Try a pomegranate during the winter months while they are in season
Pomegranates are packed with nutrients and well worth the labor of getting into them.
The pomegranate is one of the oldest known fruits in the world, and also one of the more labor intensive to enjoy. However, it’s super-food properties make it well worth the effort. The edible part of the fruit are the seeds which pack 48 percent of your daily vitamin C. The seeds are also high in vitamin K and fiber. Studies show that pomegranate contains beneficial antioxidants that help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. So how do you get into a pomegranate, and how do you use the seeds? The best way to extract the seeds is:
- Cut off the crown, or bud.
- Score the skin in quarters from the crown to the stem. Avoid cutting too deep as it will damage the fruit.
- Place the fruit in a large bowl of cool water and gently pull apart the sections.
- Under water, separate the seeds from the membrane. The seed will sink to the bottom and the white membrane will float.
- Discard the skin and membrane, and dry the seeds.
Pomegranate seeds can be enjoyed raw on their own and make a perfect healthy snack for kids. They are good on salads or in smoothies, or as a crunchy topping on yogurt. My favorite way to use pomegranate is to make a glaze that can be applied to chicken, pork, turkey or other light meat. The glaze is brushed on the meat several times while in the oven, creating a crispy, fruity crust. Below is a recipe containing pomegranates that Michigan State University Extension recommends you try.
2 cups pomegranate juice and smashed seeds
1 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
3 cloves smashed garlic
A pinch of salt and pepper
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1. In a large skillet combine pomegranate juice and smashed seeds, orange juice, dried rosemary, smashed garlic, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Boil over high heat until reduced to 1/2 cup. Turn heat off. Then stir in red wine vinegar.
2. Brush glaze onto meat. Bake as at 425 degrees (F), glazing every five minutes until meat is thoroughly cooked.
3. Serve and top with extra pomegranate seeds.
Pomegranates are in season from September to January and make a great holiday treat. So next time you’re at the grocery store, pick one up and try it out!