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I am not a fan of having very-specific kitchen gadgets cluttering up my kitchen when I only use them occasionally. So I will be sharing some of my favorite time-saving kitchen gadgets that I use OFTEN, along with a tip or recipe that uses each gadget.
I used to buy fresh pineapple only occasionally because I thought it was such a pain to slice. I ended up wasting so much of the fruit trying to get all of the pokey little “eyes” out and I would often miss part of the tough core, which made for an unpleasant surprise. Although I LOVE fresh pineapple, I had to really be craving it in order to put up with the mess.
Step One: Slice off the top of the pineapple.
Step Two: Align the center “tube” of the slicer with the core of the pineapple, push it into the pineapple, and start turning clockwise.
Step Three: Keep turning until you get to the bottom of the pineapple (you can usually tell when that is, but if you can’t, just keep going until you see the teeth of the slicer start to poke through the bottom of the pineapple…make sure it’s on top of a cutting board!). Then pull the whole thing out of the pineapple.
Step Four: I just do a few quick cuts down the stack of pineapple circles while it’s still on the slicer and I’m left with a beautiful pile of pineapple pieces.
Less mess, less time, less crunchy core. I’m a happy camper! But I’m going to take it one step further and give you a tip that might convince you to use this gadget more regularly.
I love making green smoothies (I will be sharing my favorite recipe with you soon) and one of the most important ingredients for my smoothies is frozen pineapple. If you have ever tried finding bags of plain frozen pineapple, you will know that it is a fairly difficult and expensive task. Costco was carrying it for a while, and I was THRILLED, but I haven’t seen it the last few times I’ve been there. SO…I have started freezing my own fresh pineapple when they go on sale and after a few calculations, I’ve realized that it’s even cheaper than Costco’s bags of frozen pineapple. Here’s how you do it:
Take your pile of pineapple pieces and lay them out on a cookie sheet. I like to line my cookie sheet with a Silpat because it makes the pineapple easier to remove. Then put the cookie sheet in the freezer for about an hour (until they’re frozen enough that most of the stickiness is gone).
Then you just take the pineapple off the cookie sheet, pop them into freezer bags and return them to the freezer. You can even pre-portion them for your recipes (like above). However, since the pineapple pieces aren’t as sticky because you have pre-frozen them, you could put them in one larger bag without worrying about them turning into a big sticky lump of frozen pineapple. That is, as long as you don’t shove the bag to the back of your freezer and forget about it. 🙂
I’d love to hear about some of your favorite ways to use fresh pineapple in the comments below!