A superfood you’ll love!
This is a pomegranate whose seeds resemble jewels.
Do you know how to peel it properly?
How to use it in the kitchen?
Or how to store it?
You will learn all this and much more in our article!
What is a pomegranate?
The pomegranate is a fruit of ancient origin that grows in the Middle East, Asia, the Mediterranean region, and the southwestern United States.
In Greek mythology, the pomegranate is called the fruit of the dead and led to Persephone spending seven months of the year in the underworld. Today, pomegranate is consumed in a wide variety of sweet and savory forms.
They are round, red fruits with a hard, smooth exterior and a white inner flesh that is filled with crunchy, juicy, edible seeds called arils. These are about the size of corn kernels and contain a bright red juice. Each pomegranate has hundreds of these seeds in it.
Health benefits of consuming pomegranate
Pomegranate has many health benefits such as:
It is loaded with nutrients
The small pink seeds inside the pomegranate are the edible part of the fruit. Although removing them from the inner flesh of the fruit can be labor intensive, their nutritional profile and taste make it well worth the effort. Overall, pomegranates are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber, vitamins and minerals. They also contain some protein.
Keep in mind that the nutritional information for the pomegranate and the seeds surrounded by the sweet coating (called arils) is different from the information for pomegranate juice, which does not provide much fiber or vitamin C. This is true for fruits in general – eating the whole form will provide more fiber .
It has anti-inflammatory effects
Pomegranates contain compounds that may help prevent chronic inflammation associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease.
It is rich in antioxidants
Pomegranates are rich in a variety of antioxidant compounds that help protect our cells from free radical damage.
It has anti-cancer properties
Pomegranate has been observed to have anti-cancer effects. It may slow tumor growth and spread and reduce inflammation, although more research is needed to learn more.
It benefits heart health
Compounds in pomegranate can lower blood pressure and inflammation in the arteries, help fight plaque buildup that can lead to heart attack and stroke, and reduce heart-related chest pain.
Supports urinary tract health
Compounds in pomegranate may help reduce kidney stones, possibly due to their antioxidant properties.
It has antimicrobial properties
Pomegranates contain compounds that help fight potentially harmful bacteria, fungi, and yeast—especially the germs in your mouth that can cause bad breath and tooth decay.
Improves endurance during exercise
The polyphenols in pomegranates can increase exercise endurance, the amount of time you are able to engage in physical activity before becoming fatigued. One human study found that taking just 1 gram of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before running increased time to exhaustion by 12%.
It is good for our brain
Compounds in pomegranate may help protect brain health, especially when it comes to Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and brain injury recovery.
Supports healthy digestion
Compounds in pomegranate may support healthy gut bacteria and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. The seeds are also rich in fiber, which serves as fuel for probiotics and helps prevent some digestive health problems.
Pomegranate and its various forms are generally very healthy and safe. However, there is a chance that some people may develop an allergic reaction when consuming pomegranates. Pomegranate juice may also interact negatively with some blood-thinning medications and medications that treat high cholesterol and high blood pressure.
Nutritional values of pomegranate
In the following table, look at the comparison of the nutritional values of fresh pomegranate and other selected types of fruit in 100 grams.
|Nutritional values|| Pomegranate|
| Red Apple|
|Energy||83 kcal||59 kcal||52 kcal||57 kcal|
|Fats||1.2 g||0.2 g||0.7 g||0.3 g|
|Carbohydrates||19 g||14 g||12 g||14 g|
|Sugars||14 g||10 g||4.4 g||10 g|
|Fiber||4 g||2.3 g||6.5 g||2.4 g|
|Proteins||1.7 g||0.3 g||1.2 g||0.7 g|
Vitamins and minerals in pomegranate
Also look at the amount of minerals and vitamins that 100 grams of fresh pomegranate contains compared to selected types of fruit.
|Vitamins and minerals|| Pomegranate|
| Red Apple|
|Vitamin A||0.00 mcg||3.00 mcg||2.00 mcg||3.00 mcg|
|Vitamin B1||0.067 mg||0.015 mg||0.032 mg||0.037 mg|
|Vitamin B2||0.053 mg||0.025 mg||0.038 mg||0.041 mg|
|Vitamin B3||0.293 mg||0.075 mg||0.598 mg||0.418 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.075 mg||0.034 mg||0.055 mg||0.052 mg|
|Vitamin B9||38.00 mcg||3.00 mcg||21.00 mcg||6.00 mcg|
|Vitamin E||0.60 mg||0.24 mg||0.87 mg||0.57 mg|
|Vitamin K||16.4 mcg||2.6 mcg||7.8 mcg||19.3 mcg|
|Calcium||10.00 mg||6.00 mg||25.00 mg||6.00 mg|
|Copper||0.16 mg||0.03 mg||0.09 mg||0.06 mg|
|Iron||0.30 mg||0.11 mg||0.69 mg||0.28 mg|
|Magnesium||12.00 mg||5.00 mg||22.00 mg||6.00 mg|
|Phosphorus||36.00 mg||12.00 mg||29.00 mg||12.00 mg|
|Selenium||0.50 mcg||0.00 mcg||0.20 mcg||0.10 mcg|
|Potassium||236.00 mg||104.00 mg||151.00 mg||77.00 mg|
|Sodium||3.00 mg||1.00 mg||1.00 mg||1.00 mg|
|Zinc||0.35 mg||0.04 mg||0.42 mg||0.16 mg|
Where to buy pomegranate and how to store it?
From late fall to early spring, look for fresh pomegranates at larger grocery stores. They are usually sold individually. Choose large, dark red fruits that are heavy for their size and have no bruises or punctures. The skin should be shiny. If the pomegranate is soft and scratches easily, it is probably ripe.
Dried and frozen seeds are available year-round, as are pomegranate juice and molasses . Pomegranates are picked ripe and then do not continue to ripen. Therefore, there is no need to let it ripen at home before use.
When you bring the pomegranate home, keep it out of direct sunlight. It is best to store it in a cool and dry place . That way, it will last for up to a week, and then up to two weeks in the fridge. The seeds will last in an airtight container in the fridge for up to five days or in the freezer for up to three months. Fresh juice should be consumed within a week.
How to use pomegranate in the kitchen?
Pomegranate seeds can be eaten fresh as a sweet snack, used as a garnish or ingredient in various dishes, or you can dry them.
How to peel a pomegranate?
- To peel a pomegranate, cut off the very top at the crown, which is the end that sticks out more than the other.
- Scoop out a portion of the core, being careful not to break any seeds.
- With a sharp knife, score only the thin outer rind, cut from top to bottom to create four segments.
- Gently push in the center where you scooped out the core to quarter the fruit.
- Peel off any loose white pulp.
- Dip each segment in a bowl of cold water and bend the outer skin back to release the loose seeds.
- Carefully pry the others underwater; they will sink to the bottom and the inedible flesh will float.
The seeds can be used as is, or you can press them to make juice . The fresh juice is sometimes boiled down to make pomegranate molasses. We warn you in advance that pomegranate juice will stain not only your fingers but also your clothes, which is why many cultures have used it as a natural dye . Therefore, when working with pomegranate, wear an apron so as not to stain your clothes. The juice will also stain plastic containers, so use glass containers or disposable plastic bags if possible. Avoid using knives or cookware made of aluminum or carbon steel, as these can make the juice bitter.
And how to prepare pomegranate juice?
To juice a pomegranate, cut it in half like a grapefruit and use an electric or manual juicer. Be careful not to juice the white pulp as this will change the taste of your juice and make it bitter. Strain the juice through a cheesecloth to remove any bits and particles. You can also make the juice by removing all the arils and adding them to a high-speed blender with a little water, blending until smooth, then straining through a cloth-lined strainer or fine mesh strainer. To make one cup of fresh pomegranate juice, you usually need two to four pieces of fruit, depending on their size.
Grenadine, a non-alcoholic liqueur , is also prepared from pomegranates, which is used in the preparation of cocktails. It is usually mixed with orange juice.
More tips on how to use pomegranate
- Add the seeds to the yogurt along with the citrus fruits and chopped nuts. Try our recipes for luxurious homemade yogurt .
- Cook it into jam .
- Add it to your salad . It goes especially well between dark leaves of spinach or arugula along with toasted nuts and a good topping.
- Use it in couscous, boiled rice or quinoa .
- Add it to water for better taste.
- Add it to the stew .
- Make a dip from the seeds. Mix some seeds with roasted red pepper, walnuts and fruity olive oil, salt and pepper to taste. You can spread the resulting dip on crackers. (You can also use molasses instead of seeds.)
- Add pomegranate seeds to champagne, sparkling cider, iced tea or lemonade .
- Decorate avocado toast with it.
- Serve the seeds with the olives .
- Prepare a luxurious bruschetta . Spread some goat cheese on toasted baguette slices and garnish with chopped red onion, parsley and pomegranate seeds.
- Sprinkle a few seeds over ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet .
- Add it to a fruit salad . It goes well with other autumn fruits such as persimmon or pear. You can also add a little honey.
- Make hummus and add some seeds to it.
- Make a tea out of it.
- Blend it into a smoothie .
- Add it to the gazpacho .
- Make your oatmeal special with it. Get inspired by our other recipes for oatmeal 5 times differently .
- Add it to cakes or pies .
Some of the common ingredients that pomegranate pairs well with in savory dishes are pecans, sweet potatoes, lamb, yogurt, lettuce, corn, or tomatoes. For sweet flavors, pair it with chocolate, whipped cream, strawberries, green apples, etc.
We have great pomegranate recipes for you. Try homemade juice, detox tea and a fresh salad.
Pomegranates grow on a tree called a pomegranate tree. The pomegranate can range from a 90 cm dwarf shrub to a 9 meter tall tree.
Although pomegranate grows in a wide range of climates, it does best in dry and hot areas with summer daytime temperatures between 21 and 32 degrees Celsius. In general, these trees are not hardy, although there are a few hardier cultivars.
You can also grow pomegranate in our conditions, but you need to think about its subtropical roots and winterize it in time.
History of the Pomegranate
One of the oldest fruits in the world , the pomegranate has a long and fascinating history. It probably originated in Persia and reached central and southern India from Iran in about the first century AD. It was recorded growing in Indonesia in 1416. It was widely cultivated throughout India and drier parts of Southeast Asia, Malaya, the East Indies, and tropical Africa. The most important growing regions are Egypt, China, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, India, Burma and Saudi Arabia.
In ancient times, it was a symbol of fertility, abundance and happiness , and the fruit has been depicted in art many times throughout history. Several centuries ago, the fruit was brought to North America and is now grown in California and Arizona.