Published on August 30th, 2016 | by Brenda Cobb0
A Persian and south Asian native, the unusual pomegranate is one of the oldest fruits known to man. It has vied for leadership in popularity and importance with the fig and the grape since the earliest times. Long considered a native of China, it was actually brought to that country from Afghanistan under the Han dynasty in 126 B.C. When the Moors conquered Spain about 800 A.D., they introduced the pomegranate into the Iberian peninsula and the fruit became the emblem of Granada, whose name was derived from it. The Spanish conquistadors brought the pomegranate to America, where it quickly escaped from cultivation, no doubt because of the plentiful seeds.
A good quality pomegranate should be fresh-looking, plump and heavy for its size, with a hard, reddish-brown rind. Choose the larger fruits over the smaller ones and heavier over lighter, as these promise the most juice. The pomegranate is unique in that its thin, rough rind contains a multitude of seeds, each surrounded by bright red or crimson juicy pulp, and sectioned by a bitter, spongy membrane. Cut in half, the fruit is so decorative that a favorite fabric of Renaissance Italy carried the design of the opened fruit.
One way to obtain the pomegranate’s refreshing juice easily is to bruise the fruit by rolling it on a hard surface until entirely soft, then puncture the end of it, insert a straw, and drink the delicious sweet juice. Or, cut a thin slice off to release the juice and press the seeds in a sieve over a bowl. The seeds are edible, and some people enjoy their crunch and color, adding them as a garnish to salads, soups, sauces and desserts.
Pomegranate juice is cleansing and cooling to the system, excellent for bladder disorders and has a slight purgative effect. The rind and partitions of the pomegranate are not generally eaten due to their high tannic acid content. The astringent quality of the rind does, however, make an excellent skin wash.
Raw pomegranates contain calcium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, B vitamins and vitamin C. When combined with fresh greens, they make a delicious and special salad.
Pomegranate Arugula Salad
½ cup pomegranate juice
2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. Himalayan salt
1 tsp fresh basil
Pinch cayenne pepper
4 cups arugula
¼ cup green onions
½ cup pine nuts
1 cup pomegranate seeds
Mix the pomegranate juice, vinegar, oil, pepper and salt together into a dressing.
Chop the basil and onions and combine with the arugula.
Toss all together and top with the pine nuts and pomegranate seeds.
Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle and founder of the Living Foods Institute, an educational center and therapy spa in Atlanta offering Healthy Lifestyle courses on nutrition, cleansing, healing, anti-aging, detoxification, relaxation and cleansing therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or 1-800-844-9876 and visit LivingFoodsInstitute.com.