by Karen Olson
QUICK & EASY WAY TO ADD POMEGRANATE INTO YOUR DIET
- Stir pomegranate seeds into your favorite salsa for added fruity pizzazz.
- Jazz up your salads with a garnish of pomegranate seed.
- Top avocado or peanut better toast with pomegranate seeds.
- Blend a half cup of pomegranate juice into your morning smoothie.
- Toss some pomegranate seeds and toasted pecans into your breakfast bowl.
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over plain yogurt, along with chopped nuts and drizzle of honey.
HOW TO OPEN A POMEGRANATE
You might expect that opening a pomegranate is a time-consuming task. But with this technique, you can release all of those tart, jewel-like treasures in just a few minutes.
- Put on an apron — pomegranate juice can stain!
- With a sharp knife, score the skin of the pomegranate around its circumference, taking care not to cut too deeply — about a quarter of an inch should be deep enough.
- Pry the pomegranate apart, using your thumbs to separate the halves from each other. This will reveal the juice-encased seeds embedded in the inner membrane of the pomegranate.
- With both hands, squeeze and pull at the edges of each pomegranate half to begin to break the membrane and loosen the seeds.
- Place one pomegranate half seed-side down in the palm of one hand, holding your hand over a bowl.
- With wooden spatula held in your other hand, firmly tap around the entire outside of the pomegranate half. The seeds will release through your fingers into the bowl below.
- Repeat steps 4 through 6 with the other pomegranate half.
- To clean up, use vinegar or lemon juice to get rid of any pink stains on your cutting board or counter.
SPINACH SALAD WITH GRAPEFRUIT, AVOCADO AND POMEGRANATE
This beautiful winter salad combines tart pomegranate with tangy citrus, rich avocado, and deep-dark leafy greens. Substitute arugula, endive, or baby kale greens for the spinach if you like. For a little extra crunch, sprinkle with a handful of toasted walnuts or pecans.
Makes four to six servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
For the Salad
- 6 cups spinach, washed and trimmed
- 2 large red grapefruit, peeled, cut into slices, then quartered
- 2 avocados, peeled, pitted, and cubed
- 1 cup pomegranate seeds
For the Dressing
- 1/4 cup grapefruit juice
- 2 tbs. pomegranate juice
- 2 tbs. red-wine vinegar
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Arrange the spinach leaves in a large, shallow bowl and top with the grapefruit, avocado, and pomegranate seeds. Whisk the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle enough dressing over the salad to lightly coat the ingredients; toss and serve.
Makes six to eight servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 45 minutes to 1 hour
- 3½ lbs. sweet potatoes
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tbs. freshly grated gingerroot
- 1 tbs. maple syrup
- 1 tbs. balsamic vinegar
- ½ cup pomegranate seeds
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes to one hour. When tender, remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the skin with tongs.
Place the peeled sweet potatoes in a large bowl and mix in the butter with a potato masher. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the ginger. Mix maple syrup and balsamic vinegar together in a small bowl. Scatter pomegranate seeds on top of the sweet-potato mash and drizzle with maple-balsamic sauce. Serve warm.
Karen Olson is a Minneapolis-based writer and a frequent contributor to Experience Life. All recipes were created by Betsy Nelson (a.k.a. “That Food Girl”), a Minneapolis-based food stylist and recipe developer. This article originally appeared in Experience Life, the no gimmicks no-hype health and fitness magazine. Learn more at ExperienceLife.com.