Safely nestled pods of tart, juicy goodness!
November is National Pomegranate Month and this little beauty, native to Southeast Asia and now readily available all over the world, deserves its time to shine! Pomegranates are in season in the United States from September to January in fresh fruit form (think of a festive holiday table-scape using a large, tall glass vase filled with pomegranates) as well as already juiced in your local grocery stores year round. And who hasn't had a pom-tini?
These ruby red gems have a hard skin or rind that can be sliced open or peeled back to reveal a spongy white honeycomb pith protecting all the juicy seeds referred to as arils. Once the seeds are loosened and removed from the pith they can be enjoyed as a snack and also sprinkled onto a fresh spinach salad or tossed into some yogurt. The juicy arils/seeds can be eaten as is but more often than not, it is the juice that is highly prized.
Bottled pomegranate juice can be purchased in almost every local grocery store and be sure to check labels…make certain it is 100% pure juice and not diluted or sweetened with high fructose corn syrup or other additives. Why mask or change that fabulous, naturally sweet flavor? Pure pomegranate juice contains tannins which are known to have beneficial antioxidant qualities - that makes it good for us too! The tannins give the juice a slightly dry aftertaste so keep in mind there additional, more subtle varieties such blueberry-pomegranate or cherry-pomegranate.