Crowded Earth Kitchen has featured pomegranates in several recipes this month, and with good reason. Pomegranates are essentially the perfect winter fruit. Pomegranates are high in fiber, contain a wealth of vitamins including Vitamins C and K, and are widely considered a “superfood” due to their abundance of antioxidants. Pomegranates contain a particularly amazing compound called “ellagitannin,” which breaks down to form another amazing compound, “ellagic acid,” in the human body. Also found in foods such as raspberries, strawberries, and walnuts, ellagic acid has been shown in medical studies to have powerful anti-cancer properties.
Oh, and pomegranates are delicious. Why wouldn’t they feature prominently in winter recipes?
It occurs to me that I never actually demonstrated what I believe is the easiest, least messy way to open a pomegranate and capture all of those juicy, jewel toned, nutrition packed arils. My apologies. Let’s open a pomegranate together and enjoy a simple winter fruit salad, shall we?
Ingredients (makes 1 quart of fruit salad)
6 – 8 clementines, tangerines, or oranges
1 peppermint tea bag
Step 1) Use a paring knife to score a pomegranate all the way around in a circle, about 1/2 inch from each end. Use the tip of the paring knife or a finger to gently pull up the leathery skin. After the ends are loosened, simply pull them off.
Step 2) After the ends are removed, you will be able to see the pattern of the white, pithy membranes inside the pomegranate. These membranes resemble the white pith found on the insides of oranges. Use your paring knife to score through the pomegranate skin, end to end, along each section of white membrane.
Step 3) Over a protected work surface, pull your pomegranate apart along the lines you’ve scored. Notice how there is NO JUICE in this picture. That’s not a camera trick… careful scoring really will keep all of the juice where it belongs, inside of the arils!
Step 4) Separate the pomegranate arils. This is very easy. Simply lift away the papery white membranes inside of the pomegranate, and the arils will come right off in your hand. As shown in the photo to the left, one pomegranate contains about 2 cups of tightly packed arils. That’s a lot of fruit!
Step 5) Combine your pomegranate arils with sectioned clementines, tangerines, or oranges in a pretty bowl. For maximum flavor, serve your winter fruit salad only slightly chilled. Ice cold fruit is less flavorful than fruit which has been allowed to warm up a bit! Garnish your winter fruit salad with a few flecks of peppermint from a tea bag. Enjoy!
Crowded Earth Kitchen hopes pomegranates become a winter staple in your pantry!