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Turnip the Beet! Nutrition and Wellness

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DIY: Grenadine


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What do Shirley Temples and pomegranate seeds have in common? Grenadine!

Shirley Temples, popular childhood drinks, are made with this bright red syrup, but did you know grenadine is actually made from pomegranate juice?

One of my most coveted celebratory kiddie cocktails as a child was the well-known Shirley Temple–a simple combination of Sprite and grenadine with a few (or more if I was lucky) Maraschino cherries plopped in. Little did I know that the sweet syrup was made from one of my favorite holiday treats! Come to find out (it keeps getting better)...grenadine is easy to make at home and requires only a few ingredients (recipe below). Store bought grenadine is usually made with citric acid, food coloring, preservatives, and high fructose corn syrup. So now, you can impress your guests this holiday season with drinks, desserts and marinades made from your very own home-made grenadine. The home-made version is sure to please so let your taste buds be the judge!

Let's take a deeper look at this fascinating little ruby red gem, the pomegranate seed.


Eating the seeds:

Pomegranates are available in October and November and early into winter which is why they are popular in many holiday-type foods, drinks and desserts.

When you cut one open, you'll find hundreds of pomegranate seeds nestled in a white membrane resembling a honeycomb. The seeds are easy to remove with your fingers or a spoon, but be careful of the juice because it will stain! It is used as a dye in many cultures. Sometimes I will work on removing the seeds in a bowl of water which can help keep the juice contained.

The seeds are surrounded by the pomegranate juice which is encapsulated by a thin skin -- resembling a ruby colored corn kernel no bigger than your pinky nail.

When biting into these little gems the juice will burst filling your mouth with a sweet taste and will leave behind a little white seed. I like to eat the seeds but I have known people to spit them out after the juice has been retrieved. Either way is acceptable! The rind and white flesh of the pomegranate are not typically eaten; however, because they are bitter on the tongue.

The seeds are a low-sodium, low-fat, zero cholesterol snack and are packed with lots of vitamins and minerals.


Nutritional breakdown:

For every ½ Cup of pomegranate seeds (seed/juice sacs) you get...

Calories- 72; Fiber- 3.6 g

Calcium- 9 mg; Potassium- 205 mg

Phosphorus- 31 mg; Vitamin K- 14.3 µg

Folate- 33 µg; Vitamin C- 8.9 mg

Sodium- 3 mg; Fat- 1 g


Grenadine Recipe

Ingredients:

Seeds of 1 pomegranate         sugar, see instructions

1 C water                                 ½ t fresh lemon or lime juice (optional)

almond extract (optional)


Directions:

Cut the pomegranate in half and remove the seeds as described above and place in a heavy saucepan.


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Add water and simmer for 5-7 minutes to release the juice.


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Strain juice through the mesh sieve to separate the seeds. Use a spoon to push out more juice through the sieve. Measure juice (~1 cup).

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Pour juice into the saucepan and add an equal amount of sugar (~1 cup). Bring to a boil then reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes.


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Remove from heat and add a splash of lemon or lime juice and the almond extract, if using.

Cool to room temp before storing.


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Enjoy in a variety of drinks, desserts and marinades!

*This may be refrigerated up to 1 month.





Sources:

USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference



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