Thursday, February 24, 2011

Pomegranate "How To"

We hear and read more and more about the health benefits of pomegrantes. But I sometimes wonder if that fruit, in its normal, fruit-like dimension, isn't one of the most-ignored fruits in the market. I can imagine them saying "Choose me, choose me, please" and then sighing dejectedly as yet another shopping cart and customer moves on to the next display -- the customer with a puzzled look on his face.

So here we go. Let's pick one up ... a nice heavy one so that it has lots of the precious seeds. And let's take it home with us and dig in!

Digging in is actually quite the correct concept. We don't bite into it -- ouch! It's the seeds that we're after. In fact, with just a tiny bit of juice for the seeds to live in, and lots of white pithy substance, that's all that's inside the pretty, deep-red fruit.

First we cut off the stem end. That was easy.

Next we cut the fruit into halves, and then those halves in half so that we end up with quarters. Pretty easy too.

And then we just dig in! But first we dive in. Yes, removing the seeds while each quarter is immersed in a container of water is an easy way to separate the seeds from the pulp bits. The seeds sink to the bottom and the pulp bits float.

Thumbs work particularly well to get at the seeds, releasing them from the white pulp with ease.

After all four quarters have been completed, you'll have about two small handfuls of those precious pomegranate seeds.

And you'll have several big handfuls of pulp to be discarded.

Unless I am making a particularly-large salad for a big group of people, I like to use the seeds a few tablespoonfuls at a time. They freeze beautifully ... just spread them in a single layer on a tray in the freezer for a few hours. Then, package them up for future scooping. A small, glass jelly jar is just about the right size and keeps them nice-and-fresh in the freezer.

So now, when those pomegranates come calling in the supermarket, maybe they won't have to feel like the wallflowers at the school dance any longer?

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