In 1493, explorer Christopher Columbus found pineapples on Guadeloupe Island in the Caribbean. The fruit is also native to southern Brazil and Paraguay.
Pineapples in Colonial America
American colonists regarded pineapples as a luxurious treat because of their rarity and cost.
A pineapple is the result of many flowers whose fruitlets have joined around the core.
Pineapples contain bromelain, an enzyme that may help arthritis pain by reducing inflammation. They are also a good source of vitamin C, which helps strengthen your immune system.
Pineapples in Hawaii
Historically, Hawaii was the world's largest pineapple producer and source for U.S. pineapples. Some of the largest pineapple crops were in Hawaii. Today the largest producers include the Philippines, Brazil, and Costa Rica.
Pass over sour-smelling or bruised pineapples. Fruit from Hawaii or Central America tends to be freshest.
To make your pineapple softer and juicier, keep it at room temperature for one or two days before cutting.
1 lb large shrimp, peeled (can substitute top-sirloin beef)
2 large sweet red peppers, cut into bite-sized pieces
12 pearl onions, fresh (or frozen) and peeled
1 8-oz package whole mushrooms, cleaned
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks (or canned in fruit juice, no sugar added)
vegetable cooking spray
1. Combine first eight ingredients in zip-top plastic bag, then add shrimp. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes.
2. Remove shrimp from marinade. Place marinade in a small saucepan, bring to a boil, and set aside for basting.
3. Preheat grill to medium high. Spray with cooking spray. Thread vegetables, pineapple, and shrimp onto metal skewers. (If using wooden skewers, soak in water 30 minutes to prevent burning on the grill.)
4. Place kebabs on grill, covered, over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes per side until done, basting with reserved marinade.
5. Drizzle remaining marinade over kebabs. Serve with brown rice.
Per serving: 251 calories, 27 g protein, 29 g carbohydrate, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 170 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 311 mg sodium. Calories from fat: 13%.