Ode to the Pomegranate

Ode to the Pomegranate

I love eating Pomegranates, especially for breakfast, and it’s one of the few things that make winter tolerable for me. Pomegranates are in season from September –February and are one of the best fruits you can eat.

If you are not familiar with Pomegranates check them out. They have a rich and long history and have been eaten for thousands of years; many cultures see the fruit as a symbol of abundance and hope. They are found buried in Egyptian tombs, were eaten by Babylonian soldiers before battle, and used in Persian wedding ceremonies.

Today we know the red, apple looking fruit for its many health benefits. The fruit is said to be the most powerful antioxidant having anti-cancer properties, supporting joint health, relieving arthritis pain, supporting health health and lowering blood pressure –to name just a few of the pomegranate health benefits.

You may be wondering how to eat or peel a pomegranate. It’s really not that hard but does take a little bit of time. The inside of the pomegranate is filled with red juice sacs called arils which are separated by a thin, white membrane. The arils are what you eat. Some stores, like my local Trader Joe’s sells pomegranates cut and cleaned. I still prefer to do it myself. Here’s how to get at those wonderful red pomegranate seeds:

  • Wash the pomegranate, then take the back of a knife and tap the pomegranate all around.This will loosen the arils.

  • Cut the end of the pomegranate and then quarter it, placing all pieces in a deep bowl of water. Let sit for about 5 minutes to loosen the seeds.

  • Keeping the sections in water, roll out the seeds.The membrane should float to the top.

  • Strain water and membranes out and enjoy the red ,luscious seeds

I like to top salads with Pomegranate seeds or sprinkle over cereal or oatmeal for breakfast; great in smoothies too. The arils freeze well. Pomegranates are also great as a healthy snack. Hopefully before winter ends you too can try pomegranates and fall in love with this ultra-healthy fruit.

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