November is Pomegranate Month! Don’t you just love these vibrant beauties? They can take a little effort to enjoy but well worth it. In virtually every civilization, they have been a symbol of prosperity and abundance!

Pomegranates are native to a region from Iran to northern India. They have been cultivated throughout the Middle East, South Asia, and the Mediterranean region for several millennia. In the United States, they thrive in California and Arizona.

These little seed sacs pack a lot of nutrients, including three times the antioxidants in both wine and green tea. Antioxidants counteract the damaging effect of oxidation on cells. They also have anti-viral and anti-tumor properties. Pomegranate seeds are a great source of vitamin A, C, E, K, and folic acid. They are a good source of calcium, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.

There can be anywhere from 200 to 1400 seed sacs in one fruit, but the average is 600. (Now who has the job to count these???)

Health Benefits (this list is impressive)

  • Clearing up the skin.
  • Reducing inflammation.
  • Can reduce the risk for prostrate and breast cancer (so if either of these cancers are prevalent in your family, you may want to consider drinking pomegranate juice).
  • Capable of preventing the creation of enzymes that are responsible for breaking down connective tissue in the body.
  • Reduce the possibility of having premature babies and avoiding low-birth weight.
  • Reduce the possibility of developing Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Can help women overcome depression symptoms during menstruation and post-menopause.
  • Pomegranate is often recommended for weight loss and cholesterol level control.
Selection and Storage

Choose well-developed, firm, crimson red fruits. Avoid spotted, over mature fruits as they can be bitter and inedible, those with surface cracks, mold, bruised, and shriveled as these are inferior in flavor.

Store pomegranates in a cool dark place at room temperature for 5-8 days or more. They generally possess a long shelf life. They can also be put in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Pomegranates can be eaten alone, added to salads, and top sweet treats like frozen yogurt or ice cream.

The seed sacs can be frozen and used in smoothies, or dried and used in trail mix or granola bars.

In all instances, moderation is recommended as the pomegranate seed sacs do contain a lot of sugar.

I have used them on salads, made pomegranate kombucha and kefir water; and I am currently drying some to use in a macaroon recipe. What is your favorite way to enjoy pomegranates?

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