Growing Pineapples – Their Uses and Benefits

December 1, 2021

 

Pineapples (Ananas comosus) a tropical fruit consisting of many berries that have grown together, originating in South America and brought to Australia in 1826. 

In Australia, it’s that time of the year again where our pineapples begin to dominate the fruit markets. Living in Queensland they are an iconic fruit as we grow them here. There is nothing better than the flesh of sweet juicy pineapple. 

Queensland also has the heritage-listed tourist attraction The Big Pineapple located at Nambour, about 95 km or 1 hour 30-minute drive north of the Brisbane airport. It is currently making a comeback and is now open every day from 9 am until 4 pm.  Suggest checking their website before visiting.

Growing my first pineapple

One day, I thought I wonder if I can grow pineapples from the pineapple heads? So, about two years ago I decided to experiment. And can you believe it, I am shocked too, my first baby bud has appeared and continues to bloom. 

I nearly fell over when I was telling my recent visitors with a laugh that I am trying to grow a few pineapples out of the heads of pineapples I had purchased at the markets. I pointed in the direction of my pot plants then let out an almighty OMG. Look what I found!!

Woo hoo…..my first pineapple bud 23 October 2021

One friend commented that it may never grow into a large fruit but my response was who cares just to see this bloom is enough for me.

So I decided to share my story on how it all began. It has been such fun going through the whole process that I thought some readers may like to hear about the process as it is extremely easy. Even if the fruit doesn’t appear they are great as plants in pots.  

Preparation for growing: Twist the head of a full fresh pineapple (I wrapped a tea towel around the end to grip the head and avoid being pricked by the leaves). Remove a few layers of leaves by ripping them down towards the stalk, then sit in a glass of water for roots to sprout before planting in a pot. YouTube has great instructions. If are patient, you may see fruit in about two years.

Pineapple head after leaves pulled off, then sitting in water to sprout

 

It’s exciting when you see the roots sprouted ready to be planted

 

My pineapple heads growing well at this stage

 

Pineapple progress as of 29 Nov 2021

Ways to Use Fresh Pineapple

Pineapple Tea hot & cold: Wash the skin then slice/remove all the rough outer skin and boil in a large pot of water until the flesh feels soft around 1/2 hour. Add some honey to taste if you wish. Remove the skin. Makes a tasty hot tea or is consumed as a refreshing cold drink.

Pineapple tea served hot or cold

Fruit salad: Chop the flesh into chunks (core included) with about 2 tablespoons of locally grown honey and leave it in the fridge for use over several days. The honey not only adds a little sweetness but preserves the flesh that bit longer.

Fluffy pineapple smoothie: Retain some of the chunks of fruit and use a hand blender in a jug for a most refreshing fluffy thick smooth drink. 

Ruth’s favourite made-up recipe:

½ cup of my thick fluffy blended pineapple with honey

½ cup of natural Greek Yoghurt 

½ teaspoon of turmeric powder 

Add walnuts by choice- they are high in omega-3 fats and contain antioxidants. 

Mix them all and there you have it, a refreshing dessert or in-between snack.

 

Pineapples are a wonderfully healthy fruit that can be used in many ways: cakes, puddings, ice blocks, cooked on the BBQ (with thick slabs of ham if you are a non-vegetarian). I’m sure you will find many more uses. 

 

Note: She Society published an informative article on the benefits of pineapples that includes nutrition facts on immunity, gut health, healthy skin, vitality, and as a flu fighter.

Here is the link:  https://shesociety.com.au/news/pineapples-natures-flu-fighter/

Acknowledgments: https://australianfoodtimeline.com.au/pineapples-to-australia/   https://www.bigpineapple.com.au/