Lynn DiTaranto, Department of Public Health.
Lynn is a Nutrition Education Specialist with DPH.
Are you tired of the usual apples and bananas for a healthy snack? Give your fruit salad a punch and add pomegranates to it!
This native Middle Eastern fruit has been popping up in the grocery stores in the form of juices and the succulent seeds are commonly topped on salads, added to meals or covered in chocolate to create a tasty dessert. Now that pomegranates are easily found in grocery stores, have you tried them yet?
I have to admit that pomegranates can be a little intimidating at first, but don’t let that stop you. To know which pomegranate will be juicy and ripe, spot the ones that are brightly colored. A good pomegranate will have pinkish-red skin that is shiny and not withered. The larger the fruit, the more juice it will have. It should not be firm, but not too soft either.
To prepare this fall/winter season fruit, cut off the top and the sections will be visible on the inside. Then cut the pomegranate into sections and pull them apart. Place the sections in a bowl of water, and then loosen the seeds, also known as arils. Strain out the water and the ruby-red arils can be added to any savory or sweet meal. The sweet but tart seeds are bursting with flavor and heart-healthy antioxidants. Try eating the seeds by themselves to get a dose of potassium, vitamin C, and fiber! I like to create delicious and exotic smoothies by mixing ice, plain non-fat yogurt, bananas and pomegranate seeds in a blender.
It’s interesting how many times I’ve seen the warning, “caution: pomegranate stains,” on instructions. Although the tasty fruit does not stain your hands, it can stain your light colored clothes. Apparently, the juice from the pomegranate was used as dye in ancient times. But, just like any other stain, run it under cold water with detergent right away and you should be able to save that white shirt.
How do you usually eat pomegranates or plan to eat your first one? Let us know! We’d love to hear from you!