Fall is about to befall us, meaning that pomegranates are coming into peak season.
Pomegranates (Punica granatam) are a fruit-bearing shrub native to the area from Iran to the Himalayas. According to California Rare Fruit Growers, Inc., the fruit was first introduced in California by Spanish settlers in 1769. In the northern hemisphere we find pomegranates in peak season from September-January.
Like most fruit fans, I’m taken by how pretty pomegranates are. Their rich red arils (the brightly colored cover of a seed) augment any fall salad and make a colorful confection…but that same hearty hue will also stain the crap out of your clothes!
For a long time I was content to buy pomegranates already removed from the fruit’s inedible pulp. The convenience was a plus, but as a cost-conscious consumer, pre-prepared fruit is rarely worth the cost.
So I was pretty pumped when I heard about the best pomegranate preparation trick ever: the secret underwater pomegranate plucking.
All you have to do to get at that juicy goodness without the ensuing mess is:
- Quarter or halve your pomegranate fruit
- Fill a bowl with water
- Submerge the quarter or half of fruit
- Dig the arils out of the pulp under the water using your fingers
Voilà! You’ve got your own pack of pomegranate seeds at a fraction of the cost. The pulp and the mess stays submerged and you emerge with this fabulous fruit.
For not much work, pomegranates pack a nutritional punch. A one-half cup of arils pomegranate serving provides 72 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber and is a good source of vitamin C (14% daily value).
Like all fruit – you’re better served to eat your pomegranates than drink them. Don’t waste your time on pomegranate juice. Most commercial pomegranate “juice” contains more apple juice than actual pomegranates, not to mention that you forfeit the fiber when you extract its juice.
For a super fast supper feast, try out this pomegranate kale salad recipe:
Pomegranate Kale Salad
- 8 cups chopped baby kale
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 cup pomegranate arils (about 2 pomegranates)
- 1 English cucumber, seeded and diced
- 2 tablespoons goat cheese crumbles
- 2 tablespoons pomegranate vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- In salad serving bowl, massage chopped baby kale with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for 30 seconds.
- Add pomegranate arils, diced cucumber and goat cheese crumbles to kale.
- In a separate bowl whisk remaining olive oil with pomegranate vinegar, dijon mustard and citrus juice.
- Add dressing to salad, season with salt and pepper and serve
- Calories 275
- Protein 10 g
- Carbohydrate 39 g
- Fat 12 g
- Saturated Fat 2.5 g
- Fiber 11 g