Pomegranate is truly a giant and superhero of super-foods.
It’s also known as a symbol for fertility, having roots in mythology from Persephone, to the fruit used to trick Eve in the Bible.
Pomegranate juice is absolutely brimming with antioxidants which have anti-inflammatory properties proven to help against joint pain, clean the blood, and help fight against parasites.
Its flowers are widely used for dyes due to their ruby red hue, while the peels are used for various medical concoctions and brews.
Likely originating in Persia, its cultivation spread across Central Asia and throughout the Mediterranean region.
Translated from Latin, púnica granatum means “seeded apple”, and a matured ripe pomegranate fruit can contain over 600 different grains.
Each seed is surrounded by a red, juicy and sweet covering known as an aril.
The seeds and arils are the edible parts of the fruit — eaten either raw or processed into a delicious healthy pomegranate juice.
Pomegranates have an impressive nutrient profile — one cup of arils (174 grams) 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 are also very sweet, with one cup containing 24 grams of sugar and 144 calories.
Arils are used in baking, cooking, juice blends, meal garnishes, smoothies and alcoholic beverages such as cocktails and wines.
Pomegranate juice is packed with beneficial vitamins, amino acids and antioxidants
- Vitamin C 4 mg
- Vitamin B5 .5 mg
- Vitamin B6 .5 mg
- Vitamin B1 .4 mg
- Vitamin PP .4 mg
Beta-carotene, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, riboflavin, and folic acid are also present.
You can eat the seeds directly but due to their composition it’s hard for the stomach to process, which can then become lodged in the digestive tract.
To Prepare a Pomegranate
- Using a sharp knife, carefully slice about half an inch from the top of the pomegranate.
- Gently remove the lid to expose the edible seeds inside.
- Slice down through each of the white membranes inside the fruit.
- Pry the sections apart, turn the fruit inside out and pop the seeds out into a bowl.
It’s preferable to many to consume pomegranate seeds in powder form as a garnish known as Anardana.
To make this powder:
- Peel your pomegranate.
- Separate and wash the seeds.
- Lay down paper towels on your counter and distribute the seeds across in order to dry.
- Let sit for 10 minutes before moving to another sheet of paper towel until fully dry.
- Preheat oven to 175 degrees.
- Let the seeds sit in the oven for 4 hours.
- After 4 hours the seeds should be dried up and darkened into a deeper red, it may take up to five hours.
- Use a food processor or blender and grind the dried arils and seed into a tasty powdered garnish known as Anardana.
Some benefits of pomegranate juice include improved blood flow, helping keep the arteries from becoming stiff and thick. Pomegranate juice is easily one of the most heart-healthy fruits in a growing list of superfoods.
It can reduce inflammation in the gut, improve digestion, and maybe helpful for people with Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn's disease and other inflammatory bowel diseases while also providing a boost in both short term memory and even help prevent Alzheimer’s.
Due to its ability to remove free radicals in the circulatory system, Ellagitannin which is present in the powder from the seeds is used to fight and prevent breast cancer, osteoarthritis and cartilage damage.
The juice is currently being studied for its potential effects on osteoporosis, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Another pomegranate juice benefit includes its aphrodisiac, libido enhancing properties, helping increase testosterone in men, thus improving overall life performance and having an even more significant effect in women.
Truly and ally for human kind, pomegranates take one of the highest spots in the list of life improving superfoods.
It’s very apparent that this delicious juicy tarty treat is not only an absolute gift for the palate but overall physical health and worth adding to your daily consumption.
And remember, one pomegranate a day will keep your heart pumping away.
Roast Pumpkin with Dukkah and Pomegranate
700 g pumpkin or butternut squash
4 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp coriander seeds
1 Tbsp cumin seeds
1 Tbsp hemp seeds
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp sunflower seeds
2 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp sea salt
1 Tbsp nigella seeds
4 Tbsp slivered pistachios
A small pomegranate
Set the oven at 400°F /200°C/ Gas 6.
Scoop out the seeds and fibers from the middle of the pumpkin or butternut squash.
Slice the flesh into thin segments, each about 1cm thick.
Lay the pieces out in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Trickle the olive oil and top with seasoning of black pepper. Then, bake for about thirty minutes, until soft and translucent.
In a dry frying pan, mix the coriander and cumin and toast over a low to moderate heat for a few minutes, until fragrant.
Add the hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and continue toasting for about five minutes, stirring regularly until all is golden.
Stir in the thyme and salt, then grind the mixture using a pestle and mortar, cracking the seeds roughly.
Keep the mixture rough and knobbly. Fold in the nigella seeds and pistachios. Break open the pomegranate and remove the seeds.
When the pumpkin comes from the oven, scatter over the pomegranate seeds, about half the spice and seed mixture and serve.
Store the remaining mixture in a jar until needed.