Our Lady Pomegranate swings her partners

Pomegranate

Last time, I told you about the powerful effects offered by the lovely Pomegranate. If you haven’t already seen that post, check it out here.

This time, I want to focus on how to use this wonderful ingredient. Like… if it’s new to you, you might not know how to get past the blushing hard skin to the fruit inside. Turns out, it’s easy if you just turn on a little charm.

How to get a pomegranate to give up its seeds

  • The juice stains everything it touches. So wear old clothes or an apron. I didn’t splash a drop, though, so if you’re patient, perhaps it won’t be a problem. Have a glass bowl waiting, to receive the seeds.
  • To get started, take a sharp knife and score the skin, around the circumference of the fruit.
  • Use your thumbs to gently pry the two halves apart.
  • Holding the pomegranate-half upside down in your left palm over the bowl. slap the top of the fruit sharply with a big wooden spoon. Let the seeds drop through your fingers into the bowl. Turn the fruit from time to time and keep slapping until all the seeds have dropped. Then do the other half.
  • Discard any of the inner white papery pith that may have dislodged.
  • Check out this video to see how it’s done.
Pomegranate tea beats the heat!

Pomegranate tea beats summer’s heat!

Juicing the pomegranate seeds

If you want the juice, but not the seeds, you have options:

  • Buy a bottle of pure pomegranate juice. Check the label to make sure there are no added ingredients (like the demon sugar).

OR

  • Squeeze the seeds of a fresh pomegranate. Here are three ways:
  1. Cut the fruit in half crosswise and ream the halves as you would a lemon.
  2. Place the extracted seeds in a sealed plastic freezer bag and crush them gently with a rolling-pin. Or spin them in a food processor for a minute or two. Then strain the juice.
  3. For less bitterness, cook the seeds slowly in a bit of water, and press them through a sieve or cheesecloth.

Cleaning up

If you make a mess with pomegranate juice, find out how to clean up, here.

Recipes

Pomegranate juice is great in drinks. Try these:

  • An iced tea with pomegranate, as in my last post :)
  • A wine spritzer: pour a tablespoon or two of pomegranate juice over ice, then top up with white wine and as much (or as little) of soda water as you want
  • Pomegranate juice mixed with blueberry or cranberry juice and a little soda over ice

Pomegranate partners well with other healthy P words… like pumpkin seeds, pickled beets, pears, and potassium from dark leafy greens. Try these three main-course salads for lunch. All are super delicious.

Pomegranate salad

Pomegranate and potassium salad
The potassium is in the spinach
serves four

  • 1 (10 ounce) bag of baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • vinaigrette made with 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar and 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Put the spinach in a salad bowl. Top with red onion, walnuts, and feta.
  2. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the top, and drizzle with vinaigrette. Toss.
Boiled dressing = easy and delicious!

Boiled dressing = easy and delicious!

Pear and pomegranate with kale salad

Kale can be an acrid fellow. This recipe changes him into an agreeable chap! Follow my method, below, and I think you’ll get to like Kale too. Serves two.

  • 3 cups kale, rinsed, with ribs cut out and discarded and the leaves torn in pieces
  • 2 tablespoons flavorful oil (I used walnut oil)
  • ground sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pear, halved and cored, then sliced (I used an Asian pear)
  • 1/3 cup pomegranate seeds

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate juice
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon prepared Dijon-style mustard
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey (or stevia equivalent)
  1. Divide the greens between two bowls. Rub 1 tablespoon walnut oil into the kale leaves in each bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Divide the pear slices and pomegranate seeds among the two bowls.
  3. Combine the pomegranate juice, lemon juice, mustard, and sweetener in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, until the dressing thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the warm dressing over the salads and serve.  The boiled dressing is truly worth making an extra pot dirty for. This recipe makes a colorful salad course for a special dinner. It’s that good.

Pomegranate and pickled-beet  salad

serves 4

  • 2 bunches of  baby rocket
  • seeds from 1 pomegranate
  • 1 cup pickled beets, shredded
  • ½ cup of pumpkin seeds, roasted

Vinaigrette

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons pickled beet juice
  • 2 tablespoons walnut or macadamia nut oil ( or even olive oil)
  1. Seed the pomegranate, chop the greens, and grate the beets.
  2. Mix all the veggies but the pumpkin seeds.
  3. In a small bowl beat together the mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil. Taste and add lemon juice if needed. Pour the vinaigrette over the salad and top with seeds.

Related link

Pomegranate: Goddess of Love – Learn about pomegranate’s benefits to health. Recipe: Icy pomegranate green tea

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9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Peri's Spice Ladle
    Aug 19, 2013 @ 13:03:39

    Pomegranate holds a special and often, sacred place in Parsi homes:) I remember learning how to peel them as a kid…great post and a worthy lesson in pomegranates!

    Reply

  2. craftinlightenment
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 21:21:51

    Thanks for these awesome tips and recipes! Pomegranates are some of my absolute favorite fruits!

    Reply

  3. richardmcgary
    Jul 23, 2013 @ 14:14:16

    We love pomegranates and have our own pomegranate tree. :) It is loaded this year. Hopefully, we can keep the fruit snatchers away from it this year.

    Reply

    • Vinny Grette
      Jul 23, 2013 @ 15:14:49

      Lucky you! It’s not hot enough, long enough for us to grow a pomegranate tree here. So sad because they are so beautiful… and fruitful! I’ve just discovered these delicious and healthy fruits, seeing as I usually try to buy local. But maybe with global warming???

      Reply

      • richardmcgary
        Jul 23, 2013 @ 15:47:57

        Hahaha. Perhaps global warming would let you grow pomegranates but in the meantime, you probably need to import them. It’s similar to growing decent apples in Texas. Pomegranates ripen here in October/November. In Mexico they ripen in September. I have no idea as to why the difference in ripening times. In my post on Dinner Salad with Fresh Greens, Shrimp, Pomegranate, Feta & Walnuts, http://remcooks.com/2012/10/11/dinner-salad-with-fresh-greens-shrimp-pomegranate-feta-walnuts/ I posted a photo of the tree. We’ve only had it maybe 4 years. Last year we had 22 pomegranates on the tree. This year, it’s loaded and I haven’t bothered to count. We use them in a variety of ways. They are great in salads, in drinks (Grenadine is pomegranate juice), with seafood, lamb, beef, pork, almost any protein and in desserts. In Mexico they make a national dish for Mexican Independence Day in Mexico called Enchiladas En Nogoada that is a fabulous pork picadillo stuffed in a roasted poblano chile, toped with a walnut sauce and finished with pomegranate seeds. It’s a beautiful and tasty treat.

        Reply

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