Think of a fruit that’s ruby red, shiny and round, and nutrient rich… What comes to your mind? Perhaps you are picturing a crisp red apple – but that’s not the only fruit that fits this description! While not as well-known as your standard Red Delicious, pomegranates have stood the test of time as a unique and healthy fruit worth trying.
The word “pomegranate” originates from the Middle French pomme garnete, which can be literally translated as “seeded apple.”(1) But don’t try to eat a pomegranate like an apple! Inside its tough exterior, you will find the actual fruit, consisting of hundreds of tiny seeds – known as arils – encased in a sweet yet tart juicy pulp. There are a variety of ways to access the arils without making a mess – including this method:
Not only are pomegranates interesting to prepare and fun to eat, they are an incredible source of important nutrients and boast an impressive number of health benefits that can help boost your overall well-being. Pomegranates are known to prevent heart ailments, lower the risk of cancer and oral/dental diseases, clear up your skin, and provide relief of digestive issues.(3) According to the Pomegranate Council, these superfoods are high in vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants. The arils are high in fiber and low in calories.(1)
Since pomegranates are picked at the peak of ripeness, the fruit you find at the grocery store should be ready to enjoy. A ripe pomegranate will feel heavy in your hand, as it will be full of juice. Its leather-like skin should look firm and taut and have no bruising. Coloration can vary from medium to deep red.(1)
Whole pomegranates will keep in the refrigerator for up to three months, but once opened, the arils (or juice) should be consumed within three days.(1) Get creative and add it as a topping to your morning yogurt for a nutrient-rich breakfast, add some arils to your next salad for a sweet burst of flavor, serve them with dessert for a pop of color, or render the juice into a sweet glaze for chicken, fish, and more!
(1) Pomegranates.org. Pomegranate Council, n.d. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
(2) Tips & Tricks – How To Remove Pomegranate Seeds. HelloFresh US, 19 Nov. 2015. Web. 10 Feb. 2017.
(3) “7 Amazing Health Benefits of Pomegranates.” Organic Facts. Organic Information Services, 06 Dec. 2016. Web. 13 Feb. 2017.