Insider’s Viewpoint: Pomegranate Power
Think Pomegranates are intimidating? Think again!!! These little jewels pack a power punch! An average pomegranate contains about 600 juicy seeds, also known as arils, which are encapsulated in white pith. The pomegranate fruit is low in calories, high in fiber, high in vitamins and high in phytochemicals that may promote heart health and help to prevent cancer.
How to Cut a Pomegranate
- Wash the pomegranate well before starting. Any time you’re cutting into a fruit or vegetable with a skin or rind, you take the chance of introducing bacteria from the outer surface into the edible portion. After washing, slice the pomegranate in half horizontally.
- Take one of the halves and hold the cut side down in the palm of your non-dominant hand over a medium size bowl. Spread your fingers a bit and position the pomegranate on top them.
- Take a sturdy spatula or a wooden spoon and begin to hit firmly on the top surface of the pomegranate. This is where some people go wrong. They try this technique and it doesn’t seem to work. If you tap too gently, the seeds will NOT be released. Don’t be afraid to give it some good, hard whacks.
- Continue to firmly tap until all seeds have fallen out. Repeat with other half. You’ll have a bit of white membrane mixed in with the seeds. Just pick this out and discard.
- Store pomegranate arils (seeds) in the refrigerator in an airtight container or zippered bag. Arils will keep this way for 4-5 days. They can also be frozen and stored for several months. To freeze, line a sheet pan with parchment paper or waxed paper. Spread arils in a single layer, uncovered, until frozen, 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer to airtight storage container or freezer-zippered bags.
- That’s it – The Easy Way to Remove Pomegranate Seeds. Super easy. Try it, I think you won’t even believe how simple it is!
Will your holiday season be full of parties and outings with family and friends? This non-traditional bruschetta combines bright red cranberries and pomegranates with creamy goat cheese for a festive sweet and tangy appetizer that both you and your guests will love.
Cranberry and Pomegranate Bruschetta
For the Relish
- 1 pound fresh or frozen cranberries, washed
- 2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger
- 1 cup sugar
- ¼ cup honey
- 2 teaspoons sriracha sauce
- ½ cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro
- Zest of 1 orange, reserve some for garnish
- ¾-1 cup pomegranate arils or seeds
- Finely chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
For the Crostini
- 1 thin baguette sliced about ¼ inch thick
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 ounces goat cheese
- Place cranberries, ginger, sugar, honey, and sriracha in the bowl of food processor. Pulse on and off several times until cranberries are coarsely chopped. Don’t process too much.
- Add cilantro and pulse a few more times. Not too much, you want cilantro bits to be visible and mixture to be a bit chunky.
- Transfer to a storage container and add pomegranate arils and orange zest. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until ready to use.
- For the crostini, preheat oven to 350° F. Line 2 sheet pans with foil or parchment paper, if desired for easy clean up.
- Place baguette slices on prepared pans. Brush lightly with oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and a grind of pepper.
- Bake for 14-18 minutes or until golden, rotating pans halfway through baking time.
- To assemble bruschetta, whisk cream cheese until creamy. Spread about ½-1 tablespoons of cheese on each crostini. Top with a scoop of the relish. Garnish with a bit of orange zest, if desired.
Alyson Fendrick R.D. L.D.