Pomegranate: The Holiday Jewel
If you have not discovered this popular pinkish-red fruit, this year, now is the time. It is in season and that means two things: the price is right and it is delicious! This luxury with its juicy and nutritious seeds is one of my all-time favorites. If you want to spruce up your Thanksgiving or Christmas table, add pomegranate seeds to salads or desserts. It will add the look of royalty!
Are you wondering how to pick a good pomegranate? Select one that is plump, round, and heavy. You can store uncut fruit in the fridge for up to 2 months. Other uses: add to salads or blend into smoothies or juices. Pomegranate juice is also popular sold as a healthy beverage. Just keep an eye on the label to watch for sugar content! One 8 oz. serving of juice can give you 150 calories and 18 grams (3 tsp.) of sugar.
Don’t let the strange look of the fresh pomegranate intimidate you. There are several ways to cut open a pomegranate and enjoy the little arils within:
- Slice it down the middle, and you will be welcomed by hundreds of beautiful red jewels peeking out at you through little white caves, which by the way are also edible.
- Cut the rough ends off and discard. Then break the pomegranate in half into a large bowl of water. The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl. Using a colander, drain the water and you are left with the arils.
- Scoop the seeds using a spoon, but this will leave you open to getting sprayed by pomegranate juice, so if you do this, wear a red shirt! Only wear a white shirt if you are planning to turn it into a paint shirt.
- The Bea Technique. Bea is my older sister, and she likes to pluck each seed out leisurely one by one. This lends itself to times when you are eating the pomegranate yourself and you want to savor each succulent aril individually. While this seems like a slow and tedious process, this is an excellent option for when you are watching a movie and you want to snack on something but want to go easy on calories.
Have I made your mouth water? If so, indulge yourself and enjoy the fact that one gigantic pomegranate has no fat, no sodium, is high in potassium and Vitamin C and supplies only 100 calories and can entertain you for hours. Compare that to a 30-chip bag of Doritos that leaves you with 250 calories, 13 grams of fat, and possibly a desire for more of the same.
If you like guacamole, check out this recipe: http://www.pomwonderful.com/pomegranate-recipes/pomegranate-guacamole/ that combines the lovely arils of a pomegranate with guacamole dip. I made this dip and found it to be a wonderful recipe for the holidays! My neighbor Danika and I demonstrated making this dip (with a few recipe variations) on video for you. Please visit our Guacamole Dip video on the In the Kitchen page!