How to Pick a Ripe Pineapple

This pineapple that I recently picked up at from Whole Foods was ripe through and through, as evidenced by its orange-yellow flesh and syrupy juice.

If you've had bad luck with finding sweet pineapples, here's a couple of tips:
  • Select a pineapple that looks nice and plump, avoid those that appear shriveled or dried out
  • Carefully tug at one the baby inner leaves at the center of the crown. If the leave pulls out easily, congratulations you have a ripe pineapple
What a delightful tropical treat!

Pineapple-Cranberry Holiday Punch
This is a holiday punch that I make during the cold season to warm up from the frigid snowy days of the winter.
  • Rind from one fresh pineapple
  • 1 navel orange
  • 1 lemon
  • 3 cinnamon sticks
  • 12 cloves
  • one 2-inch knob of fresh ginger, peeled
  • 2 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup cranberry juice (I used 100% cranberry juice)
  • 4 cups water
  • Sugar to taste

  1. Have a 5-7 quart pot ready. 
  2. For the pineapple. Rinse the surface of the pineapple thoroughly with warm water. Cut the top and bottom off of the pineapple, and discard. Cut the rind off of the pineapple, and place in in the pot. Reserve the flesh for another occasion.  
  3. For the orange and lemon. Quarter the orange and shear off the white connecting membrane from the center. Squeeze the juice into the pot. Take a knife and cut off the remaining flesh from the rind, try to shear off as much of the bitter white pith as possible. Place the thin rind into the pot, and discard the rest. Repeat with the lemon.
  4. Add spices and juices. Throw in the cinnamon, cloves, ginger, apple juice, cranberry juice and water. Bring to a gentle boil and lower the heat to medium-low. Allow the punch to stay warm for two hours, and enjoy the wonderful holiday aromas that emanate. 
  5. Drain the punch and add sugar to taste.