The Potent Pomegranate
We knew that pomegranate, Punica granatum, was delicious and nutritious. But wow! We had no idea just how powerful it is. Pomegranate seems to be a virtual miracle food and every part of the pomegranate plant has beneficial healing properties!
The pomegranate fruit, pith, skin, leaves, flowers, bark and roots all have beneficial medicinal potency. It’s no wonder someone made Christmas ornaments to look like pomegranates!
We’re talking about the delicious, nutritious and super yummy, pomegranate fruit!
How to Deseed Pomegranates
We’ve tried a couple pomegranate deseeder tools to share here. After first posting this article on Facebook, folks in the Gardens All Facebook community have shared some of their favorite techniques. So we’re adding those to the options presented here so you can decide which one works best for you.
Delicious, nutritious… and not so hard to peel after all!
If you hesitate to buy a pomegranate because it’s hard to peel or too messy to bother with.. or, you’re not sure how to cut and process it, this is for you.
We love the delicious, sweet and juicy pomegranate seeds with the extra crunch, fiber and nutrition afforded by the seeds. It makes the treat last longer for better absorption too, because there’s so much substance in each bite that you can’t just down them like a handful of grapes.
My favorite way to eat them is just raw and fresh in a bowl with a couple dollops of organic plain yogurt. Delectable!
Last Year’s Pomegranate Deseeder
So last year we used this pomegranate deseeder: the 60 Second Pomegranate Deseeder:
It works well, except our son eventual broke it by pounding too hard. Chances are that could happen to virtually any of these plastic deseeders, so we don’t fault the product.
However, there are two things we prefer about the new one we’re trying now.
- The bowl contains and saves the juice
- The cover keeps the splatters down
So… less mess, more juice is saved and yet it still helps extract the seeds in a very similar way.
So… here in our video, we show the process for using the The Pomegranate Tool deseeder. You can eat the seeds and the yellowish-white part called pith, but most people find it too bitter. The seeds, called arils, are like little self-contained droplets of juice surrounding a tiny seed.
The pith, similar to the pith of oranges, actually contains a lot of the nutrition. A moderate amount of bitter in nature is often an indication of a medicinal quality, such as the pith or certain greens, like dandelions.
On the box, the directions say to place the bowl over the pomegranate and pound it with a large spoon. However we found that didn’t work very well, Instead, what worked best for us was to pound it with a large spoon directly to the pomegranate to loosen up the seeds.
Once the seeds are loosened up, then it works best to place the bowl over the pomegranate and massage and press the cover while the seeds fall through the screen.
At this point, as you will see in the video, you can remove any of the pith if you prefer. To leave it, adds nutritional benefit but may be too bitter for some.
Thanks to Tim Weathers for sharing this video on the Gardens All Facebook page. It’s a video demonstration of a simple, gadget-free process for cutting a pomegranate. You might want to keep the volume down because none of the sound is relevant and at one point the guy’s cell phone rings. ☺
How to cut and peel a Pomegranate Using only a knife:
Pomegranates originated in arid and semi arid regions of the Middle East and Mediterranean climates. There are numerous varieties of pomegranates and depending on which variety, they can grow in drought tolerant conditions in zone 6-10.
We purchased several pomegranate shrubs from EdibleLandscaping.com, where you can peruse a number of varieties to identify to choose from.
If you can’t find pomegranates locally, you can even buy pomegranate bushes on Amazon:
Where to Buy Pomegranates
Ours aren’t yet producing fruit, so this year we’re still buying them. Our go-to place to buy pomegranates this year is Costco, but you should be able to find them in most grocery stores during pomegranate season between September through February in the northern hemisphere.
Pomegranate Health Benefits
We all know by now that food is medicine. That eating healthy foods is the key to a healthy body. But it’s also true that a leaf of spinach may not be as enticing as a tortilla chip, and a green juice not as crave-inducing as a frappuccino.
Oftentimes that breakfast bagel or afternoon craving for a sweet pick-me-up can be more than satiated by a healthier choice. For me, in pomegranate season, that’s an easy shift. I love an afternoon chai, however, an afternoon pomegranate with a couple spoons of yogurt takes care of the sweet tooth and is substantially more satisfying over the long run.
Substitute Healthy Favorites for Unhealthy Favorites
Food substitution is one of the simplest ways to begin getting healthier and losing weight too, if that’s your goal.
Consuming healthy snacks is like gardening: planting more vegetables, crowds out the weeds.
Eating healthy snacks, replaces the junk.
When we can substitute unhealthy foods for healthy ones, and unhealthy snacks for nutrient dense foods that are also delicious, that’s a win-win we can all experience.
Pomegranate studies show that…
- Daily consumption of pomegranate juice may improve stress-induced myocardial ischemia in patients who have coronary heart disease (CHD)1)http://www.ajconline.org/article/S0002-9149(05)01027-1/abstract
- Pomegranate is highly beneficial for internal and external use, including peel, pith and arils (seeds)2)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11754547
- Pomegranates help in treating and preventing numerous diseases, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, oxidative stress, hyperglycemia, and inflammation.3)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/
- More antioxidant benefit than green tea or red wine.
More Pomegranate Benefits
- Reduces high blood pressure
- Reverse and prevent oxidative stress
- Cancer prevention and remedy
- Obesity (pomegranate seeds)
- Candida (dried powder of pomegranate peel)
- Parasites (bark and roots
- Reproductive Health & Healing
All these many health benefits of pomegranate can be attributed to many properties, including the nutritional profile.
Pomegranates are especially high in:
- Vitamins C & K
- Pantothenic Acid
Simply put, pomegranate is a potent antioxidant, rich in flavonoids, anthocyanins, punicic acid, ellagitannins, alkaloids, fructose, sucrose, glucose, simple organic acids, and more.4)https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4007340/
If you don’t have ready access to fresh pomegranates, you may consider supplements and extracts:
Banana Cinnamon Crepes (gluten free is optional).
We loved this pomegranate recipe!
For some festival recipes perfect for the pomegranate season, you may enjoy these selections on Huffington Post.
Please share your favorite pomegranate recipes in the comments below or on the Gardens All Facebook page.
I’m LeAura Alderson, entrepreneur, ideator, media publisher, writer and editor of GardensAll.com. Pursuits in recent years have been more planting seeds of ideas for business growth more than gardening. However, I’ve always been interested in medicinal herbs and getting nutrition and healing from food over pharmacy. As a family we’re eager to dig more deeply into gardening and edible landscape for the love of fresh organic foods and self sustainability. We thoroughly enjoy and appreciate the creative ingenuity of the GardensAll community.
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