Have you ever seen a pomegranate that's just been broken open? It's lovely. Crimson juice spills onto the cutting board around it. The red seeds, or arils, look like little gems enclosed in white pulp.
Honestly, until a few years ago, I had never even heard of a pomegranate. Then pomegranate juice skyrocketed to popularity, bringing the actual fruit with it too. Now, all of a sudden, it's everywhere: in smoothies
, baked goods
and dressing up salads
These days, my family eats a fair amount of pomegranate.
For the juice, I love mixing it with ginger ale. The slightly sweet ginger ale cuts the tart pomegranate juice nicely. It's a family-friendly drink perfect for the holidays. You could also use the juice (make sure it's 100 percent pomegranate!) to make salad dressing.
Now the arils, those are my two-year-old daughter's favorite. When she sees them, she jumps up and down in excitement and insists on eating them by the handful. How can I say no? They are so rich in healthy antioxidants - I would be a fool not to encourage her.
We also love to sprinkle the seeds on different savory dishes like salad and risotto. Frankly, there are few dishes I wouldn't add pomegranate to. It's just so good, and adds a nice punch of tartness to dishes.
Now, you are probably left with one question: How do you open a pomegranate?
Easy. Here's how.
- 1. Cut the pomegranate in half. Be careful, the juices are notorious for staining, so keep it away from that nice white shirt.
- 2. Separate the red arils from the white pulp and place them into a large bowl of water. Work section by section until you've gotten all the seeds.
- 3. Swish the seeds in the water, then let them settle. Any extra pulp will float to the top. Remove it and then drain the seeds into a mesh strainer/colander. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
How do you eat your pomegranate?
, Sarah W. Caron is a writer, editor and food blogger. You can find her online at Sarah's Cucina Bella.