Pomegranates are one of my favorite treats this time of year! I look forward to them coming into season and gracing the supermarket shelves, and my dishes! Pomegranates are found in biblical writings and have been linked to health, vitality, and fertility. It is though that it was not an apple, but rather a pomegranate that was the fruit referred to i the Garden of Eden. Pomegranate means seeded apple. They are a Middle Eastern favorite, and are in-season from September-January, perfect for the holidays! I remember when I was in Israel the freshly squeezed pomegranate juice stands, and pomegranates gracing the streets. So delicious!
The seeds of a pomegranates are called arils. For some, seeding a pomegranate seems hard. I have to admit, it is slightly time consuming, and messy (wear an apron, as the juice does stain), but well worth the effort for taste and nutrition! There are tons of videos on you tube on how to de-seed a pomegranate. Some people say to cut it in half and whack it with a spoon, seeded side down. Others say slice in half, score into pieces along the membrane, and submerge in water. Peel back the skins/membranes and seeds will fall out. I don't like this method, as you loose the benefits of the juice that runs out when de-seeding. I slice in half, and score along the membranes. I peel back the membranes upside down, over a bowl, and most of the seeds will fall out. Some of the seeds will have to be hand-picked, but you don't lose out on the juice this way.
There are so many health benefits of pomegranates!
Health Benefits of the Pomegranate; Most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits (source)
- Potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects, have been shown to inhibit cancer and tumor growth
- Inhibits abnormal platelet aggregation that could cause heart attacks, strokes and embolic disease
- Lowers cholesterol and other cardiac risk factors
- Lowers blood pressure
- High in antioxidants-especially Vitamin C, supplying 40% of daily needs in a serving
- Anti-inflammatory, helpful for conditions like arthritis and joint pain
- Shown to promote reversal of atherosclerotic plaque in human studies, and as a booster-helps with erectile dysfunction!
- May have benefits to relieve or protect against depression and osteoporosis
- Many studies show that the pomegranate is one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health. These clinical findings clearly show a correlation between pomegranate compounds and their positive effect on both human and animal cardiovascular, nervous, and skeletal health.
I think pomegranate seeds are the perfect fresh addition to quinoa salads, traditional salads, and for my morning oatmeal. They're also an awesome snack to pop into your mouth!
Here are a few of my recipes that use pomegranates:
Happy eating and Happy Holidays!
Jessica from www.gardenfreshfoodie.com