check For Ripeness
Pineapples do not ripen after picking, so it’s important to select a ripe one. You can tell whether it’s ripe by turning it upside down and sniffing the bottom. Pick one with a sweet fragrance, golden near the base and firm when you give it a squeeze.
2. Try This Trick To Sweeten It
Did you know that you can sweeten a pineapple before slicing it open? Here’s the secret: to maximize flavor, keep whole fruit at room temperature. Before slicing, turn it upside down and leave it overnight. The sugars in the bottom half of the fruit will circulate and sweeten the whole pineapple. Slice and enjoy!
3. You Can Eat the Core!
The core of a pineapple is usually discarded. But it’s actually edible and packed with flavor and nutrients. Chop and freeze it until ready to use. Simply add it to a blender with other ingredients when making fruit smoothies or ice cream. Or you can add cubes of frozen core to your beverages to impart flavor without watering it down.
4. Tenderize Meat
Have you ever noticed your tongue tingling when you eat pineapple? Bromelain, a corrosive digestive enzyme in the fruit, breaks down amino acids. When it makes contact with your tongue it goes to work tenderizing your tongue. Not to worry, though—your saliva stops the enzymes from doing real harm. Use the juice in marinades to help tenderize cuts of meat and add a sweet taste of the tropics to your favorite entrees.
5. Make A DIY Pineapple Foot Scrub
Save the skins when slicing fresh pineapple for an at-home exfoliating treatment for your feet. Put the bromelain to work, softening the skin by rubbing the fleshy inside of a rind on your feet for several minutes.
6. Coughing? Try This
Pineapple juice is used as an effective home remedy to relieve coughs better than cough syrup. It helps thin mucus and reduces inflammation, thus helpful in soothing a cough. The juice can also be combined with honey to make a natural, homemade cough syrup.
7. Soothe an Upset Stomach
Pineapple juice aids indigestion. Chew on some fruit, fresh or canned, after a big meal. It is also used as a home remedy to settle an upset stomach and relieve heartburn, thanks again to the bromelain.
8. Make a Jack-O-Lantern
It’s a fun, welcoming Hawaiian tradition.
9. Make A Pineapple Christmas Tree
The perfect, festive solution for small space living! Check out these clever Pineapple Christmas Tree ideas!
10. DIY Beverage Cups
To make two festive beverage cups for your next party, twist the crown to remove it. Cut fruit in half crosswise. Trim bottom and top so the halves sit level. Insert a sharp knife close to shell and cut around the fruit with a sawing motion. Remove cylinder of fruit and now you’ve got two vessels for drinks or salad!
11. Sip Pineapple Wine
Turn your water… or rather, pineapple … into wine. Yes, it’s a thing! You can make your own specialty pineapple wine at home. Commercial wineries in Hawaii and other tropical locations around the world bottle this exotic treat. Check the wine aisle in your local grocery store or shop the internet.
Deborah Tukua is a natural living, healthy lifestyle writer and author of 7 non-fiction books, including Naturally Sweet Blender Treats. She has been a writer for the Farmers' Almanac since 2004.