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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!

The Power of a Pomegranate


I love pomegranates and knowing that they are also highly nutritious makes me love them even more! 

If you are familiar with the pomegranate, you know not to bite into it like you would an apple. It won't be a pleasant experience! In fact, the pomegranate is unlike most any fruit. The edible part of the fruit is called the aril, which is a tiny red seed casing. A pomegranate has many arils embedded in its white membrane.Have you ever tried one of your kids candy that "pops" when you bite into it?  Well, when you bite into the aril, a sweet-tart juice will explode in your mouth; then, you're left with a seed to crunch on. Introduce your child (over 3 years old) to the colorful and tasty pomegranate arils.  They make an excellent snack and will have your kids asking for more of the nutritious fruit. 

To select a pomegranate, choose one that is heavy for its size, which hopefully means it has lots of arils. To get the arils out, first cut off the top with a knife, about a half-inch below the crown. Then, score the fruit into sections and open it up with your hands over a bowl of water to catch the loose arils. Simply strain the water and you're left with a couple handfuls of arils to snack on. Try sprinkling them on salads, breakfast cereal or on top of a yogurt parfait.

Pomegranates are highly nutritious. They're packed with antioxidants, vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber. The nutritional benefits are just one of the reasons manufacturers started marketing pomegranate juice. However, because the juice is more concentrated it will have more sugar than whole pomegranates.  Try diluting it with water or pour only 1/2 cup serving sizes. If you've never tried pomegranates before, give it try! They're fun and tasty for the whole family!

Pomegranate Spinach Salad

1 (10 ounce) bag spinach leaves

¼ red onion, thinly sliced

½ cup walnuts, chopped

½ cup crumbled feta

1 pomegranate, peeled and arils separated

4 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

Place washed and dried spinach in a salad bowl. Add red onion, walnuts, feta, and pomegranate arils. Toss. Drizzle with vinaigrette and toss.

 

Yield: 5 servings

Nutrient analysis per serving: 180 Calories, 13 grams fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 270 milligrams sodium, 11 grams total carbohydrate, 4 grams dietary fiber, 7 grams protein



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