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       Volume I - October 31, 2008, 2008

Pomegranates: The Red Seed Protector
by Patty Liston

What the heck to do with a pomegranate? Well, it turns out, quite a bit. And the added bonus is that studies have shown that it is good for fighting diseases such as cancer and high blood pressure.

The pomegranate - a tough, leathery fruit packed with delicious, edible seeds - has been used medicinally since ancient times. When present-day researchers recently took a closer look, reviewing over 90 pomegranate-related studies, what did they find? Pomegranates have antioxidant, anticarcinogenic, anti-inflammatory, and even antimicrobial properties.

Barley & Wild Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds

2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup wild rice, rinsed
1/2 cup pearl barley
3 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup pomegranate seeds (1 large fruit; see Tip)
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened. Add wild rice and barley; stir for a few seconds. Add broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until the wild rice and barley are tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed, 45 to 50 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, toast pine nuts in a small, dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until light golden and fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
3. Add pomegranate seeds, lemon zest, parsley and toasted pine nuts to the pilaf; fluff with a fork. Serve hot.

TIPS: You can slice the pomegranate from crown to bottom. Holding onto half , turn it seed side down and “tap” the seeds out with a small rolling pin.
To avoid the enduring stains of pomegranate juice, work under water! Fill a large bowl with water. Hold the pomegranate in the water and slice off the crown. Lightly score the fruit into quarters, from crown to stem end. Keeping the fruit under water, break it apart, gently separating the plump arils from the outer skin and white pith. The seeds will drop to the bottom of the bowl and the pith will float to the surface. Discard the pith. Pour the seeds into a colander. Rinse and pat dry. The seeds can be frozen in an airtight container or sealable bag for up to 3 months.

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Prepare through Step 2. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. To reheat, place in a baking dish, add 1/4 cup water and cover. Microwave on high for 10 to 15 minutes or bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 minutes.         
  Download this recipe.

Antioxidant Rich Fruit Salad

One cantaloupe
1 ˝ - 2 cups blueberries (drained well)
1 pomegranate

Cut cantaloupe into chunks and place in bowl with blueberries, and seeded pomegranate. Mix well. Great for breakfast or snack when you want something “sweet”.

  Download this recipe.

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