Maybe it is just me but, I find it hard to get excited about the fresh fruit that is available this time of year. I feel limited to a rotation of cold storage apples, oranges, or bananas. This is precisely why I was so motivated to pick and freeze fruit during the summer. I enjoy having a variety of frozen fruits on hand but prefer to eat fresh fruit as often as possible. That is why I was so excited a few weeks ago to walk into the grocery store and see a display of fresh pomegranates 2 for $5. This time of year the price for the fruit comes down and I like to pick up one or two a week to eat alone or use to jazz up other food.
Pomegranates - Super Delicious Super Food
Pomegranate's light red leathery exteriors unassumingly enclose hundreds of ruby-colored juice-filled seeds (arils). They take a little effort to eat but it is absolutely worth it. The juice is sweet and rich, vitamin-packed, and when you eat the arils whole they are full of fiber. I like to sort of peel the leathery skin away from the clusters of arils and then gently pop them out onto a cutting board or a bowl. The juice can stain so it is best to wear an apron or dark clothing when seeding a pomegranate. (It is possible to purchase arils that have already been removed from the skin but I have found them to be pricey and past their peak every time I have tried them.) Once you have liberated them, eat the arils alone or get creative.
Here are some ideas:
For breakfast: The other morning I was feeling the need to try something new with my oatmeal. I have mentioned before how much I like oatmeal in the morning both plain with cinnamon or as a platform for other flavors. This week I poked around in my freezer and found a bag of nectarines that I froze a few months ago. I mixed them into my pot with pomegranate balsamic vinegar, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and just a pinch of cardamom. It smelled amazing but needed some color and texture. I seeded just one section of pomegranate and sprinkled the seeds on top of the finished oatmeal. The result was a bowl of warm spicy goodness that definitely chased away the winter blues.
A Snack: Fat-Free Greek Yogurt with pomegranate arils and a drizzle of amazing raspberry syrup from Four Seasons Gourmet Foods (seriously good if you are able to get your hands on some). I made this for my son but almost kept it for myself!
Lunch or Dinner: Top a plain salad with pomegranate arils.
I had some mixed greens that needed to be used up but not much else to go with them. I sliced some green onion and tossed the salad with a quick homemade pomegranate vinaigrette.
2 TB olive oil
2 teaspoon minced garlic
¼ cup white wine vinegar
2 TB balsamic vinegar
1 TB pomegranate balsamic vinegar
1 TB dijon mustard
salt and pepper
I poured it all in a small mason jar and shook to combine. I only needed about 1 ½ TB to dress the salad so there is a lot left for future salads or marinades. YUM!
However you eat a pomegranate I hope you will have fun. Not only is it beautiful and delicious, it is a SUPER FOOD! I for one can use as much "super" as I can get my hands on.
For more fun facts and recipes check out the POM Council website at pomegranates.org.
Yumm-o on the pomegranates. FAVE.
Our Lady of Second Helpings
Thanks for the tip MJ! That might save me from ruining a shirt. :)
I heart pomegranates. A tip for opening the fruit. If you submerge the fruit in a bowl of water and crack it open there, the pith floats to the top, the arils sink to the bottom and the water catches the potentially staining juice. Hope this helps.