Pomegranates – What Should We Know About This Fruit?

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Pomegranates recently came into our life when I was reading a recipe for a kale salad. Prior to that I didn’t really give them any attention. I had never eaten one or bought them to know how delicious they are.

Now that I have tried them, I can’t get enough of them during the Fall season! Actually, I REALLY like them – my husband, not so much – so I get to enjoy them all by myself! They are definitely worth the time and process it takes to get these little gems out of the shell.

The pomegranate seeds are difficult to get out of the shell but well worth the effort. They are delicious and nutritious and really perk up a salad – or anything else for that matter. The more I read about pomegranates, the more I appreciate their nutritional benefits to our health besides their delicious bursts of flavor when eating them.

As I shopped today, I realized that this is the season for pomegranates (Fall) and asked if they were available. Lo and behold, I found a box with six giant pomegranates! They are each the size of softballs!Pomegranates Large Pomegranates I can’t wait to open them up and harvest all of those yummy seeds inside. I’ll show you how I do this below.

When I first bought them a few years ago, I had to research how to get the seeds out. There are several methods available when you look online, and I settled on the one where you take the end caps off and score the ridges. More on that in a minute.

Pomegranates are a large fruit that grows on a bush or shrub. The outer skin is very thick, hard, strong, and inedible. There are hundreds of seeds inside that can be eaten raw, as I use them in salads, or made into juice.

They are incredibly rich in anti-inflammatory properties, fiber, vitamins, minerals and more. To list a few of their healthy attributes:

The Health Value of Pomegranates

Pomegranates have an impressive nutrient profile — one cup (174 grams) of seeds, or arils, contains:

* Fiber: 7 grams
* Protein: 3 grams
* Vitamin C: 30% of the RDI
* Vitamin K: 36% of the RDI
* Folate: 16% of the RDI
* Potassium: 12% of the RDI

The pomegranate arils (seeds) are also very sweet with one cup containing 24 grams of sugar and 144 calories. Their powerful plant compounds have been found to have potent medicinal properties.

Pomegranates have impressive anti-inflammatory properties which are beneficial to fight many diseases of our day. Pomegranate seeds contain a high number of antioxidants, which help protect the body against inflammation and free radical damage.

Studies are finding that pomegranate juice may have a positive impact on prostate cancer and breast cancer. More evidence is needed, however, and research continues.

Regular intake of at least 5 ounces of pomegranate juice daily has been shown to lower blood pressure levels in as little as two weeks. High blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the leading drivers of heart attacks and strokes.

Studies are being done with pomegranates to lower the effect and pain of arthritis and joint pain due to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Pomegranates May Be Harmful To Your Pets

CAUTION: Pomegranates may not agree with your dog. Be careful to keep them away from any chance that your dog could eat some of the seeds. The tannins and other acids contained in this fruit are delicious and healthy for us but not so with the digestion of your pets.

Now, how to open a Pomegranate:

I learned this method by watching a YouTube video recently. I used to do something similar by working the seeds out in a bowl of water, but I like this method better. It is not as messy, you don’t lose any seeds by cutting into them by mistake, and you don’t waste any of the precious juice.

Tip: If you get splashed with juice on your clothing, pour boiling hot water through the material and the stain will wash out with the water.

With a paring knife, cut out the blossom end of the fruit by cutting close in a circle.

Pomegranate Ready to cut     Pomegranate cut around the top

Slice a thin cut off the bottom stem end.

Score around the fruit on the ridges. Do not cut deep into the skin, just score a shallow cut down the outer edge of the skin.Pomegranate Score the Ridges

Put your thumbs into the center cut on top and pull the fruit open and apart. The fruit will come apart on the scored sections.Pomegranate Pull Sections Apart

Work the seeds out from the peel into a deep bowl. This will keep any juice from spraying outside of the bowl as much as you can. It will still be a little messy, but not too bad.
NOTE: You may want to wear dark-colored clothing until you get this process down. 🙂 Pomegranate Separate Seeds From Peel

After all the seeds are removed from the peel, add water to the bowl and cover the seeds with water. Swish and wash the seeds. The loose membranes that remain will float to the top of the water making it easy to pick them out and discard. Keep cleaning the seeds until the water is as clean as you can get it.

Pomegranate Husk Floats . Pomegranate Bowl of Seeds

Drain the seeds; pour into a bowl and either use right away or keep in the refrigerator for up to a couple of weeks. The seeds can be frozen for up to six months.Pomegranate Bowlful of Seeds

That one pomegranate yielded at least four cups of seeds! We will really enjoy them in our salads, with yogurt, in smoothies – so many good things. And, we have five more just like this one to enjoy! Another reason why I love the Fall Season!

You can juice the seeds in a Vitamix blender Strain the juice through a strainer pushing the pulp through as much as you can to get all the juice. Discard the pulp. The juice can be kept up to a couple of weeks in the ‘fridge.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Denise | 12th Nov 18

    My mother-in-law grows them – I have a renewed interest in them now! I did not know about the effect on blood pressure or the anti-inflammatory properties. Thanks for sharing this information!
    On the topic of foods — can you give us your take on the nightshade veggies? I don’t know what to think – good or bad? It seems they are bad for some people.

    • Christine | 1st Dec 18

      Hi, Denise. As always, thank you for your comment. I will be happy to look into nightshade veggies and post an article soon. Stay tuned!

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