Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tidbits: What to do with Pomegranates?

As you may have noticed, pomegranates are in season! The grocery store has piles of red pomegranates next to oranges.  Decorator-type people use fresh pomegranates on wreaths and swags, while foodies use them in green salads, in fresh fruit salads, sprinkled on cereal and as an ingredient in combination fruit juices.

But have you ever tried to open up a pomegranate to remove those beautiful red gems of seeds (technically called arils)? Getting the seeds out (without making a big mess) is not the easiest thing to accomplish, I have found.

According to Martha (yes, THE Martha), when she was a recent guest on the Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me radio show, there is a fairly quick and easy way to remove the seeds from a pomegranate.  First, carefully cut through just the pomegranate skin, slicing it as if you are quartering it. Pull the quarters apart to reveal the red seeds.

Next, get a big bowl.  Take each quarter, seed side facing your palm, and with your other hand, tap the tough pomegranate skin with the back of a wooden spoon. The seeds should pop into the bowl without much effort.  Oh, and wear an apron or clothing that you don’t mind a few stains on, because pomegranates stain fabric like crazy.

Martha has a video clip of this procedure if you’d like to see it before trying.

As far a nutrition, one-half cup of arils or seeds contain 72 calories, 16 grams of carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 1 gram fat and 1 gram protein, plus 15 percent of your daily value of vitamin C.  A pretty and nutritious addition to your seasonal fruit choices!