Editor’s note: At the Table with the Gabels features tasty recipes and tips from Vanessa Gabel and her 15-year-old daughter Kaitlyn, of Riverside. This week they discuss pineapples.

Vanessa: We learned a lot about pineapples on a recent visit to the Dole Plantation in Oahu, Hawaii.  

Kaitlyn: Pineapples don’t grow in trees like most people think. They grow on the ground in bushes.

Vanessa: Choosing a pineapple at the store can be easy, and a great way to make friends with other shoppers who don’t know how to select one!

Kaitlyn: The best pineapples are slightly soft and shouldn’t be too firm. You should also be able to get a good pineapple smell from the bottom. You also want to make sure that the tips are not yellow or brown. 

Vanessa: Once a pineapple is picked, it will not continue to ripen.

Kaitlyn: We store the pineapple upside down. That makes sure you get all the juice and taste throughout the whole pineapple.

Vanessa: To cut, remove the crown and the base to create a level surface.  Using either a pineapple wedger or simply a knife, remove the spiny outer shell, then continue to slice it. All pieces of the pineapple can be used.

Kaitlyn: If you have issues with acid reflux, rinse the pineapple to remove some of the acidic juices.

Vanessa: Don’t throw out the core — that’s where all the nutrients are.  Blend it into a smoothie, or cut strips to use as extra flavor swirls in a favorite fruit drink — or pina colada!

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