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What Is a Pineapple Smoothie?

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  • Written By: Emily Pate
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Last Modified Date: 04 September 2016
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A pineapple smoothie is a thick, blended beverage featuring a mix of the tropical fruit, some sort of liquid, and ice, if the main ingredient isn't in frozen form. The featured ingredient is a sweet and juicy tropical fruit, and a number of other fruits and ingredients may be added for taste and texture. Preparation typically involves blending everything together, with the end result offering several health benefits, if sugar or fat-laden ingredients are kept out. This popular beverage is known to have developed during the 20th century in several areas.

The main ingredient, pineapple, is also known as Ananas comosus and is not one fruit but actually a cluster of fruitlets joined around a central core. Its fibrous flesh is edible and juicy, with the area around the core having a higher sugar content. If used alone in a smoothie, the pineapple gives a sweet, tart, and iconic tropical taste. Fresh, frozen, or canned fruit may be used for a pineapple smoothie, as well as the juice itself.

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This beverage typically contains chunks of frozen pineapple, though fresh fruit and ice may be used instead for a lighter taste. Yogurt may be added for a thick, creamy texture, and sweeteners like sugar, honey, and calorie-free substitutes may be added. Additional fruits like banana, coconut, or strawberry may be used for additional sweetness and complex flavor. A pineapple smoothie using fresh fruit likely has pulp, though replacing fresh fruit with juice or straining it can eliminate this. The ingredients are whipped in a blender, juicer, or smoothie machine, and should be consumed immediately for best texture and temperature.

The drink varies widely in nutritional content, depending on ingredients. It is typically milk-based, and the protein that it contributes is one of the factors that frequently classifies it as a health drink. A basic pineapple smoothie with no added sugar or fruit juice can be a low-calorie beverage offering a variety of nutrients. It provides a significant source of manganese and vitamin C, as well as thiamin and fiber. A pineapple smoothie also offers a significant amount of protein if cow's milk is used and more if yogurt is added.

Despite the fact that blends of fruit and milk or dairy beverages date back centuries, the contemporary smoothie was developed during the 20th century. Prior to that, smoothies were present in the form of licuados in Latin America and a variety of iced fruit drinks in other places. No one person or decade is credited with its advent, and the beverage instead was developed by a number of people in different locations as early as the 1920s when Julias Freedman mixed egg whites and vanilla into his fresh orange juice. Health food stores in California during the 1950s sold healthy versions of the treat, and other companies continued the trend into the 21st century.

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