When we moved to our house this past year, the minute I looked in the backyard I stopped breathing for a second… It’s not a big backyard, but the previous owners had a full herb garden, and grapefruit, orange, lemon, lime, avocado, peach, apple, plum and pomegranate trees!!! If you know me at all, you know I have a VERY black thumb, so immediately I said to myself “good luck trees, hopefully you can survive DESPITE me.”
Well, a year and a half later, I haven’t killed anything! (OK, the herb garden had to get replanted, a few times!). As I look outside at this beautiful pomegranate tree, I don’t have a clue about when to pick them, how to open them and take the seeds out, and what to make with it! So after reading and watching You Tube videos, this is what I learned!
I can tell you pomegranates, often referred to as “the divine fruit” and native to Iran and India are not only delicious, have an amazing color and a unique, pleasant flavor, but they have been shown to have many health benefits. Pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C and potassium. Several recent studies have shown they can help reduce cholesterol, fight against cell damage, inhibit viral infections and even slow down some cancers.
A few Tips About Pomegranates:
How to Choose: Select those that are heaviest; they have the most juice. Color should be red to reddish brown. If the skin is cracked, stay away!
How to store: At room temperature, pomegranates will last about a week. In the refrigerator, they’ll last 3-4 weeks. Once seeded, the seeds can be frozen for up to 3 months.
How to open: in 4 easy steps! (Protect your clothes, it can be messy!)
And they are definitely worth the trouble! These sweet and tart little seeds are amazing! How will YOU use your pomegranate this year? I decided to make this Cranberry-Pomegranate Sauce for my Thanksgiving dinner! (recipe from Allrecipes.com)
2 large tart apples 2 large oranges
2 pomegranates, peeled and seeds separated 2 (12oz) bags cranberries, cleaned and sorted
1 (16 oz) bottle pomegranate juice 1 cup pecans, chopped
2 cups sugar (or 2 tsp stevia powdered extract or 2 tsp stevia liquid drops)
- Peel and core apples, and put peelings and cores in a small saucepan with pomegranate seeds, 1/2 cup juice, and 1/2 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer. Cook for 30 minutes.
- Chop the peeled apples, and place in a large saucepan. Remove zest from half of one orange, chop very fine, and add to apples. Peel oranges, chop coarsely, and add to pan along with cranberries and remaining juice and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, and cook for 30 minutes.
- Remove small pan from heat, and strain juice into larger pan. Cool solids slightly, and then push though a sieve to remove seeds and peels, adding remaining pulp to larger pan. Stir in nuts, if desired. Cook about 10 minutes longer. Serve warm, room temperature, or chilled.
Hope you enjoy! Feel free to comment and share!