Canned Pineapple Is A Convenient Shortcut When Making A Sweet Ham Glaze

The topic of putting pineapple on pizza remains as divisive as ever, yet no one seems to bat an eye when it comes to pairing pineapple and ham. After all, who would question the tasty pairing of this sweet and crunchy fruit with a salty and chewy deli meat? Add in the smokiness from roasting the whole dish, and it's no wonder people raise zero questions about this combo.

Fresh is always recommended when cooking produce to ensure you get the full nutritional benefits, but, in a pinch, canned pineapple is an economical ingredient that can be easily incorporated into a meal. Even with the added sugar to preserve the fruit at its tastiest peak, it retains its tropical tanginess and texture that can brighten any dish. The next time you're cooking smoked ham and fresh pineapple isn't readily available, don't turn up your nose to the canned variety. It'll even save you from some of the prep work involved, such as peeling and coring.

Another benefit is that you have ready-made pineapple juice that you can add to honey and brown sugar to create a delectable glaze. Its zesty sweetness will enhance the floral and caramel goodness of your simple sauce to better complement the ham's savory flavor. Place pineapple rings atop the meat, too, and let the moisture seep into the pork flesh as everything cooks. Your glazed ham will come out of the smoker already complete with a fruity, tasty, and juicy side dish.

Canned pineapples are cost-effective sources of flavor and nutrition

We could all use increased portions of fruits and vegetables in our meals, and adding canned produce to our dishes is as good as going with fresh ones. According to a 2014 study published in the American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine, consuming frozen or canned fruits and vegetables helps us meet our recommended intake of vitamins and nutrients in a more cost-effective manner. Since they're canned at their freshest, there's also no compromise when it comes to flavor and texture. Still, it's best to check the nutrition label when buying canned goods. With pineapples, checking the amount of sugar and any extra sweetener is crucial if you're on a low-sugar diet.

Eating canned pineapple also means less of that stinging sensation on the tongue that happens whenever you eat too much of the fresh fruit — something that seems like a benefit but is actually a downside. That sensation is due to bromelain, the enzyme that can tenderize meat by breaking down its collagen fibers. Since it's heat-sensitive and pH-dependent, bromelain gets inactivated during the canning process, which decreases its anti-inflammatory and digestive properties. Otherwise, switching between canned and fresh pineapple isn't a big deal. Save money and cut down on your cooking time with the canned variety, but be sure to check out our tips for what to do with the peel and the core whenever you use fresh pineapple.