The Power of Pomegranates
This seasonal treat, sometimes called a “seeded apple,” offers more than just taste.
This juicy red fruit is high in potassium, vitamin C and dietary fiber. Pomegranates, and especially pomegranate juice, also have high amounts of powerful antioxidants. For example, an Advanced Biomedical Research study published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information site found that the antioxidants in pomegranates have anti-inflammatory properties that may help prevent:
- Multiple cancers, including breast, prostate, lung and skin cancer
- Cardiovascular disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
How to Prep Pomegranates
Pomegranates are in season from September to January. They are picked once they’re ripe, so the ones in your grocery store are ready to eat.
To open a pomegranate, follow this method recommended by the Pomegranate Council:
- Cut off the crown of the pomegranate, and slice the fruit into large sections.
- Fill a bowl of water, and lower the sections into the water.
- Using your fingers, roll the juice-filled seed sacs, or arils, from the white pith of the fruit. The arils will sink to the bottom, while the pith floats to the top.
- Discard the pith, and pour the bowl contents through a strainer to remove excess water. Pat the arils dry with a paper towel.
Pomegranate arils will keep in your refrigerator up to three days or in a freezer for up to six months. Eat the arils by themselves, add them to desserts or use them in delicious drinks—the options are almost limitless!
Spinach Pomegranate Salad
½ cup pomegranate seeds
½ cup shredded, unsweetened coconut
1 large guava, cut into pieces
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 cups fresh spinach
Juice of 1 tangerine
1 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. honey
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, mix pomegranate seeds, coconut, guava, tomatoes and spinach.
- In a small bowl, whisk tangerine juice, oil, honey, salt and pepper together to make dressing.
- Pour the dressing over the salad, and toss to coat. Serve and enjoy.
(Makes 2 servings)
Total fat: 10g
Sodium: 120 mg
Dietary fiber: 6g
Recipe courtesy of “What’s Cooking? USDA Mixing Bowl,” whatscooking.fns.usda.gov
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