Harvest of the Month: Pomegranates

Pomegranates are a fruit with amazing health benefits. The edible seeds inside, called arils, are loaded with antioxidants. Studies have shown that pomegranates may help prevent heart disease by improving blood flow to the heart and preventing plaque from building up in blood vessels. The downside is that eating a pomegranate takes work to get to the juicy seeds, and juicing them is tricky. The good news is that now you can buy pomegranate juice in bottles and the seeds are pre-packaged. The health benefits, along with their unique, pleasant flavor and vibrant color, make pomegranates worth a try!

How to Select

The outside of a pomegranate can vary from pink to a deep ruby red. Choose pomegranates by weight rather than by color. The heavier they are, the more juice they contain.

How to Store

Store the whole fruit at room temperature for up to one week, or refrigerate for up to two weeks. You can also freeze the seeds in a plastic bag or container for several months.

How to Prepare

To remove pomegranate seeds with no mess, partially fill a deep bowl with water. Cut the pomegranate into quarters, then hold the pieces underwater and gently nudge the seeds loose. The seeds will float so you can easily lift them out of the bowl with a slotted spoon or your hands. You can also juice a pomegranate the same way you would any citrus fruit using a hand-press or electric juicer. Keep in mind that you can also find pomegranate seeds and juice at your grocery store—no prep needed!

Try pomegranates in the delicious recipe for Pear, Pomegranate, and Spinach Salad from Cooking Classy.

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