Allow me to introduce you to pineberries, the yummy white fruits you may have recently seen on TikTok, or at your local Aldi or Costco. Also known as winter frost pineberries at Trader Joe's, you'll typically find them in season from spring through early summer, and while they look very similar to strawberries (and even descend from the same family), there are a few differences. The first one being the price.
Because pineberries are naturally a lighter pink color and more rare than their red relative, they can be a bit more expensive. A 10-ounce container can cost around $6, while regular strawberries are around $5 a pound. There are also some flavor differences between the two berries as well. So we asked a registered dietitian to weigh in on whether pineberries are healthy and if they're worth the higher cost.
What Do Pineberries Taste Like?
These blush beauties are supposed to taste like pineapple, and some have also said they
taste like a strawberry crossed with dragonfruit or a creamy Pina colada taste with a hint of strawberry.
When I tasted them, they reminded me of a less-sweet strawberry with a slightly softer texture. Registered dietitian Nicole Rodriguez, RDN, NASM-CPT, says, "I love the subtle aromas and flavors of pineapple, pear, and apricot, which are unique to pineberries. Texturally, pineberries, in my experience, have been more consistent and almost creamier than strawberries."
What Are the Health Benefits of Pineberries?
Like other berries, Rodriguez says that pineberries' nutrition is similar to strawberries, as they, too, are rich in nutrients and low in calories. Pineberries are an excellent source of vitamin C, which supports immune function and other antioxidants. Rodriguez adds that they also contain folate, fiber, potassium, and phosphorus.
Even though pineberries are supposed to have a pineapple-like flavor, they are not crossed with pineapple, so they're a safe alternative if you have a pineapple allergy. However, anyone with a strawberry allergy should not eat them.
Are Pineberries as Healthy as Regular Strawberries?
Genetically and nutritionally, pineberries are similar to strawberries. But as you can see from their muted light pink hue, Rodriguez says they don't have the particular flavonoid called anthocyanins that makes strawberries red. Anthocyanins have antioxidant effects, which may help prevent conditions like heart disease and breast cancer. So pineberries may not be as healthy as strawberries in this respect.
How Can You Eat Pineberries?
You'll get the most enjoyment out of pineberries by storing them in the refrigerator and eating them at room temperature, Rodriguez says. Just don't forget to wash them gently first. Enjoy pineberries as you would regular strawberries — alone as a snack, sliced and topped in oatmeal, and put in yogurt, smoothies, or salads. Rodriguez suggests because of their fun, unique color, add them to a charcuterie board or "as the perfect touch to a glass of sparkling wine!" You can also experiment with fun recipes like this, topping air-fried custard toast with pineberries.