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Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Fruit Exploration: Pineapple

I have been a bit absent this week. It has been a bit crazy with helping a friend with a sick child, having a sick child and life in general. I am looking forward to escaping the chaos later today as I join some women from my church and head a women's retreat in Maine. I am only going for one night (and one full day) since I need to be back at church on Sunday and Hazel is having a hard time with me being gone already.



This week we explored a pineapple!! Hazel only recently started liking pineapples. (She began liking fresh pineapple when we cut one up to make the Peruvian Purple Corn Pudding.)  I had bought our pineapple to explore but we kept not having time, so it was getting a bit old. However that made it sweeter. Now pineapple has a huge amount of vitamin C. One cup or 165 grams is a serving size. In a serving you get 79.8 mg of vitamin C or 131% of the recommended daily allowance. A serving of pineapple has no fat, 1 gram of protein and 22 grams of total carbohydrates, of which 16 grams are sugar and 2 are dietary fiber. A serving also has 82 calories. (Source) Pineapples are packed with many other vitamins and minerals including vitamin A, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus. They also have bromelain which suppresses coughs and loosens mucus. Bromelain also helps your digestive system. A cup of pineapple also gives you 73% of the manganese your body needs in a day. Manganese is needed for your body to build bones and connective tissues. Pineapples are known to prevent macular degeneration due to the beta carotene they possess. Macular degeneration is the primary cause of vision loss in adults. Pineapples are known to be anti-inflammatory and help alleviate arthritis as well as carpal tunnel syndrome and gout. (Source)

For our exploration, we looked at the pineapple with the magnifying glass. Hazel then drew a picture in her fruit journal. While she was drawing, I cut the pineapple.


After cutting the top off, we looked at the inside. As you can see, we had a few bad spots due to it being so ripe.  After exploring the inside a bit, I cut the pineapple and we enjoyed some of it and saved some for later. Hazel has been enjoying it with her lunches all week. 

Source


Pineapples are originally native to South America. Christopher Columbus brought back the pineapple to Europe to show it as one of the treasures of the new world. It got its name due to the outside's resemblance to a pine cone. Eventually the pineapple made its way to New England where it became the symbol of a sailor being home from foreign ports and ready to welcome visitors. Perhaps this is where it became known as the symbol of hospitality. George Washington grew them in his hot house at Mount Vernon. (Source)


At the library I could not find a book specifically on pineapples, but I did find Yes, We Have Bananas: Fruits from Shrubs and Vines by Meredith Sayles Hughes. It has a good deal of information on pineapples as well as other fruits. We also found the following stories that include something about pineapples or pineapple food in them.

Thus far we have only read Georgia In Hawaii: When Georgia O'Keeffe Painted What She Pleased by Amy Novesky. It is the tale of Georgia O'Keeffe going to Hawaii at the invitation of Dole. Since Dole would not let her visit where she wanted to on their plantation she decided to go off on her own and paint what she wanted and not the pineapple they wanted. It is a lovely introduction to Georgia O'Keeffe and Hazel really enjoyed the book and began painting what she wanted and every day things like Georgia. (I shared some of her pictures in our Women's History Month post.)



I also found many cookbooks with recipes for pineapple dishes in them. There are many good look recipes in there. We have not tried any of the pineapple recipes in these books, but there were not many good books to share with you on pineapples, so if you are looking for some different recipes, give these a try.

For our craft we made pine cone pineapples. I saw them a few places on line, but apparently did not mark where I saw it first. We used green tissue paper for the leaves and just glued them in. I found the leaves worked better when I took the time to cut and shape them, but we had fun with it.



For more on fruit and pineapples check out: