Pomegranate’s Powerful Health Benefits, and 5 Ways to Love Them

pomegranate seeds

Tangy and sweet, this fruit is packed with flavonoids (like those in red wine), which halt cell damage, are packed with vitamins C and E, and are currently being studied to slow cancer growth and boost memory and mood. True, they can be a real beyotch to peel, but we’ve found a youtube video to walk you through it – including an underwater trick to separate the pith (tough white interior) from the arils (juice and seed sack). Here are five recipes to keep the seeds flowing.

Pomegranate Guacamole

  • 2 large ripe avocados
  • 1/2 large onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 fresh chilies, serranos, seeded
  • 2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves
  • 1 freshly squeezed lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon pomegranate juice
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Finely chop the onion, garlic, chilies serranos, and coriander leaves. Place in bowl and add lime juiceand salt, set aside. Peel and pit the avocados and place in a bowl. Mash with fork slowly adding the tablespoon of pomegranate juice. Add onion and garlic mixture and fold together to make a course pulp. Gently fold in pomegranate seeds. Serve with warm tortillas, tostadas, or corn chips.

Spinach Pomegranate Salad

  • 1 (10 ounce) bag baby spinach leaves, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 red onion, sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 1/4 cup alfalfa sprouts (optional)
  • 1 pomegranate, peeled and seeds separated
  • 4 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

Place spinach in a salad bowl. Top with red onion, walnuts, feta, and sprouts. Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over the top, and drizzle with vinaigrette.

Grilled Eggplant with Pomegranate Sauce

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate syrup
  • Salt
  • Minced parsley”¨for garnish
  • 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds

Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch slices and place on paper towels. Sprinkle slices with salt, weight them down with heavy plates or a board for 30 minutes, then pat them dry with paper towels.

Lightly brush with olive oil and place eggplant slices on grill. Grill them for 3 minutes on each side, or until they are lightly browned on both sides. Remove from grill and arrange the eggplant overlapping on a serving dish.

In a mortar, crush garlic cloves with 2 teaspoons salt to a paste. In a non-metallic bowl, combine the garlic paste and pomegranate syrup. Spread a little of the mixture on each eggplant slice. Sprinkle the slices with minced parsley and pomegranate seeds for garnish and chill covered. Serves 6.

Cucumber and Pomegranate Salad

  • 1/2 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint or 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon angelica powder
  • 1 long seedless cucumber, peeled and diced
  • Seeds of 2 pomegranates
  • 1 fresh lime, peeled and sliced, with inner skin removed

In serving bowl, combine ingredients and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with salt. Serves 6.

Pomegranate, Orange, Papaya, and KiwiӬGreen Salad

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1-1/2 quarts mixed greens
  • 2 oranges, peeled and sliced
  • 2 medium papayas, peeled and sliced
  • 4 kiwis, peeled and sliced
  • 1 medium pomegranate, seeded (about 3/4 cup)

To make dressing, combine vinegar and next three ingredients; whisk in oil. Toss greens with 2-1/2 tablespoons dressing; arrange on a serving platter. Alternate orange, papaya, and kiwi slices over greens. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds. Serves 6.

Image: lepiaf.geo