The pomegranate fruit has been prized in the Middle East for thousands of years for its huge array of benefits, not to mention the beauty of the jewel like kernels. And although it is a fruit we commonly consume here, we have not been very mindful of its immense nutritional value. It is time that we take the pomegranate seriously
NUTRIENTS IN NUMBERS
Although most of the nutrients are sadly lost in the thick inedible skin, the seeds or arils are also nutrient-packed. 100gram of pomegranates contain 346kJ of energy, 13.67g of sugar, 4g of fiber, 1.67g of proteins, 10.2mg of Vitamin C, 1.17g of fat and 236mg of potassium, and much else.
The pomegranate carries vitamins such as Vitamin B which is essential to boost our metabolism and immune systems, not to mention fight fatigue. Vitamin B also keeps our nervous system healthy, helping cells keep in touch with each other. Pomegranate is also filled with vitamin C which helps our immune systems by helping to repair cells and tissues quickly.
FULL OF FIBER
This fruit is also packed with lots of fiber inside out, but because we cannot consume the fleshy outer parts, the seeds should be eaten to get full benefits, instead of just the juice. The large amounts of fiber in the fruit helps fight constipation and clears bowels if consumed regularly along with the seeds.
FOR A HEALTHY HEART
Pomegranate can help cleanse our circulatory system to ensures a stable blood pressure. The antioxidants also help prevent fatty deposits in our blood vessels and reduce chances of heart diseases.
FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
The trove of antioxidants can also help stop the damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are known to oxidize molecules in our bodies and we are exposed to them through the sun, the air and the food. They destroy cell by cell speeding up the aging process, which shows up as wrinkles in the skin, and also makes our skin lose the elasticity. Antioxidants prevent the occurrence of all these and slow down the again process.
THE RIGHT POMEGRANATE
Always opt for whole fruits instead of packaged juice. These can contain lots of added sugar, and even if they do not they are certainly missing out on all the high fiber content from the seeds.
If raw and ripe pomegranates everyday get boring, try out some of the fun and full filling recipes.
CHARRED GREEN BEANS WITH POMEGRANATE
½ kg green beans, 1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large minced garlic clove.
Lemon juice, A dash of soy sauce
1/4 cup pomegranate seeds/arils
Salt and pepper, to taste
Coat the green beans with olive oil. Heat up a pan on high heat, and drop some water on it and wait for it to sizzle and evaporate. Once it does, add on your green beans and cook them for about 3 minutes, flipping them while you go. Then lower the heat and add on some minced garlic, cook for another minute and then finally add the lemon juice and soy sauce. Lastly, add the pomegranates for a pop of colour and a fresh crunch, followed by salt and pepper. The greens and reds create a very visually pleasing dish, while the charred smoky greens compliment the cool freshness of the fruit.
POMEGRANATE PANNA COTTA
1 can of coconut milk
1 tablespoon of honey
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract
1 ½ tablespoon of gelatin
2 tablespoons of water.
Pomegranate jelly-, ¼ cup of hot water
1 ½ tablespoons of gelatin
½ cup of pomegranate juice
Pomegranate arils to sprinkle on top.
For the panna cotta, place the water in a small dish and sprinkle gelatin on top of it. Wait or 5 minutes for it to bloom. Then add coconut milk and honey to a saucepan and let it simmer. Once the honey dissolves, reduce the heat, and add in the vanilla extract and bloomed gelatin. Keep whisking until it all dissolves. Pour them in small jars and refrigerate for a few hours. Once it has chilled, dissolve the 1.5 teaspoons of gelatin in one-fourth cup of boiling water followed by the pomegranate juice. Stir and let it cool for a few minutes. Pour the pomegranate juice on top of the panna cotta and chill again for a few hours. Once all of it has set, top it with fresh and crunchy pomegranate arils. Although this recipe is pretty long, it creates a beautiful white and red layered dessert that is packed with nutrients and tastes delectable, so it is definitely worth the wait.