Pomegranate Seeds: Symbols for Health and Bursting with Nutrients and Flavour!
Most of us have tried pomegranate seeds or pomegranate juice at some point but we don’t tend to include it in our diet on a regular basis. This month in our Test Kitchen, we’re taking a closer look at these famous fruits that are in season right now. They are probably one of the most popular foods in literature, religion, and history for various reasons but here are some reasons why YOU should consider topping up your grocery list with some pomegranate seeds this fall:
- They are high in antioxidants
- One pomegranate contains almost 50% of the recommended Vitamin C intake
- They contain vitamin B5 which is beneficial for a large number of conditions; such as, skin problems, depression, or even muscle cramps
- They lower cholesterol levels
- They reduce high blood pressure
- It is believed that they can inhibit certain forms of cancer
- Packed with nutrients: calcium, potassium, phosphorus, folic acid, iron, protein
- They are also a rich source of dietary fibre, zinc, magnesium and carbohydrates
- Hormone levels can be maintained to a certain degree with regular consumption
- Their juice is known to have wonderful affects on the skin when applied directly
- And finally, they are a delicious addition to many recipes!
A lot of people avoid buying pomegranates simply because they don’t know how to get the seeds out easily. Many supermarkets sell the seeds in packages so that all the work is done for you and no deseeding is required. You can just eat them as is or sprinkle some over your salad or baked chicken. If, like me, you want to buy your pomegranates whole, you can find a number of ideas online on how to deseed them.
I prefer the water bowl method over the wooden spoon method myself:
- Fill a medium sized bowl with cool water
- Cut the pomegranate in half
- Take the half in your hand and submerge it in water then start picking out the seeds
- The pulp/rind will float to the top and you will be left with seeds at the bottom of the bowl
- Simply wash and drain; you will have perfect pomegranate seeds ready to use!
Now that you know how to deseed pomegranates and know why you should be trying them, start experimenting. Here are some ideas:
- Have them as is! They are absolutely delicious raw
- Sprinkle some black pepper and lime on them for some extra flavour
- Use them to make pomegranate molasses which can be used in drinks, desserts, and even savoury foods
- Bake with them
- Use them in chicken/beef stews for a beautiful contrasting flavour
- When roasting some chicken or lamb, add some pomegranate seeds, herbs, garlic, and lime to mix things up a bit
- Juice the seeds
- Use them in all sorts of salads (my personal favourite use for them)
Here is a recipe for you to try out that uses 2 beautiful and overlooked fall ingredients:
Persimmons & Pomegranate Salad
- 3 ripe persimmons
- Seeds from 1 pomegranate
- 1 or 1 ½ tbsp natural honey
- Juice from half a lime
- Some crushed almonds
- Italian parsley
- Slice the persimmons and place flat in any pattern you wish to in the platter you will be serving the salad in
- Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds
- Squeeze the juice from the lime all over
- Drizzle the honey over the persimmons and pomegranate seeds
- Dust with the crushed almonds
- Garnish with some fresh parsley
Let us know what you think of experimenting with pomegranates this Autumn/Winter. They’re in season from September up until about January so this is the time to load up on these nutritious, bright seeds.
Photo Credits: Wajida Pinnock
Wajida has worked in corporate sales and marketing in media, hospitality, and other industries for many years and now owns and runs Kitchen Cultures with her partner Afshan. They feature their own tried and tested halal and fusion recipes, gluten free recipes, vegan recipes, and more on their website. You’ll also find tips and advice ranging from managing your kitchen to the benefits and uses of certain foods. They also offer custom catering packages, edible packaged giveaways, and individual orders based on your needs.