by Chef Kendall Huff
Native Foods Cafe
From the months on March to June, there are many things to be excited about. Winter is over and Spring begins to peak its head above the ground. We begin to smell a change in the air. The smell of fresh grass, new tulips and many more. We also begin to see the fresh fruit season begin. My oh my, am I excited! We begin to see ripe mangoes (This is HUGE in Chicago!), papayas and kiwi fruit. Soon we will roll straight into star fruit, plums, strawberries and peaches!! The key guy here is….The Almighty Pineapple.
Of course you can get pineapple in your local grocery year long, but is it really ripe and in season? The best time to get pineapples is from March to June. This is when the cone shaped fruit is the sweetest and juiciest! Don’t be fooled by the size. The bigger ones don’t mean they taste better. Stay away from the ones with soft spots, dark “eyes” (different from bags), bruises and mold. If you want to use the tapping method to see if you have chosen wisely, listen for a dull, solid sound, not an unripen thud sound.
The health factors of this fruit are endless. The fruit is low in calories, contains no saturated fats or cholesterol; but is a rich source of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber like pectin. Eaten raw, it’s a great source of Vitamin C, copper, manganese and potassium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids, helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Pineapple also contains a proteolytic enzyme bromelain that digests food by breaking down protein. Bromelain also has anti-inflammatory, anti-clotting and anti-cancer properties. Studies have shown that consumption of pineapple regularly helps fight against arthritis and indigestion. Take that Uncle Art!
So let's make some salsa, shall we?
Enjoy this recipe as a side salad with eating tacos or place a scoop of it on grilled tofu! Any way you please, this refreshing mix of pineapple and papaya will get you ready for the Spring.
Pineapple,cleaned and small diced 1 each
Papaya, cleaned and thinly sliced ½ each
Lime, Zest and Juice 1 each
Lemon, Zest and Juice 1 each
Jicama, small diced 1 cup
Red onion, small diced ½ cup
Cilantro, chopped ½ cup
Olive oil 2 oz
Sea Salt 1 tsp
Cumin 2 tsp
Chili con Limon 1 tsp
- Peel, dice, and chop all ingredients as listed above.
- Combine all goodies in a bowl and mix well.
- Allow the mix to chill and marinate together for at least 30 minutes. The longer it marinates, the better it will taste!!
**Enjoy this on plantain chips, a bed of romaine lettuce, or just straight out of the bowl like I did**