Pomegranates are in right now, as in “in season” and all over the pages (and some covers) of recent food and cooking magazines. November issues brought plenty of recipes for pomegranate glazes paired with (or without) cranberries, and December continues that trend.
Various studies claim pomegranates hold something akin to the elusive Fountain of Youth, offering longevity and disease-curing powers. But just because scientific studies fail to back up those claims, according to the November/December 2010 issue of Eating Well magazine, don’t discount the seedy fruit just yet.
An article in the December 2010 issue of Southern Living magazine outlined five benefits offered by pomegranates, including keeping teeth clean, regulating cholesterol, preventing arthritis, acting as a good source of fiber and protecting skin, thanks in part to their high levels of antioxidants.
To get these potential health benefits or at least incorporate this popular taste of the season into your diet, here are five suggestions.
1. Drink It Straight–or Not: Transforming sparkling white wine into a festive drink with a splash of pomegranate juice is a popular suggestion, offered by November’s Everyday Food magazine, Eating Well and Southern Living.
2. Sowing the Seeds: Pomegranate seeds are edible–and packed with antioxidants too. Sprinkle them on salads, mix with yogurts, use as a topping for ice cream or cereals (hot and cold) or pair with seafood, suggest December/January’s Taste of Home magazine, November’s Cooking Light and Eating Well (which gets bonus points for including pointers on how to seed the fruit).
3. Glazed and Delicious: Pomegranate molasses (made by reducing the juice), a common ingredient in many Middle Eastern dishes, is used in Everyday Food’s simple and fast glaze (takes about 10 minutes) to dress up pork or lamp chops. Eating Well’s rub requires a little more time, but its combination with honey cuts the fruit’s tartness.
4. Dressed for Success: Salad dressings get a healthy punch from pomegranates in Everyday Food’s vinaigrette of the fruit’s juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Though its dressing is a little more involved, Eating Well goes a step further by including a recipe for a Winter Salad With Roasted Squash to test out the topping.
5. Other Tasty Toppings: If all of these suggestions weren’t enough, Cooking Light magazine has at least two more. Pomegranate and Pear Jam is a low-fat (0.3 grams per serving) topping for breads, and Pomegranate-Orange Salsa adds extra flavor to shrimp, fish and chicken, in addition to being a dip for tortilla chips.