Sunday, January 3, 2010


Pomegranates have been in the supermarket for a few months now. Pomegranate season typically runs from October to January. Although a native fruit of the Mediterranean region (used for thousands of years), most pomegranates found in US markets come from California's San Joaquin Valley.

A good ripe pomegranate will have a deeply colored skin (usually reddish purple) and will be heavy for its size (i.e. juicy!).

Most pomegranates are shipped ripe, so it is unlikely you’ll get an unripe one. On the other hand, you may encounter some that are old and dried out. Avoid fruits with cracks or soft spots. The skin should be leathery but smooth. An old pomegranate will also be considerably lighter than a fresh one.

Sweet, juicy, and delicious, this exotic fruit can be daunting to anyone that hasn't used it before. However, opening a pomegranate and removing the juicy purple seeds (actually arils) is quite simple. Just check out my photo step-by-step guide to opening a pomegranate:

How to Cut and Open a Pomegranate

Next, eat the seeds as they are or on a salad or in one of these delicious pomegranate recipes:

Pomegranates have been around along time, but modern science has unlocked some of its secrets. Here's some numbers from the USDA for a medium sized pomegranate.

Water: 125 g
Calories: 105
Protein: 1.5 g
Carbohydrates: 26g
Sugars: 26 g
Fiber: 1 g
Total Fat: 0.5 g
Saturated Fat: 0.06 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Calcium: 5 mg
Iron: 0.5 mg
Magnesium: 5 m

As you can see, its mostly sugar. That's part of why its so delicious! But beyond that, one of the important factors the USDA isn't telling us about, is the antioxidants in pomegranates. View the Pomegranate Antixodidants Study in pdf form, if your brain is up to it! But if you're not interested in reading that study keep this one important fact in mind:

If you want to get the most nutrition out of your pomegranate juice, then buy industrial processed juice! It has 3 times the amount of antioxidants than fresh squeezed pomegranate juice.

Just stay clear of the "juice cocktail" versions. Typically these juices (applies for all juices) are short on the real deal and long on high fructose corn syrup cheap sweetener fodder.

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