Although its name originated from a Middle French term for seeded apple, the pomegranate is actually a type of berry. In many cultures, they have long been a symbol of prosperity and abundance. However, their popularity in the U.S. is much more recent and is largely attributed the fruit’s many health benefits.
Pomegranates contain more antioxidants than red wine, green tea or cranberry juice, making them one of the healthiest foods we can eat.
Pomegranate juice is the most commonly produced product, although growing awareness of the fruits high antioxidant levels are driving an increase in the production of extracts, powders, and oils made from the skin.
Pomegranates have been valued for their healing properties for ages, but only recently has modern science confirmed just how powerful this super fruit might be. Several studies have documented its tremendous anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and antioxidant properties, with more research needed to determine the fruits positive effects on numerous conditions.
How to eat a pomegranate
Many people are reluctant to eat pomegranates due to its unusual characteristics. If you were to peel the skin, instead of a fleshy center, youd find many tiny jewel-like arils that contain both the seed and the bright red juice the fruit is so well known for.
Although some prefer to avoid the seeds and simply extract the juice for consumption, the seeds are completely edible and are high in fiber and antioxidants.
The juice from a pomegranate can be extracted using a blender or food processor, or by using a simple rolling technique.
To prepare fresh juice using a blender or food processor, start by cutting the pomegranate in half. Next, break the two halves into smaller pieces and place them in a bowl. Loosen the seeds into the bowl and discard the peel. Blend approximately 1 to 2 cups of seeds in your blender or food processor. Use a strainer lined with cheesecloth to strain the juice.
If you don’t have a blender or food processor, you can still enjoy fresh pomegranate juice by using a simple rolling technique to break open the arils and release the juice. For this method, you do not cut the fruit. Instead, use the palm of your hand to roll the fruit back and forth on a hard surface.
The arils will make a crackling sound as they break open underneath the skin. Once the crackling stops, you’re ready to extract the juice. You can either poke a hole in the skin and squeeze out the juice or insert a straw and drink it right from the fruit.
If you don’t want to take the time to juice your pomegranate, you can slice it in half and enjoy eating the arils right from the fruit. You can also use them in recipes just as you would any other fruit.