Just think about the combination of the sweet, mildly sour taste of strawberries, and the juicy, tropical flavor of pineapples..
And no..I am now talking about a smoothie! There is an actual fruit that allows you to enjoy this mixture! Have you heard of pineberries? They are a product of natural crossbreeding techniques, so they are completely safe to consume.
Pineberries, Fragaria x ananassa, are with a dominant white color but have red polka dots embedded in the skin, as well as yellow seeds on the inside.
They merge the shape and texture of a strawberry, but their flavor and smell are closer to those of pineapples. Pineberries are highly nutritious and can be easily added to your diet. You can consume them raw, or added in smoothies, salads, pied, and juices.
Since they are abundant in vitamin C, their consumption strengthens the immune system and lowers the risk of chronic diseases. They also lower cholesterol, due to the high fiber content. Fibrous fruits improve digestion, ease bowel movements, and help weight loss.
The high vitamin A levels boost immunity, improve vision, fight cell damage, boost fertility, and boost skin, hair, and teeth health.
Additionally, these fruits are high in folic acid, which prevents birth defects in newborns.
Growing pineberries at home
They originate in the 1750s, being a crossbreed of white strawberries from South America (Fragaria chiloensis) and red strawberries from North America (Fragaria virginiana). In the early 90s, in the Netherlands, a breeder, called Hans de Jongh, found a more yielding natural crossbreeding method, and created a patented species called “Natural Albino”. Ever since, people enjoy the tasty fruits.
These fruits are not easy to find in the U.S. even though they are commercially available since 2012. The main reason for this is their short shelf life of 1-2 days.
Therefore, they are best to be consumed immediately after buying or growing. So, why don’t you plant them in your garden and enjoy them whenever you like?
They are very easy to grow, but most people prefer red strawberries since they can self-pollinate, while pineberries are a female cultivar, and they need cross-pollination to bear fruits. Yet, to solve this, you can plant strawberries nearby so they can cross-pollinate with the pineberries.
It would be best to plant strawberry starts in pots or soil patches, and not seeds.
To ensure a pH level of 5.5 to 6.5 of the soil in the pots, mix 10 parts sterile potting soil, 10 parts peat moss, 8 parts perlite, 4 parts compost, and 1 part sand.
The plant will need consistent moisture, so choose pots with sufficient drainage, and place them in places where they can get 6 hours of direct sunlight or 8-10 hours bright indirect light.
Water them before the soil dries out. Starting from May, feed them with a liquid fertilizer to ensure their good health throughout the bearing season.
If you plant them in patches, find a location where you haven’t planted any strong-flavored plants before, weed it, and till small ridges or double beds on the site.
Add a strong organic compost, dig shallow holes 12 inches apart and bury the pineberries in them.
The crowns should remain above soil level, and the leaves should get enough sunlight to be able to perform photosynthesis.
Pat down the soil and water generously. The pineberries should be planted in a place where they will be exposed to 6 hours of direct sunlight or 8-10 hours of bright indirect light daily.
Remember to add small amounts of a strong NPK fertilizer once a month.
Weed the plants regularly, and use biological methods to protect them from pests and weeds. Also, it would be wise to net the plants to protect them from birds that may peck at them.
You should know that the berries might appear the next year. And as soon as they turn pinkish or yellowish, they are ready for harvesting!
We suggest you the following delicious pineberry recipe as an appetizer or for lunch:
Spinach, Goat Cheese and Pineberry Salad
- 16 pineberries
- 4 oz (120g) soft goat cheese, cut into 8 pieces
- 2 handfuls baby spinach leaves
- 12 walnut halves
- 1 teaspoon minced shallot or red onion
- 2 tablespoons walnut oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
Rinse the spinach and pineberries first. Then top the spinach with the cheese, walnut halves, and pineberries. Mix the ingredients of the dressing. You can add more vinegar or oil, to taste.
If you like the dressing sweeter, add honey or a pinch of sugar. Then, drizzle it over the salad, and enjoy!