The powerful Pomegranate has been known for its health benefits since ancient times. The bright red fruit is considered a superfood today because of its powerful antioxidants and nutrition. Personally, I just love the sweet and tangy taste and look forward to them every Fall.
The Legend of the 4 Pomegranate Seeds
In Greek mythology, when Persephone was kidnapped by Hades and taken to the Underworld, she ate 4 pomegranate seeds despite knowing if she ate or drank anything she would have to stay permanently. Demeter, her mother, missed her so much that she caused snow to cover the land, and no food could grow above. Zeus eventually ordered that Persephone had to live 4 months a year in the Underworld, which is why we have winter every year. You can read more of the story here.
Health Benefits of the Powerful Pomegranate
The powerful Pomegranate seeds owe their vibrant red hue to polyphenols, powerful antioxidants that “offer protection against the development of cancers, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, and neurodegenerative diseases.”
A ½ cup of arils, the red pods with the white seeds inside, offer 15% of the daily recommended vitamin C, 18% of vitamin K and 14% of the fiber. Pomegranates also contain a good source of folate, copper, and magnesium.
Pomegranates do not ripen after harvesting. Store pomegranates in a cool, dry place for a few weeks, or kept in the refrigerator for one to two months. Should be refrigerated; they’ll last at least three to four weeks.
Once they’ve been seeded, you can store the arils in the refrigerator for about a week. Or you can freeze them in a zip to lock bag for up to a year.
Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice should be used within a few days.
How to Eat Pomegranates and Remove the Seeds (Arils)
There are two general questions many people have about eating pomegranates:
- What’s the easiest way to get to the arils?
Score an x at the top of the pomegranate. In a bowl of water, submerge the fruit and pull it apart at the x. Gently remove the arils from the membrane. The arils will sink the membrane will float.
- Can you eat the white seeds?
YES! While some people prefer to spit out the seeds, they are edible. In fact, the fiber count mentioned above probably includes eating the seeds.
Pomegranate juice and arils can be used in a variety of ways. They are delicious in juices and smoothies, make a great topping for yogurt, cereal, and salads and make a beautifully tangy-sweet jelly.
Here Are Some Pomegranate Recipes to Inspire You
- Apple Pomegranate Juice
- Beet and Pomegranate Smoothie
- Pomegranate Syrup
- Spicy Pomegranate Cranberry Jam
- Cinnamon Spice Pomegranate Oatmeal
- Kale Apple and Pomegranate Salad
- Orange and Pomegranate Salad
- Pomegranate Pilaf
- Beef and Bulgur Meatballs in Pomegranate Sauce
- Pomegranate Brined Turkey
- Pomegranate Dark Chocolate Bites
- Pomegranate Poached Pears
Whether you drink the powerful Pomegranate juice or sprinkle the arils on your salad, pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods around and a great way to enjoy Fall.
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- Swiss Chard with Onions and Vinegar
- Fennel Spinach Cucumber Juice – Packed with Vitamin C
- Beet Fennel Salad – The Perfect Combination
- Strawberry Grapefruit Granita – A Light and Refreshing Treat
- Strawberry Rosemary Wine Slushies – Beat The Heat
- Bell Peppers – Long List of Health Benefits
- Spinach Vegetable Juice to Start Your Day
- Apple Cucumber Juice – A Great Hydrator
- Butternut Squash Apple Casserole – Excellent Side Dish
- Beetroots and Beet Greens – 2 Powerful Allies for Health
- Mixed Greens Tart – Fiber, Iron, and Antioxidants
- Benefits of Beets – Elevated to Superfood Status
- The Blood Orange – Many Health Benefits
- Green Green Juice – Get the Extra Greens
- Carrot Balls – Low Carb Sweet or Spicy
- Catalogna Chicory Salad with Grapefruit and Pumpkin Seeds