Pomegranate: Goddess of Love

This golden decoration is from 12th century doors of the Cathedral of Madonna del Granato, AKA Pomegranate! Near Paestum, Italy.

It’s summer time and love is in the air. Alas, humidity and heat are also abundant. What to do! We need ways to stay cool and fit. Enter Lady Pomegranate.

Pomegranates have played a role in both our spiritual and physical lives for thousands of years. The blood-red seeds spilling forth when you cut into the thick skin appeals to people on a primal level. Arab traders  used the pomegranate to entice merchants into buying their wares. People all across the Middle East and Europe were drawn to  the message of abundance and fertility that this lovely fruit conveyed.

Ancient Greeks believed the first pomegranate tree was planted by Aphrodite, Goddess of Love. Shakespeare tapped the same symbolism in Romeo and Juliet, with the pomegranate representing true love, forbidden love, and innocence.

Possibly Juliette’s famous balcony?

Boundless Benefits

But now, several university studies show that these ancient beliefs in the power of the pomegranate were not misplaced. Daily drinks laced with pomegranate juice have positive effects on men with prostate cancer or other problems with normal male functioning. For more information on men’s health see prostate.net.

Pomegranate is also known to kill breast and lung cancer cells,  prevent deterioration of cartilage, and reduce that most dastardly of health problems….  inflammation. As you can see from the diagram I’ve posted below, these are only its main benefits. There are so many more reasons to make pomegranates a part of your regular eating plan.

pomegranate uses

What does it taste like?

The benefits of pomegranate are hard to ignore, but it’s the taste and color that make pomegranate stand out as a wonderful food. The tiny red seeds explode with a sweet tartness when you break them open in your mouth. The one drawback is that inside each seed is a crunchy pip that I had to learn to swallow whole, without much chewing. OK, I’m a wimp. I got over it. Now I eat pomegranate seeds with abandon.

Sprinkle the seeds on salads or press out the juice and mix it with other juices or sparkling water to create a real treat! Of course, you can buy the juice in bottles, which is a convenient way to get the goodness of pomegranates without much hassle. Do check the label, though, to make sure you aren’t also buying added sugar or other unwanted ingredients.

For summer, try an iced tea featuring green tea and pomegranate. A lovely idea is to use frozen fruit to cool it down, instead of ice cubes. Even the kids might like this delicious summer sipping drink. Thanks to fellow Ottawan Lori B for this recipe idea.

Wheee! Kids like it, too!

Wheee! Kids like it, too!

Icy pomegranate tea

  • four green tea bags steeped in 4 cups of boiling water
  • 1/4 cup 100% pomegranate  juice
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (or sweeten to taste with stevia)

Stir all ingredients together, chill, then pour into a pitcher of ice cubes.  If you are feeling fancy, use frozen strawberries, mangoes or blueberries instead of ice cubes and serve your drink with a straw or a long spoon. If you try the tea before it’s properly chilled, the flavor is rather sparse. Leave it in the fridge overnight, and the next day, it just pops! I’ve been making this regularly and loving it.

In two weeks I’ll post part 2 of the pomegranate saga, with a blow-by-blow description of how to get into your pomegranate (if you haven’t done so before then) and lots of ideas for pomegranate salads.

Pomegranate - you're supposed to EAT the seeds

Some Jewish scholars believe that the pomegranate was the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden

And so ends our story on how to find love through an ancient fruit from the Garden of Eden.

Related link

Our Lady Pomegranate swings her partners – How to use pomegranate. Recipes: Three main-course salads

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peri's Spice Ladle
    Aug 19, 2013 @ 13:05:25

    Absolutely yummy drink and this is as simple and refreshing as it gets for summer! Love this post on pomegranates and its difficult-to-ignore benefits from ancient times:)

    Reply

  2. Mike
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 16:27:19

    Nice post. The seeds are delicious once one gets used to that kernel inside. I wish the pomegranate were a little easier to eat. That spurting red juice really leaves a stain. :-)

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Jul 12, 2013 @ 16:40:06

      Thanks, Mike! One reader says even folks who eat these things every day don’t like the pips and spit them out. Now I don’t feel so bad. Also, I’ve responded to the stain problem in my next post. Thanks for commenting on this :)

      Reply

  3. Vinny Grette
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 23:38:07

    I’ve been really enjoying my pomegranate and green tea drink – such a lovely and delicious fruit!

    Reply

  4. Fae's Twist & Tango
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 23:28:41

    Nice and health-informative post!
    I believe pomegranate is widely considered to have originated in the vicinity of Iran and has been cultivated since ancient times. In Iran, they are eaten as apples are in the USA. In the summer, its juice is offered instead of tea. :D

    Reply

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