Sweetening Fall with Pomegranates
By Michelle Ponto
Known for their antioxidant abilities, Pomegranates have recently become a popular addition to the North American diet. Pomegranates are high in vitamin C, potassium and fibre as well as calcium and iron.
The New Super Food
Pomegranates have often been labeled one of the new “super foods” and are commonly featured in health and fitness magazines. This is because they can help prevent cancer and heart disease through the high levels of antioxidants found in the seeds. But unlike other foods that have antioxidants, what makes the pomegranate special is it contains three types of antioxidants including tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid.
Research also shows that in addition to reducing the risk of cancer, the phyonutrients found in the fruit can help protect the body from diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, premature aging and even erectile dysfunction. Results from a recent 2007 study also show the delicious fruit may act as a memory booster that could reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s when consumed on a regular basis.
Flavourful Seeds for Thought
Quality pomegranates have smooth skin with no cracks or signs of decay. If you are looking for a more sour flavour, choose ones with reddish skin. Sweeter tasting pomegranates appear yellowish-green, but in either case it’s not the skin or interior flesh that is eaten; it’s the crunchy red seeds.
Don’t let the size of the seeds fool you. While slightly smaller than a pea, each seed packs a flavourful punch. They can be used for anything from cheesecakes and dessert garnishes, to martinis and smoothies. For main courses and appetizers, your choices are limitless. Try adding pomegranate seeds to salads, using the juice as a sauce to compliment wild poultry or turkey, or adding the seeds to a stuffing instead of cranberries or currents.
The seeds and juice also go great with lamb. Marinate lamb kebabs in pomegranate syrup or simmer the meat in a mixture of pomegranate juice, lemon and Middle Eastern spices for
a tangy stew.
Growing in Popularity
Add exotic flavour to your menu by creating a signature pomegranate drink or by including it in the title of the entrée such as “Lamb Stew with tangy pomegranates and chestnuts”. Just like the antioxidants in the fruit, a little promotion will go a long way to increase the popularity of the pomegranate with your customers
this autumn season.
Did you know Pomegranates…
Have twice as many free radicals as red wine
Has seven times more antioxidant properties than green tea.
Contain seeds that can help flush fats from the digestive tract.