Symbol of Fertility
In Judaism, the pomegranate is a symbol of fertility, relating to the first commandment of the Torah, to be fruitful and multiply. In a Turkish wedding the new bride throws a pomegranate to the ground and the number of seeds that spill out predicts how many children she will have.
Hippocrates used pomegranate to treat eye infections and to aid digestion.
The pomegranate is not only beautiful to look at and delicious to eat, but is loaded with health benefits. Pomegranates are gourmet staples, used in recipes and drinks. Pomegranates are also being devoured as a healthy snack.
And there is more: each seed provides a satisfying crunch and a bit of fiber in every bite. They truly are wonderful to eat fresh. Cut off the top about 1/2 inch below the crown, exposing sections divided by white membrane. Score the skin along each section. Pull the fruit apart and break into smaller sections to release the arils.
So, when late fall arrives and other fresh fruits begin to disappear, welcome a bowl filled with the glorious red pomegranate. Its wonderful shape and vibrant color make the pomegranate perfect for holiday festivities, both visual and culinary. Complement dark chocolate with pomegranate for a feast for the eyes, mouth and soul.
Packed inside every pomegranate are hundreds of glistening red arils...translucent capsules filled with sweet, tart juice and a tiny, edible seed. Of course, it's fun to munch on the arils right out of the fruit, but don't forget that a quick sprinkle here and there can make ordinary dishes truly extraordinary.
We'd like to make a few delicious suggestions using fresh pomegranate arils that require no cooking skills whatsoever! And once you start using them, you'll come up with some creative recipes of your own.
- A tablespoon or two tossed into a salad will make ordinary greens look and taste exotic.
- Top your ice cream or sundae with arils instead of the usual cherry.
- Sprinkle them over dry cereal or into oatmeal.
- Stir a few arils into yogurt to liven up the taste.
- Arils make a gorgeous garnish for chicken or rice dishes.
Pomegranate use suggestion: Enjoy pomegranate seeds au natural or with your favorite cheese.
Nutrition Information (1/2 cup arils, raw):
- Calories: 72
- Dietary Fiber: 3.5g
- Vitamin C: 8.9 milligrams
- Vitamin K: 14.3 micrograms
- Folate: 33.1 micrograms
- Potassium: 205 milligrams
- Copper: .1 milligrams
A University of Californai, Los Angeles study ranked Pomegranate Juice as the best juice for disease-fighting antioxidants.
Pomegranate juice is an excellent source of antioxidants that may help keep arteries supple; particularily anthocyanins. A prudent serving of pomegranate juice provides heart healthy potassium -- about six percent of your daily needs. The juices does contain natural sugars. One-half cup contains 70 calories, 215 milligrams potassium, 17 grams sugar and 0 milligrams caffeine.
Another study in the Nutrition Journal is the latest (July 2014). Its results say that drinking just half a cup three times per week for one year reduced blood pressure and triglycerides, boosted "good" HDL cholesterol and cut risk of cardiac events in high risk patients.
To make your own pomegranate syrup, juice 8 to 10 pomegranates, strain out the seeds, then mix with 1/2 cup of sugar and a couple drops of lemon juice in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, until it thickens into a clear light syrup. Refrigerated, it will keep well.
Pomegranate for Exfoliating Scrub
Cut off pomegranate crown, and score rind in sections, without cutting all the way through. Place in a bowl of water for 5 to 10 minutes. Break rind away from seeds, which will sink; strain seeds. In a food processor, combine 2 tablespoons seeds and 1 cup uncooked oatmeal. Transfer to a bowl; stir in 2 tablespoons honey (an antiseptic) and 2 tablespoons buttermilk. Apply to face for a few minutes, then rinse. For rough patches like elbows, add 3/4 cup turbinado sugar.
Pomegranate Frost Recipe
1-1/2 cup pomegranate juice
1-1/2 cup cranberry juice
1/2 cup each fresh lemon juice and fresh lime juice
1 bottle sparkling water
8 finely shredded mint leaves
Fill a pitcher half-full with ice cubes. Add the pomegranate juice, cranberry juice, lemon juice, lime juice, 1-1/2 cup sparkling water and the shredded mint; stir until well mixed. Fill 6 tall glasses with ice. Pour the mixture into the glasses, and serve immediately.
Pomegranate Tea Recipe
2-1/2 ounces pomegranate juice
6 ounces brewed black tea
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 peach, sliced
1/4 orange, sliced
Fill a tall glass with ice cubes, add the ingredients, stir and serve.
Nutrition information: Calories: 95; Fat: 0.1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 3mg; Carbohydrates: 23.8g; Dietary Fiber: 1.5g; Protein: 0.7g
Pomegranate Mint Tea Recipe
Six 3-inch mint sprigs
1/2 cup bottled pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon sugar
2 rounded teaspoons oolong tea leaves
Crush the mint between your fingers and put it in a small saucepan. Add 1 cup water and the pomegranate juice. Let the mixture come to a boil slowly over medium-low heat so the mint can infuse the water. Meanwhile, fill a small teapot with hot tap water and let stand to heat the pot.
Discard the water in the teapot. Add the tea to the teapot. Pour in the contents of the saucepan, including the mint. Cover and steep for 3 to 4 minutes. Pour through a tea strainer into two cups and serve hot. Makes 2 servings.
Fruit Salad with Pomegranates Recipe Card
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