Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pomegranates for Health

Have you ever eaten a pomegranate? Or are you scared of them?

Pomegranates are just coming into season and you will be able to find them at the grocery store through the winter. I *love* the fruity seeds (arils) sprinkled in salads or yogurt or scattered over a fruit salad. I even eat them by the handful as a sweet and crunchy snack! The best part? They're good for you! Pomegranates are rich in vitamin C, B5, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants. Some studies suggest that pomegranate juice has health benefits including reducing heart disease risk factors and lowering blood pressure. A half cup of arils has about 72 calories and they are SO delicious! I never tried a pomegranate until last winter and now they are one of my favorite fruits. I almost cried when they went out of season this spring.

So, how do you choose one at the store? What do you do with this thing? How do you get the fruit out of it?

When buying a pomegranate, look for one that looks nice. No wrinkles, no dried up stuff. And pick it up. It should be heavy for its size. A light pomegranate will NOT be very juicy, so get a heavy one. When you get it home, cut it in quarters. I do this over a cookie sheet with a raised edge (this is the most use my cookie sheets get all year, besides roasting green beans). And don't wear a white shirt. I sort of cut it and sort of tear it so I have big pieces to work with.


Now, I turn them over and spank them with a wooden spoon. I hold the pieces, sort of turn them inside out a bit and whack the heck out of them. Go on, get your aggressions out. Arils will be flinging all over your kitchen. I mean, be sure and aim downward at the cookie sheet. Pick out the rest with your fingers.

how to eat a pomegranate
Some websites suggest just putting the quarters into a bowl of water and using your fingers to take all the arils out. That way there is no mess. But I like the mess, and I enjoy beating on the fruit. It makes me happy. I keep paper towels handy. Plus, somehow putting them in water makes me think the fruit will be sorta watered down and some juice will be wasted. Not that any juice is wasted over my kitchen walls when I am whacking the fruit.

Anyway. You pick all the white stuff out and you end up with a nice big bowl of juicy, sweet pomegranate arils. Eat them.

pomegranate arils
Or sprinkle them on stuff. They are yummy on oatmeal. The cool sweet-tart bursts of juice are a pleasant contrast to the warm, creamy, mellow oatmeal. This is a photo of the pumpkin oats from the recipe I posted yesterday, but with pomegranate arils on top. So good!

pomegranate recipeStore the arils in a container in the fridge. I have no idea how long they last because whenever I have them they are gone within 2 days. In fact, two of my children polished off this entire bowl today after school.

I love pomegranates. If you haven't tried one, do so. They're delicious!

26 comments:

Melissa said...

Thanks for posting this. I've been dying to try pomegranates but was always intimidated by them. Basically I wasn't sure what to do with them and what part I should and not eat. This really helps and the next time I'm at the grocery store, I will pick a couple up.

Georgia Mist said...

Oh, wow. I haven't had pomegranates in ages... I'm going to go buy a couple.
Thanks for the post!

brian12566 said...

I never wanted to be a Pomegranate so bad in my life....oh wow did I just type that out loud? Oops.

beerab said...

I always get at least one when I see it at the store- I do the other method, cut it in half, tear those halves up, then pull them out with my fingers and eat them- SOOO GOOD!

What a Splurge said...

I'll always associate them with martinis - every martini bar in my area boasts the best pomegranate martinis. Thank you for those photographs. Better than the ones in most cookbooks!

Seren_Sighs said...

Pomegranates are also great for prostate health. In fact I believe a study showed that men who drink pomegranate juice daily slowed the growth of their tumors, stopped the growth, and I think some even reverse growth.

So when we get older I'll make my fiancee drink it every week. But he loves the stuff!

Melda :o) said...

I love them but ever since I had eleventy-something spiders crawling out of the last pomegranate I bought I'm kinda too scared to buy them :o( Which sucks cause they're super yummy but my arachnophobia is kind of keeping me from ever going near another pomegranate EVER AGAIN!

Anonymous said...

crack 'em open and seperate the seeds in a big bowl of cold water...NO SPLASHAGE!

Brenda said...

I will have to try some this week, I never knew what to do with them before (thank you for posting this!)
I love anything with pomegranate juice in it~~ yum!

Leslie said...

Thanks for this...I've seen pomegranates at my local produce place and have been contemplating trying them Now I will for sure. I'm missing summer fruit!!

karyn said...

I have never eaten a pomegranate either because I didn't know what parts to eat. some one had said to eat the seeds but that seemed kooky to me. You have just clarified it so, I may try one now. It does look good.

Jenn said...

Love love LOVE pomegranates! My 2 year old daughter and I tore one up yesterday (oh so messy, but oh so worth it). We've got one more to inhale again soon. Such a lovely healthy treat!

katie ann said...

Thank you for this! Last time I went to the grocery store, they had a huge box of pomegranates, and even had pamphlets explaining how to get at the seeds, but nothing about picking a good one. And now I can and will. :)

Rae at 24:01 A.M. said...

Pomegranates are delicious! Grapes also reduce blood pressure, too :)

screwdestiny said...

You know, when I was growing up in California we had pomegranate trees so I would pick some on occasion. They were delicious for sure, but I just hated having to work that hard for my fruit. I don't know, maybe I'll try them again this winter. Thanks for the tips on how to get the seeds out.

Diana said...

I've definitely eaten them! :) We have a pomegranate tree in our "backyard" on our summer house. I used to eat them right out of the tree!

Val said...

Awesome!!!! I will get some-thanks for the tutorial :)

Anonymous said...

Well I am glad you clarified that because my mom taught me to only eat the red part and then spit the seeds out so that is what I have done since I was a child, lol. I'll have to try them this "new" way :)

-T

Erin said...

I love pomegranates. The easiest way to prepare them (and the cleanest) is under water. I will my largest bowl with water. Under water, I cut the pomegranate into quarters, and the "seeds" will fall to the bottom and the white stuff floats to the top. I use my fingers to agitate the seeds away from the white stuff. Then I take a spoon and skim the white stuff off the top of the water and throw it down the drain, finally, I drain the water through a siv catching the pomegranates seeds. Super easy and don't need to worry about staining anything.

Tara G said...

Thanks! I just bought my first pomegranate yesterday and I was wondering what to do with it! : ) Perfect timing!

Christina said...

My husband introduced me to poms. We don't eat them a whole lot because of the cost but they are fun now and then!

Judith said...

Thanks for posting this, I have always wondered what they tasted like but I never knew what to do with them.

Anonymous said...

Roasting green beans?
I hadn't thought to do that!
The pomegranates are calling me from the fruit bowl, but I hadn't decided what to do with the bag of green beans that came in the produce box!

The store where I shop had pomegranates in all sizes from small to XXL!

Marie

Josie said...

I've never tried one...it's one of the foods I'm scared to try...maybe now I will.

mk said...

You inspired me to buy a pomegranate, and I am about to chop into it per your instructions. Thank you!

Jen in MN said...

I too have been inspired to buy my first pomegranate thanks to this post. I'm about to chop into it right now - wish me luck! (-;