Want to add variety to your fruit intake? Go with the pomegranate! Its many small juicy berries form an explosion of freshness and flavor in the mouth that leaves no one indifferent.
Now is the time to enjoy it since the pomegranate is available from September to December.
Red is popular
The pomegranate derives its name from the Latin meaning "apple with many seeds". Each fruit would hide around 840 small ruby pearls! This sparkling red color carries several virtues. First, in ancient Greece, the pomegranate was synonymous with life and regeneration, then a symbol of fertility for many cultures. It was even used to dye fabric and leather. As for herbalists, they used it to cure many inflammations such as sore throat and rheumatism.Low in calories, a pomegranate offers 130 calories and counts as two servings of fruit according to Canada's Food Guide. Each pomegranate provides 25% of your daily fiber and vitamin C needs, and contains a he althy dose of potassium and pantothenic acid (vitamin B
5). Sincea few years, it is the pigments, which give the beautiful red color to the berries, which attract the attention of scientists. After cranberries, strawberries and raspberries, it's pomegranate's turn to receive praise, especially for its richness in antioxidants. According to some studies, the antioxidant activity of pomegranate and its juice exceeds that of green tea and red wine. Pomegranate juice is said to have the ability to reduce “bad cholesterol” and regress atherosclerotic lesions (accumulation of various deposits that block the arteries). Therefore, drinking pomegranate juice daily would promote excellent cardiovascular he alth. You will find pomegranate juice in major chains (eg POM Wonderful or Jus Tradition) as well as in he alth food stores. There is also concentrated pomegranate juice, but unfortunately it is harder to find.
Did you know? Pomegranate juice contains more antioxidants than the fruit. The white membranes that surround pomegranate seeds are very rich in antioxidants. When the whole fruit is pressed, with the membranes, to extract the juice, a product is obtained with a very high content of antioxidants.
The secret is in the technique
To avoid staining with pomegranate juice, it is important to know how to properly prepare the fruit. One of the most effective techniques is to cut the pomegranate into 2 or 4 sections, then toplace in a large bowl filled with water. Using your hands, all you have to do is detach the small seeds from their white membranes. The grains will sink to the bottom of the bowl while the small bits of membrane will float to the top. Using a pierced spoon, all that remains is to remove the white membranes and then pass the water through a colander to collect the seeds. Another technique is to slice the fruit in half and bang on the skin of each half with a large wooden spoon. The small seeds will then fall on their own. You just have to collect them in a bowl. Your patience will be greatly rewarded, because the pomegranate is simply delicious in the mouth. It is also a preparation that is fun for children. Make sure they're not wearing their best clothes, though, and cover the table with a plastic tablecloth. That said, be aware that some supermarkets offer berries already prepared.
Glow your recipes
Both sweet and tangy, pomegranate is very refreshing. As the seeds of the fruit look like rubies, they are wonderful for sprucing up dishes. Note that the small pips in the center of the seeds are eaten.
- Add a good handful of colorful seeds on cereal, waffles, yogurt and cottage cheese. Kids will love finding some hidden in Sunday morning pancakes;
- Concoct original muffins by slipping in some pomegranate seeds;
- Add personality to your saladsgreen; all lettuces like pomegranate;
- Enhance rice and couscous salads with a few juicy grains;
- Spread the crackers with goat cheese and sprinkle a few pomegranate seeds for a burst of freshness and flavor;
- Jazz up the fruit salad by adding some pomegranate rubies, a cinnamon stick and star anise;
- Decorate cheese platters with a few sparkling rupees, as well as dairy desserts (eg ice cream, puddings, pannacottas);
- Concoct salsas to accompany poultry and fish. For example, combine pomegranate seeds, green onion, lime juice and ground pepper.
- Replace cranberry juice in cocktails with pomegranate juice, as in the popular Cosmopolitan.
Good to know
- The pomegranate is mistakenly called "pomegranate". This last term is simply the translation of the English word "pomegranate";
- The pulpy seeds of the pomegranate are called arils;
- A 125 ml (1/2 cup) glass of pomegranate juice counts as one serving of fruit;
- You can stock up on a few pomegranates at a time since they easily keep for three weeks in the fridge;
- Pomegranate apples that look heavy for their size and are free of blemishes hide the juiciest, tastiest flesh;
- The small arils can be kept frozen for almost a year;
- Once made fromfresh pomegranates, grenadine syrup is now mostly a mixture of red fruit juice and vanilla;
- Mint, avocado and green apple go very well with pomegranate.
By Julie DesGroseilliers, Dt. P.
Nutritionist and spokesperson for the I love 5 to 10 a day campaign