Succulent Sweet Pomegranates
Enjoy these gem-like seeds as a healthy snack, add them into sweet and savory dishes, or use them as a colorful garnish. Pomegranate is also packed with key nutrients and contains 90 calories per cup.
- Vitamin C, which helps promote healthy gums
- Vitamin B, which helps maintain healthy skin, hair and muscle tone
- A good source of potassium, which helps maintain the body's water balance
Pomegranates are one of the oldest fruits, dating back to ancient times. They grow wild from Iran to northern India, but are cultivated throughout India, the Middle East, southern Europe, and California.
- There are many varieties of pomegranates, with colors ranging from yellow-orange to deep reddish-purple.
- Wonderful is the most widely planted commercial pomegranate and the most common pomegranate found in grocery stores.
Pomegranates are picked and shipped ripe, so they are ready to eat at the time of purchase. Fresh pomegranates are typically available from September until January.
- Look for plump, round, and heavy fruits that are dark pink or red in color.
- Choose the largest fruits you can find; the bigger the pomegranate, the juicier it will be.
- Avoid those with dry, brown, or wrinkled skin and those that are very firm.
Whole pomegranates stay fresh for about two weeks when stored in a cool, dry place that is out of direct sunlight.
- In the refrigerator, they can be stored for up to two months.
- Once the seeds are removed, seal them in an airtight container and keep in the refrigerator, for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months.
How to Peel a Pomegranate
- Cut the pomegranate in half. Submerge pomegranate halves in a large bowl of cold water.
- Use your hands to separate the seeds from the inner membrane of the fruit. Discard membrane and outer rind as you remove the seeds.
- Drain seeds in a colander. The seeds can be eaten whole, or passed through a juicer, fruit juice press, or food mill to extract their juice.
Cooking with Pomegranates:
- Pomegranate seeds are a delicious and colorful addition to any dish, sweet or savory. The seeds can be sprinkled in salads, scattered over chicken, pork, and lamb dishes or spooned over yogurt and ice cream for a sweet dessert.
- Pomegranate molasses, a thick syrup made from the pomegranate, is widely used in the Middle East. A splash of pomegranate molasses adds a sweet-tartness to vinaigrettes, marinades, braises, and dips.
- Pomegranate juice is also a popular ingredient in the kitchen. It can be used to create sauces, dressings, sorbets, and smoothies.
- Pomegranates are not only gorgeous and delicious, they’re also one of the most nutritious fruits you can eat.
- Pomegranates are a good source of Vitamin C, fiber, and potassium, plus they contain antioxidants known as polyphenols. Eating them may support cardiovascular health and help avoid certain kinds of cancer.
Pomegranates are one of the few fruits that we only see fresh for one season of the year, so pick up a pomegranate today and enjoy this ruby-red winter jewel.