Pomegranate is talked about as an antioxidant superfood – a cure for all, but sadly there just is not enough research to confirm this. What we do know, however, is that fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals and so you can’t really go wrong adding to your diet, broadly speaking.
Processing and pasteurising does damages the nutritional content and so fresh is best! The seeds are sweet, but with a hint of bitterness and pleasant acidity, which makes them versatile. If using a whole pomegranate and removing the seeds yourself, make sure you separate the red seeds from the white membrane surrounding them as this can be quite bitter.
Try adding pomegranate seeds to your cakes for an added zing and crunch. Sprinkle it over salads, moroccan tangine or indian curries for it’s sweetness. Get hold of pomegranate molasses and use this in salad dressings, to make marinades for meat (chicken and lamb works particularly well) and pour over vanilla ice-cream. The flavours marry well with sweet desserts, other fruit and chocolate and just brighten up the whole dish. We also like adding them to salads, cous cous or on top of Moroccan tagine or tajine.
The fruit originated in the area of Persia. It has also been cultivated in the mediterranean and all the way to India for centuries. It is used in cooking, baking, smoothies, drinks – alcoholic and non-alcoholic, and as bright garnish. It has been used in Ayurveda (a system of traditional Hindu medicine) as a treatment for various ailments, such as the dried rind is used as a treatment for diarrhoea or the juice from the seeds as a tonic for the heart and throat. The seeds are a great source of dietary fibre and contains vitamin C, K and folate. It might not be a ‘cure-for-all’ magical fruit, but would certainly make a great addition to a balanced healthy diet.