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Pomegranates Made Easy

Posted by by Colin Lyons, produce buyer
Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Often referred to as the jewel of autumn, the pomegranate has been prized for its beauty, flavor, color, and health benefits for centuries. They are believed to be one of the world’s first cultivated fruits more than 4,000 years ago. With a bright red skin and seeds that look like giant rubies, pomegranates have a flavor that will please the sweet tart lover in all of us. There is a reason why they have withstood the test of time. Check out its detailed history by clicking here.

Why should you eat them? Many classify the pomegranate as a superfood! They are chalk full of wonderful things for your body; very high in vitamin C, potassium, fiber, and they contain high amounts of polyphenols, which are a potent form of antioxidant.

HOW TO BUY
Every pomegranate is harvested at a ripe stage, leaving you with no guessing game at the display. Each one on our shelf is ready to eat as soon as you buy it and as with any fruit, the heavier the better. The glistening red jewels inside are called arils. They consist of a very thin skin, delicious sweet tart juice and a fiber rich crunchy white seed.

HOW TO PREPARE
As beautiful and nutritious as this fruit is, there is still a lot of angst about how to buy, prepare and use pomegranates. Admittedly, it was only last year when I first opened one of these fruits myself to harvest the decadent arils inside. I was always intimidated by the fruit as if I was going to damage the arils and have a horrible mess on my hands.

It is true that the pomegranate has the potential to stain clothing and hands, but I found a video showing a simple process to quickly get you to the goods inside.
If you are still intimidated, ask your produce manager for pomegranate arils! They are already harvested from the fruit and ready to eat.

WHAT TO EAT
There are differing opinions when it comes to eating these arils. Some prefer to spit out these seeds once they have consumed all of the delicious juice; however I prefer to eat the arils whole, seeds and all. Not only is there less mess, but it also gives me fiber rich roughage that I could certainly use more of in my diet.

Two things to stay away from are the rind and the white membranes that separate the aril clusters. These tend to be very bitter and almost inedible.

WHEN AND HOW TO USE
The U.S. pomegranate crop is generally available October through January with a few from South America showing up in the spring. It is the autumn months when this succulent fruit should be celebrated. It makes a visually stunning addition for your Thanksgiving and holiday meals, as well as a tasty treat any other day.

Looking for more ideas? Check out these recipes from POM Wonderful.

Tags: pomegranateholiday

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