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 pomegranates to entice merchants into buying their wares. People across the Middle East and Europe were drawn to the message of abundance and fertility that this lovely fruit conveys.
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.
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 such problems. 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, there are so many reasons to make pomegranates a part of your regular eating plan.
What does it taste like?
The taste and color 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.
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.
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.
And so ends our story on finding love through a fruit from the Garden of Eden.
See part 2 of the pomegranate saga, with a blow-by-blow description on how to get into your fresh pomegranate easily and lots of ideas for pomegranate salads.