Pomegranate Season Begins

POM Wonderful, the nation's largest producer of pomegranates, announced today that the Wonderful pomegranate harvest is currently underway and this delicious fruit will be available in stores from now until January. With 18,000 acres of Wonderful variety pomegranates, this year's harvest will be the largest in POM Wonderful's history. A festive favorite, consumers can take advantage of the pomegranate's culinary versatility and striking red color to add a special touch to fall and holiday recipes and decorations.

POM Wonderful exclusively grows the Wonderful variety of pomegranate, unique among other pomegranate varieties for its sweet taste, ruby red arils (seed surrounded by a juice sac) and nutritional value. Wonderful pomegranates are high in polyphenol antioxidants which help protect the body against free radicals, unstable molecules that damage the body and can lead to diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Wonderful pomegranates are also a rich source of vitamin C, a good source of potassium and high in fiber. Wonderful variety pomegranates also contain vitamin K and iron.

The Wonderful pomegranate is a versatile fruit with many uses, providing its distinct flavor and unique health benefits to food and drink recipes. Arils are perfect for tossing in salads, stirring into yogurt, sprinkling over cereal, garnishing cocktails or enjoying on their own as a delicious, healthy snack. Freshly squeezed pomegranate juice is ideal for glazes, cocktails and marinades.

How to Choose a Pomegranate

For eating or juicing, select pomegranates by weight, not by color. Pomegranates are only picked when they are perfectly ripe on the inside. The outside of a ripe pomegranate can vary from pink to a deep ruby red. Keep in mind that the heavier the pomegranates are, the more juice they contain. The deep crimson color of a fresh pomegranate lends itself beautifully to seasonal decorations and arrangements. For decorating, select pomegranates by color, size and general appearance.

How to Open a Pomegranate

Pomegranates may seem intimidating, but they are easy to open. This efficient procedure for opening a pomegranate has six simple steps:

1. With a sharp paring knife, cut off the top about a half inch below the crown.
2. Once the top has been removed, four to six sections of the pomegranate divided by white membrane will be visible. With the knife's point, score the skin along each section.
3. Using both hands, carefully pull the pomegranate apart, breaking it into smaller sections.
4. Over a bowl of water, loosen the arils and allow them to drop freely into the bowl. The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top.
5. Use a spoon to scoop out the pieces of white membrane that have floated to the top of the water.
6. Pour the arils and remaining liquid through a strainer.

How to Store a Pomegranate

Unopened pomegranates can last up to one month on the counter or two months in the refrigerator. Fresh arils can last two weeks in a sealed plastic container in the refrigerator and frozen arils can last for many months in the freezer.

To freeze pomegranate arils, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with wax paper. Place in a freezer for two hours or until frozen. Transfer frozen arils to a re-sealable plastic bag or container. Frozen arils can be enjoyed well after the season has ended.

For more about fresh pomegranates and delicious recipes developed by top chefs from around the country, visit: www.pomwonderful.com.

About POM Wonderful

POM Wonderful is the largest producer of California Wonderful pomegranates and the company exclusively grows and sells this variety. POM Wonderful's pomegranates grow in central California, in the sunny San Joaquin Valley. Fresh pomegranates are in season from October through January and November is National Pomegranate Month.

POM Wonderful also uses its fresh pomegranates to make its delicious, all-natural POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice and extract POMx, an all-natural, ultra-potent concentration of polyphenol antioxidants. POMx is available exclusively in POMx Iced Coffee, POMx Tea, POMx Pills, POMx Bars and POMx Shots. POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice and POMx Tea are available year-round in the refrigerated section of produce departments in supermarkets nationwide. POMx Iced Coffee, POMx Pills, POMx Bars and POMx Shots are available in select US markets. POMx Pills are also available at www.pompills.com. To learn more, visit www.pomwonderful.com.

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