Getting fruits these days can be quite an odyssey, particularly because some fruit just couldn’t be bought when it isn’t the right time.
Buying a pineapple can be quite difficult, as it is hard to know when it is ripe, not ready to eat, or old. However, there are things you can know about how to ripen a pineapple.
First, though, why would you want to ripen a pineapple?
Pineapple can be a hard, sour, and very fibrous food to eat if it is unripe. Also, sour and harsh pineapple can cause diarrhea or indigestion. This effect is due to the high amounts of fiber and the enzyme, bromelain. This enzyme is commonly used as a meat tenderizer and can cause pain and swelling in humans.
The truth of the matter is that once a pineapple is harvested, it stops ripening on its own, as other fruits do. Normally, the starch on the stem of the plant gives the fruit the sugar it needs to ripen, but without it, it receives no sugar and the process stops.
How To Ripen A Pineapple Fast
However, don’t despair if you happen to buy an unripe pineapple, as there are some tricks that can help improve the flavor, color, and texture:
#1. Place it upside down
Though not always possible, sometimes when you buy an unripe pineapple, there may be a bit of starch left at the base of the fruit. To use this starch for ripening, you can turn the fruit upside down and allow the sugar to spread to the rest of the fruit.
In practice, placing your pineapple upside-down may be difficult, particularly for more than a few minutes, but it is worth a try as a first option. In case you do end up being lucky, your fruit may yellow and sweet.
#2. Leave it at room temperature for two to three days
While this may not be practical if you need to eat or use your pineapple quickly, a good way for it to ripen properly is simply to leave it at room temperature for a couple of days. After this time, the fruit will soften and become more yellow, which can make it more pleasant to eat.
Keep in mind that after more than five days, your pineapple will quickly ferment and become rancid. If your pineapple is soft and ready to be eaten, but don’t want to yet, transfer it to the refrigerator, and store for another two to five days.
#3. Use a paper bag
To speed up the ripening process, place your pineapple in a paper bag along with an apple or pear. Seal the top of the paper bag by folding the top a couple of times, leave the bag in a dry, dark spot of your kitchen or house for about one to two days.
After the time is up, remove your pineapple from the bag, and chop it up. It should be more yellow and sweet. This trick also works with a polybag, or sealed clear bag, though the results may take longer.
#4. Use uncooked rice
While this method sounds unconventional, it is a good way to prevent ethylene gas from escaping, which in turn, can make your pineapple ripen soon. Simply grab two or more cups of uncooked rice and place it in a bowl, then submerge your pineapple in it for one to two days.
Using rice can help the pineapple soften faster, but keep an eye out for the fruit every day. Otherwise, you may have a fruit that ferments quickly and goes bad. By the way, the rice will still be edible afterward.
#5. Add some sugar
This method isn’t a speeding process for ripening your pineapple, it instead, allows it to be more edible while still unripe. Simply cut your fruit, taste, and add as much sugar as you deem necessary.
Usually, you will need about two tablespoons of sugar, especially if you’re cooking with the pineapple. If you cook it, the fibers and sour flavor will break down, making the fruit more edible.
How To Pick A Perfectly Ripe Pineapple
Instead of going to the trouble of buying pineapples that are sour and hard, it is always a good idea to know how to pick a ready-to-eat fruit. The trick here is to smell the base of the fruit, which is where the sugar is kept.
Your pineapple should smell sweet and fresh, otherwise, it may not be ripe. Don’t guide yourself by color, as some pineapple could be green but ready to eat, while others may not. You should also lightly squeeze the fruit, it should soften when you press, if not, it isn’t ready for consumption.
A store-bought pineapple should be ready to eat within two days. To make sure it does, keep it out of the refrigerator on the kitchen counter. After one to two days, your fruit will be sweet and bright yellow.
Yes, you can eat unripe pineapple, but it will taste very sour and be very hard to bite. Because the sugar isn’t there either, the fruit may cause diarrhea, indigestion, and gas. So, if possible, stay away from unripe pineapples.
Yes, you can eat pineapple before bed, especially because it contains melatonin, which can help you fall asleep easily. However, as with any fruit, there is still sugar in pineapple, so eating too much can cause your blood sugar to spike at night and may result in weight gain. Mix the fruit with some Greek yogurt for extra protein, and always measure the amount you eat.
Buying an unripe pineapple happens to most of us, but instead of trying to eat it and risk getting sick, why not make it ripe at home? These five methods are good alternatives if your pineapple is sour and green, but make sure you keep an eye on it before your fruit goes bad. Now, you can be a pineapple expert!
*Photo by sandipruel/depositphotos