10 Things to do with a Pomegranate ~ pomegranate recipes, tips, and tricks, to making the most of this beautiful and healthy fall fruit!
10 Things to do with a Pomegranate — a guide to nature’s most beautiful, and most confounding, fruit.
Pomegranate season starts this month, and you’ve probably already spotted them in your supermarket, I know I have. But just a few short years ago I wouldn’t have touched them with a ten foot pole. I didn’t have a clue how to use them, much less how to open one up. And even if I got one open, what’s the deal with the seeds…how to you get them out,…and do you spit the pits? Swallow them? Pomegranates can cause a lot of confusion.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first you need to know how to choose one from that daunting pile in the produce section.
There are a few basic rules for picking the right pomegranate, and since poms don’t continue to ripen after being picked, what you see is what you get.
Look for a large fruit, because large fruit will have more pulp. Find one with a bright color, because that indicates good quality, and a smooth shiny skin, which tells you it’s fresh. Don’t just look, pick them up, a juicy pomegranate will feel heavy for its size.
Most pomegranates will have deep ruby red arils, or seeds, but some are pale pink, or even white.
There isn’t any way to tell this from the outside, so it will be a surprise when you open it up. No need to worry, the paler colors taste just as good, and if anything, they’re a little sweeter.
Ok, so you’ve chosen your pomegranate, now what? You need to get those little seeds out!
There are several ways to do it but I like the ‘under water’ method best. Stick a sharp knife into the fruit, and then break it in half. You can remove the seeds easily by cracking apart each half under water, in a large bowl, or in your sink, and nudging the seeds apart with your fingers. Keep pulling apart the fruit and pushing out the seeds. The seeds will sink and all the excess pith and membrane will float. You can keep the seeds in an airtight container for several days in the refrigerator. Use them for snacking, or topping yogurt, oatmeal, or ice cream.
And yes, you eat the whole seeds, little pit and all. That’s where all the fiber is!
Pomegranates originated in the Middle East, but quickly spread all around the world. They grow here in California, and also in Arizona. In our last house we had the luxury of a neighbor’s tree that hung way over into our driveway. During those years I came to know and love this unusual fruit…here are ten of my favorite ways to use pomegranates…
I love to jazz up roasted Brussels sprouts by sprinkling them with pomegranate seeds. They’ll sparkle like little jewels and maybe even tempt those Brussels sprout haters in your life to give them a try! When you’re pressed for time and trying to fill a holiday table, this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate is a great recipe to have on hand.
Wait until the last minute before serving to sprinkle pomegranate seeds on your finsihed dish.
This Tomato and Pomegranate Salad is an little unusual, but trust me, the flavors mingle beautifully. This is an example of a dish where pomegranates play a starring roll. I particularly love the colors in this salad, the pink arils were a pleasant surprise!
I love these Pomegranate and Lime Chicken Thighs, the recipe uses both the seeds and the juice of the pomegranate so the unique sweet tart flavor really comes through. The lime and the pomegranate colors are gorgeous!
Fresh pomegranate juice can be used to make all natural Homemade Gumdrops! You can use fresh juice or bottled and the process is easy. This is a fun project to do with kids.
An easy Citrus Salad with Pomegrante and Pistachio is a great choice for a fall or winter salad course. The colors of the citrus along with the garnet colored seeds is really festive.
A simple and healthy Pomegranate Sorbet can be made with pomegranate juice and some sugar to sweeten it up a bit. You don’t even need an ice cream maker for this recipe.
One of my favorite condiments in the world is Pomegranate Molasses. You can buy it in the grocery store, usually in the International aisle, but it’s simple to make yourself. You boil down pomegranate juice until it becomes a thick syrup. Voila — you have the best secret weapon ever for sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and tons more…use your imagination!
This pomegranate wine sauce goes with my Mini Koftas, which are little Middle Eastern meat kabobs. The sauce will blow your mind. No exaggeration. I copied it from a restaurant dish and I’m so glad I nailed it.
Pomegranate salsa is a versatile little idea, I served it with Grilled Shrimp with Pomegranate Salsa but I can think of a million ways to use it.
Persian Jeweled Rice is probably one of my favorite dishes that uses pomegranate seeds. They really do look like little jewels on top of this classic Middle Eastern pilaf. I think it’s made for the holidays, and will make any vegetarians or vegans at your table very happy.
Pomegranates are a beautiful food, they’ve inspired writers, artists, and cooks, for centuries. I hope I’ve inspired you to dive into that pile in the produce section!
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