Approximately the size of large oranges, pomegranates have a leathery reddish-pink skin. Underneath the skin, membranous walls and bitter tissue cradle hundreds of sacs filled with small seeds. The translucent red pulp that surrounds the seeds has a coveted, slightly sweet yet tart taste. Pomegranate seeds are often processed into a juice.
The pomegranate is a truly ancient food, having been cultivated by humans for over 4,000 years. The word pomegranate is derived from the Latin word meaning “apple with many seeds.” Pomegranates have long been considered a super food; they have three times the antioxidant power of wine or green tea and have potent anti-viral and anti-tumor properties.
Pomegranate seeds are most often eaten raw, so prying them out of their shell is the most difficult thing standing between you and your juicy snack. Slice the top of the pomegranate off, and then score it vertically along the ridges. Do not cut down to the juicy seeds, just through the white flesh. Pull the pomegranate apart and submerge the pieces in a large bowl of cold water. Push the seeds out into the water and discard the white flesh.
Pomegranates are loaded with vitamins A, C and E, in addition to folic acid. They are shown to be effective in reducing the risk of heart disease and are an excellent source of cancer-fighting antioxidants. The seeds are a great source of fiber. Pomegranates have long been used as a cure for diarrhea, stomach pains, intestinal parasites and even dental plaque.
Though pomegranates originated in the Middle East, today they are are grown throughout southeast Asia, the Mediterranean, Europe, Africa and even California and Arizona. Pomegranates are available in the U.S. from September through December. Select fruit that is heavy for its size with a bright, fresh hue and blemish-free skin. Refrigerate whole pomegranates for up to 2 months or store them in a cool, dark place for up to one month. Pomegranate seeds packed in an airtight container and stored in the freezer will keep for up to 3 months.
Source: www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov, health-care-clinic.org, www.organicfacts.net Image by joergens.mi available under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
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Pomegranate, Honey & Quinoa Breakfast
1/3 cup quinoa
1/3 cup milk, substitute
1/3 cup water
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, powder
1 pinch ginger powder
1 tablespoon flax seed, ground (I use ground sunflower seeds!!)
1 tablespoon unpasteurized honey (raw)
1/4 cup fine desiccated coconut (I left this out but it would probably be good)
handful whole almond, chopped and toasted in a dry frying pan
1/2 pomegranate, seeds of
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 25 mins
1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve.
2. Place in a medium saucepan with milk, water, cinnamon and pinch of ginger powder. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 15 minute (At this point the quinoa should have a slight crunch when you bite it.) Remove from heat and drain any remaining liquid, if any.
3. Stir in the flaxseed or sunflower seeds, unpasteurized honey and desiccated coconut if using. Mix well.
4. Top with pomegranate seeds and toasted almonds.
Yield: 1 bowl
1 1/2 cups balkan yogurt (thick style)
3 scallions, finely sliced (optionally you may use some chopped up sweet white onion instead, delicious as well!)
1 pomegranate, seeds of
scant 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
approx 1/4 tsp pomegranate molasses (optional, see intro)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
1. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl, reserving some pomegranate seeds for garnish.
2. Add pomegranate juice or pomegranate molasses as it states in the introduction if wished and stir until yogurt is smooth.
3. Scatter the reserved pomegranate seeds over top.
Pomegranate With Orange Juice and Strawberries
1 cup orange juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1/3 cup lemon juice
4 oranges, peeled and sectioned
1 pint strawberry
mint leaf (optional)
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
1. Remove the pomegranates from the husk, and rinse the white pulp off of the seeds. Place the seeds into a bowl.
2. Mix the orange juice and the lemon juice with the sugar, and pour over the pomegranate.
3. Cut the strawberries into bite-size pieces.
4. Add the strawberries and the orange sections to the bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes, then remove, decorate with mint leaves if you would like, and serve on a platter.
Sue’s Pomegranate Salad
1 bunch romaine lettuce
2 cups cauliflower, cut into bite size pieces
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
Prep Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
1. Mix all together.
2. We use a boughten Honey Poppy Seed Dressing.
Pomegranate and Almond Rice
2 ounces butter
2 cups basmati rice
5 cups water
1 chicken stock cube
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Prep Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 22 mins
1. In a large pot melt the butter, add the rice, and stir to coat the rice with the butter. Do not fry the rice.
2. Add the water, stock cube and salt. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to minimum, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed by the rice. Let the rice stand covered for 10 minutes.
3. In the mean time remove the seeds from the pomegranate.
4. Stir the almonds and pomegranate seeds into the rice and serve.
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