Pomegranates may seem mysterious, but they are not to be missed; and they've just come into season, from now until about January. Pomegranates are one of my favorite seasonal fruits; they're juicy, sweet, healthy (loaded with antioxidants), and gorgeous, and they work well in all kinds of dishes. Here's how to peel a pomegranate:
1. Use a knife to score through the outer skin of the entire pomegranate, into four or six sections (as if you were cutting an orange, but not as deeply).
2. Get a large bowl of water, or fill your sink halfway.
3. Hold the pomegranate underwater and break sections apart; this way, the crimson juice won't splatter and stain your nice apron.
4. Bend sections back to release the red seeds, called arils. The seeds will sink while the skin and white membranes will float.
5. Discard skin and membranes; drain water and eat the seeds.
Of course, if you're not worried about the red juice (which does stain), you can dispense with the water and just peel the sections back slowly and gently.
Check out DL's archive of pomegranate recipes; the seeds are fantastic in salads, and the juice is yummy in dressings, marinades, and sauces. (It's even easier to buy pomegranate juice; look for it in the refrigerated section of your natural market.) I'm going to try this easy, nutritious recipe for a POM Morning Shake, courtesy the people at POM Wonderful.
TIME TO TABLE: 10 MINUTES
Makes 2 servings
Juice from 2–3 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates* or 1 cup POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice
3/4 cup vanilla soymilk or regular low-fat milk
2 ice cubes
1 large banana, peeled and broken into chunks
2 tablespoons slivered or sliced almonds
2–4 tablespoons protein powder (optional)
1 teaspoon honey or to taste
1. Prepare fresh pomegranate juice* (or use bottled).
2. In a blender combine the pomegranate juice with soymilk, ice cubes, banana, almonds, protein powder (optional), and honey to taste. Cover and blend on high speed for 30 seconds. Pour into 2 tall glasses and serve immediately.
* For 1 cup of juice, cut 2–3 large POM Wonderful Pomegranates in half and juice them with a citrus reamer or juicer. Pour the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Set the juice aside.
Nutrients Per Serving (11-1/2 oz., with protein supplement): 283 calories, 11g protein, 51g carbohydrate, 6g total fat (.5g saturated), 0mg cholesterol, 102mg sodium, 824mg potassium, 43mcg vitamin A RE, 15mg vitamin C, 1mg riboflavin (B2), 1mg manganese.