Healthy Ingredient of the Week – Pomegranates

Pomegranates, like many other Healthy Ingredients of the Week, are a real superfood.  They are an excellent source of fiber and Vitamins C and K, and their dark red color signifies that they are loaded with antioxidant polyphenols.  Pomegranates are distinct from other fruits in that they are prized for their seeds, or arils.  Whereas you might discard or spit out the seeds of a watermelon or orange, the seeds of a pomegranate are the part you’re most likely to consume.  Pomegranate arils are sometimes sold separately, but they’re also easy to collect from a whole fruit.  The easiest way to separate the seeds from the flesh of a pomegranate is to cut the flesh off and soak it in a bowl of water; the seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl, while the flesh will float. 

Now that you know the technique for de-seeding a pomegranate, you should have no trouble making the recipe below, which makes use of the fruit in two different forms.  This recipe also teaches you another valuable cooking technique – how to make your own salad dressing.  I have never been a huge salad person, but I recently started making my own dressing at home, which has made me actually enjoy eating salads.  Homemade salad dressings are quick, easy, nutritious, and delicious.  Especially when they involve a fruity twist, like the vinaigrette used here.

Spiced Pomegranate and Orange Salad

½ cup pomegranate juice 
¼ cup olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 
½ teaspoon ground allspice
½ teaspoon ground mustard
Pinch freshly ground black pepper

8 cups baby or spring salad greens 
3 oranges, peeled and sectioned 
6 tablespoons pomegranate seeds 

1.  Mix pomegranate juice, oil, vinegar, allspice, mustard, and pepper in small bowl with wire whisk until well blended.
2.  Toss salad greens and vinaigrette in large bowl. Divide salad mixture evenly among 6 plates. Top each with about 5 orange sections and 1 tablespoon pomegranate seeds.

Recipe adapted from McCormick


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