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To pineapple or not

The war on pineapple pizza is real. Staunch supporters of this delicious fruit on a savoury pizza say that there is nothing better, but those opposed are adamant that it most definitely should not be there.

For those who love it, here’s another reason to add to your repertoire of arguments in the case for pineapple on pizza. Eating pineapple, particularly in the winter months help your immune system fight off the dreaded flu.

Nutritionist and dietitian, Joanna Shinewell, is passionately devoted to wholistic nourishment, which encompasses everything from the micronutrient levels of a diet to a person’s relationship with food. Joanna aims to empower people to find their recipe to successful living and has written a document regarding the nutritional value of pineapple, with her findings tested and supported by Monash University.

The key findings written in this document reveal that pineapples are an immune boosting fruit, effective in combating the cold and flu naturally due to nutritional elements and the anti-inflammatory enzyme, bromelain. Bromelain is key to boosting immunity and lowering inflammation in the body.

A national survey of over 1000 adults found just 20% of the nation reported having heard of bromelain, which is only found in pineapples.

Bromelain promotes a healthy digestive system by working to break down proteins. It also provides an anti-inflammatory benefit, which aids in reducing inflammation – and has been shown to relieve symptoms of arthritis, sinusitis and sore throats.

The survey also found only six per cent viewed pineapples as nutrient-rich, instead turning to go-to leafy greens (42%) and coined “superfoods” like blueberries (22.5%), goji berries (14.5%) and acai berries (12%) instead.

Joanna said the key to keeping a strong immune system, particularly during the cooler months, is through vitamin C, dietary bromelain and antioxidants.

“To encourage a healthy immune system, the body needs a daily intake of vitamins, minerals and nutrients. While to many it is surprising that pineapples could be a hidden gem, they are truly the golden fruit that protects you from the harshness of winter from the inside, out.”

Also investigated was the way Aussies choose to protect their immunity during winter, with the majority citing taking natural supplements, including vitamin C, olive leaf and echinacea (29%), followed closely by the intake of garlic, ginger and onions (18%), getting more sleep (16%), eating fresh orange (16%) – or signing up for the flu jab. Of those polled, surprisingly only 2% cited eating fresh pineapples.

When it comes to nourishing themselves post-exercise, Australians overwhelmingly opt for fluids – noting water, hydration supplements or a protein drink (72%) as their go-to. About 10% listed post-workout smoothies or freshly cut fruit.

The report also went on to reveal that of Australia’s iconic sports – AFL, rugby, netball and cricket – more than 70% of respondents cited oranges as being synonymous with the outdoor games. A further 15% listed bananas, with only three per cent recognising pineapples.

“Half-time fruit goes hand-in-hand with Australian sport, no matter whether professional or in a backyard cricket match. Nutritionally speaking, it’s a sporting tradition that stems from providing vitality for the remainder of the game – but while pineapples aren’t the most popular, they certainly are the better fatigue fighter.

“Pineapples boast energy-boosting nutrients, manganese, vitamins and sugars – all of which claim back vitality and produce a long and slow energy release. On top of this, one serve of pineapple also contains your daily intake of vitamin C,” said Joanna.

Furthermore, when asked when pineapples were consumed most during the year, 50% of Aussies responded with only the summer months (Dec–Feb), 28% all year-round, and only 3% during winter (Jun–Aug).

As well as pineapple containing fibre, the Bromelain also aids the digestion process by helping with the absorption of proteins into the body as well as contributing to the reduction of inflammation in the bowel.

Pineapples also contain vitamin C, polyphenols water, and which all support healthy and protected skin as well as helping to fight fatigue.

Pineapple contains sugar. Many people today are uncertain about sugar consumption; however this fruit has a low glycaemic index load, indicating it raises blood glucose levels only slightly without major disruption to an individual’s glucose. Eating pineapple produces a slow and long energy release.

I am happy, and now proud, to say that I have always loved pineapple on pizza. Not only does it taste good, I eat it for my health! But, if you care about your health, but still can’t bring yourself to munch pizza laden with pineapple, I have included some recipes below for you.

Pure Gold Pineapples are based in Central and Southern Queensland and grow fresh, sweet and nutritious pineapples all year round. Pure Gold Pineapples are available across Australian food retailers and fruit shops nationally – make sure you get Pure Gold Pineapples to add to your diet and boost your health.

For more information visit


30 minutes Simple and Tasty Easy Impress

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 pineapple circles, (2 cm thick), peeled and cored

4 x 200 g white fish fillets (such as like ling, barramundi or blue eye trevalla)

4 tablespoons coriander leaves, coarsely chopped

1 tablespoon ginger, julienned

4 tablespoons sweet chilli sauce

4 teaspoons soy sauce

coriander leaves, extra, to serve

4 large squares aluminium foil (approx. 20 cm)

4 squares baking paper (approx. 45 cm)


Pre-heat oven to 200°C. Cut aluminium foil and baking paper squares. Place baking paper squares on top of foil squares. Place pineapple circle in centre of baking paper. Top with fish and sprinkle with ginger and coriander. Combine sweet chilli sauce and soy sauce in a small bowl and drizzle over fish.

Fold ends of each square around fish to form a parcel. Place parcels on a baking tray in oven for 6-8 minutes. Discard foil. Arrange fish on serving plates with steamed rice and extra coriander.



10 minutes

Simple and Tasty

Easy Impress

Ingredients (makes 1 drink)

1/3 cup (90 ml) pineapple juice, freshly juiced

3 tablespoons (60 ml) coconut milk

2 tablespoons (45 ml) white rum


desiccated coconut, maraschino cherry and fresh pineapple wedge, to garnish


Garnish wine or cocktail glasses with desiccated coconut rim by sprinkling desiccated coconut in a small dish. Rub a piece of fresh pineapple on glass rim then gently press rim in dish. Add pineapple wedge and maraschino cherry to glass rim. Shake pineapple juice, coconut milk and rum in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into ice filled glass.

Tip: To make an alcohol free version simply omit white rum.



15 minutes Quick and Easy Simple Serve

Ingredients (makes 12 sandwiches)

quarter (2 cups or 200 g) pineapple, thinly sliced 6 slices of fresh white sandwich bread with crusts removed 3 slices prosciutto, halved

1 small avocado, mashed

Sandwich Suggestions (each option makes 6 sandwiches)

1 small carrot, grated; 180 g tin of tuna, drained and flaked; 1 tablespoon whole-egg mayonnaise; quarter pineapple, thinly sliced

1 small cucumber, cut into thin ribbons; 2 iceberg lettuce leaves, shredded; cheddar cheese slices whole-egg mayonnaise; quarter pineapple, thinly sliced

Method Layer ingredients on bread. Season with salt and pepper. Roll up bread tightly to enclose filling.

Cut rolled up sandwiches into 2 pinwheels. Repeat with remaining bread.



20 mins prep, 5+ hours freezing Fresh and Healthy Aussie Classic

Ingredients (makes 6 icy poles)

half (2 cups or 300 ml) pineapple, peeled, cored and juiced

half cup sugar syrup (half cup sugar and half cup water), chilled

2 limes, juiced

half cup pineapple, finely diced

Pairing Fruit Combination Suggestions

Pineapple and watermelon

Pineapple and orange

Pineapple and coconut cream

Pineapple and strawberry

Method For sugar syrup: dissolve sugar in equal part water and simmer in saucepan over medium heat for 5 minutes. Allow to cool then chill in fridge.

For juices: blend fruits (apart from lime) in a blender or food processor until smooth. Strain seeds and pulp with a sieve.

For Pine-Lime Ice Blocks: mix fresh pineapple juice, lime juice and sugar syrup in a mixing bowl or jug. Pour into moulds, adding finely diced pineapple before closing. Add finely diced pineapple. Freeze overnight, or at least 5 hours.

For simple ice blocks: just pour juice into moulds. Mix together different fruits for different flavours. Add sliced fruit such as strawberry or peach, sweetened coconut cream or flavoured yoghurt.


45 minutes Simple and Tasty Easy Impress

Ingredients (serves 4)

 2 strips of pineapple bark, thinly cut, coarsely chopped

quarter cup (60 g) caster sugar

quarter cup (60 g) salt

quarter cup (25 g) fresh sage, coarsely chopped

6 BBQ coals

4 chicken thigh cutlets, skin on

Pineapple and Coconut Sauce

1 cup (100 g) pineapple, diced

half cup (125 ml) chicken stock

half cup (125 ml) coconut milk


For Pineapple Bark Smoke. Heat BBQ coals until white-hot. Line a small metal dish with three layers of aluminium foil. Peel pineapple bark from fruit and combine chopped bark with sugar, salt and sage, then layer in dish. Place dish on coals. To smoke chicken, place chicken pieces on BBQ resting rack and close lid for 15 minutes.

Reduce sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan over medium heat for 15 minutes or until reduced by half. Once chicken is smoked, cook on BBQ grill for 5 minutes either side until charred. Serve on steamed rice, drizzled with sauce and accompanied by a fresh green salad.




30 minutes Quick & Easy Family Favourite

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 ½ cups milk

2 eggs

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon macadamia or olive oil 2 cups (150 g) self-raising flour

quarter (2 cups or 200 g) pineapple, peeled, cored and diced

1 cup (260 g) Greek natural yoghurt

2 bananas, diced

2 tablespoons caster sugar

1 tablespoon liquid honey

4 tablespoons butter

icing sugar, to dust


For pancake batter: whisk milk, eggs, vanilla extract and oil in large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine flour and sugar. Then combine wet ingredients to dry and stir with a wooden spoon until just mixed. Do not over stir – mix should be lumpy. Rest for 10 minutes.

For pineapple and honey-whipped yoghurt: Whip honey and yoghurt in a mixing bowl with a fork or whisk until thoroughly mixed.

Melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Ladle generous spoonfuls of pancake batter (approx. half a cup) for 1-2 minutes or until surface bubbles. Turn and cook for 2 further minutes or until cooked through. Layer 2 pancakes per person with pineapple and honey-whipped yoghurt. Garnish with a dusting of icing sugar and serve.


30 minutes Quick & Easy Family Favourite

Ingredients (serves 4)

1 onion, thinly sliced

4 pineapple circles (2 cm thick), peeled and cored

4 hamburger buns, halved

4 store-bought beef burger patties

lettuce leaves, torn

2 tomatoes, thinly sliced

chunky tomato chutney (your favourite brand), to serve


Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat. Cook onions for 3-4 minutes or until soft. Set aside. Cook pineapple circles for 3 minutes each side or until golden. Remove and set aside. Toast burger buns. Cook burger patties for 4 minutes each side or until cooked through or browned. Place lettuce, on base of each bun. Top with cooked burger patty, chutney, pineapple, tomato, and onions then bun lid. Serve with chips and more chutney on the side.



10 minutes Easy Entertaining Easy Impress

Ingredients (serves 4)

quarter (2 cups or 200 g) pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 8 pieces 4 slices prosciutto, finely sliced


Slice quartered pineapple into 8 wedges of even size. Wrap each wedge in a half a slice of prosciutto and serve.



45 minutes Simple and Tasty Easy Impress

Ingredients (serves 4 or makes 8 crab cakes) 400 g skinless boneless fresh white fish fillets (ling, barramundi or blue eye trevalla) 2 egg whites 1 spring onion, ends trimmed and finely chopped 1 tablespoon fresh dill, (finely chopped) 1 cup (90 g) breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons olive oil salt and pepper to taste

Pineapple and Avocado Salsa quarter (1 cup or 100 g) pineapple, peeled, cored and finely diced 1 large ripe avocado, diced juice and zest of 1 lime 1 tablespoon olive oil quarter small red onion, finely diced quarter cup (25 g) fresh coriander leaves, coarsely chopped 5 drops Tabasco

Method For Pineapple and Avocado Salsa: add all ingredients to a mixing bowl and toss gently to coat in dressing. Spice it up with a little Tabasco, salt and pepper to taste. Serve in a bowl with a spoon.

For fish cakes: mix fish and egg whites in a food processor until combined. In a bowl combine fish mix with spring onion, dill and breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan to medium. Flatten tablespoonful portions of fish cake mixture into pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes each side or until golden brown then transfer to a plate lined with absorbent paper. Serve on platter topped with Pineapple and Avocado Salsa.



20 minutes Delicious Dessert Easy Impress

Ingredients (serves 8)

quarter (1 ½ cups or 200 g) pineapple, peeled, cored and finely diced 1 teaspoon butter 1 tablespoon caster sugar half cup (125 ml) thickened cream 1 tablespoon icing sugar half teaspoon vanilla extract half cup (125 ml) thick custard 8 small pastry tart shells

Method Heat fry pan to medium high, then melt butter until foaming. Add diced pineapple and sprinkle with caster sugar and sauté for 4 minutes, stirring once per minute or until pineapple begins to caramelise. Set aside and cool.

Whisk cream, icing sugar and vanilla until firm peaks form, then stir in custard. Spoon custard cream filling into tart shells. Top with cooked pineapple and dust with icing sugar to serve.