They are sweet, tart and tasty. If you’ve never had fresh pomegranate, now is the perfect time to experiment. That’s because they are only available September through January.
Considered a super food, pomegranate contains calcium, potassium, and iron, as well as compounds known as phytonutrients, which help the body protect against heart disease, diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis and cancer. Pomegranates are also loaded with antioxidants and can neutralize more free radicals than red wine and green tea.
In fact, a University of California study ranked pomegranate juice No. 1 because it contains the most of every type of disease-fighting antioxidants.
A medium pomegranate is about the size of a large orange, weighs about 9 ounces and yields about 5 ounces of fruit (3/4 cup) and 4 ounces (1/2 cup) of juice.
While the fruit’s exterior is tough and leathery, the inside is packed with hundreds of ruby-red sweet, tart seeds, which provide about 2 grams of fiber. A medium pomegranate has about 105 calories and 25 grams of sugar.
You can eat pomegranates straight up or sprinkle the seeds over salads, fruit desserts, oatmeal, cereal, or yogurt. I add fresh pomegranate seeds to my morning oatmeal, but my favorite way to enjoy it is plain fat-free Greek-strained yogurt:
Seeds from 1/2 fresh pomegranate
6 oz Fage Total 0% Yogurt
1 tbsp extra virgin coconut oil
Mix all your ingredients in a bowl and enjoy!
Another delicious recipe from Los Angeles-based chef and author Suzanne Goin is a persimmon and pomegranate salad with arugula and hazelnuts (you can grab the recipe and watch a prep video on MarthaStewart.com).
Note that removing seeds from a pomegranate can get very messy (make sure you’re not wearing a white T-shirt). Pomegranate.org, however, offers a simple 3-step process to prep the fruit correctly.
Why does this matter to you? Buying fruit that’s in season means you’ll get the best quality and the best price. Fresh fruits are healthy, low in fat and reduce the risk of many illnesses and chronic diseases.