November 05, 2014

Superfood: Health Benefits of PomegranatesIn my opinion, pomegranates are the world's most beautiful food. That's a big statement considering how much I love all of the colorful fruits and vegetables that our benevolent Earth produces. There is so much beauty in nature that it's hard to take it all in, and I'm constantly seeking new ways to appreciate what this humble planet has to offer. The pomegranate has always stood out to me. Each time I peel back its tough flesh to reveal an intricate web of white pith latching onto bright red arils, I am awestruck. The edible gems are so vibrant, so enticing. No wonder the pomegranate has been revered as a symbol of wealth and fertility in many cultures for thousands of years.

Greeks have a particular fondness for the fruit, and it is typically the first gift bestowed upon new home owners to wish them good luck and prosperity. It is also a mainstay on Greek tables on Christmas Day. I would love to see more pomegranates on American tables during the holidays, too! I think a lot of people are intimidated by the fruit, preventing them from trying it in recipes. My mom had absolutely no idea how to seed a pomegranate before I showed her, so she never bought them. Now that she knows how wonderful they are, she can't get enough!

Pomegranates are exceptionally healthy, too. The superfood's seeds are packed with vitamins C and K, fiber, and polyphenols with antioxidant properties. Pomegranate juice is believed to reduce risk factors for heart disease, although more research is needed. That said, antioxidants are known cancer fighters, so go ahead and reap the benefits of these delicious fruits.

If you've never worked with pomegranates before, fear not! There are two easy ways to seed a pomegranate. One method submerges segments of the fruit in water, causing the seeds to sink and the pith to float. Another utilizes a wooden spoon to whack at the back of the fruit until the seeds come loose. No matter which method you choose, be sure to wear a dark t-shirt or apron because pomegranate juice will stain your clothes. Getting the good stuff requires getting a little messy! Watch the two videos below for visual demonstrations of the two methods:

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