Every time I split open a pomegranate, I am amazed at the perfect beauty that is concealed within. The leathery skin with its mild red tones gives way to nature's bling. Tiny, beautiful jewel like seeds hiding beneath sheets waiting to be discovered, waiting to burst with sweet tart juice.
They have always had a special place in my heart. As a child, I remember standing on a chair at my parents sink eating each and every ruby seed in the pomegranate. It was pure happiness for me. Well, maybe not pure happiness- there were constant, friendly reminders that the fruit has a wicked stain and I was essentially shackled to the kitchen sink until I finished. I always finished satisfied, belly swollen with the delicious juice I worked so hard to imbibe, and my fingers stained to prove it.
When I was living in San Francisco with The Husband, during the months of November, I would eat a pomegranate for dessert nightly. It was kind of a ritual. I would slice it open into quarters, and since I was no longer under my folks' watchful eyes, I would grab three old towels and the roll of paper towels and head for the couch. I was, however, always met with my Husband rolling his eyes as I gushed for the umteenth time about how it is the perfect fruit and how each seed is like an explosion of sweetness. I never understood why he just didn't get it.
My home rocks for countless reasons, but one of them is the most luscious pomegranate tree sitting in my backyard. It is a source of my joy and a reminder of the sweet and sourness that the last year has brought. During this week, one year ago, I was told I had cancer. I remember like it was yesterday and many of the emotions are still lingering.
Last year, I remember looking out at the tree and being able to relate with it. I saw the weight of pomegranates barring down the branches, and felt a similar sense of heaviness inside of myself.
As the weeks passed, I was pissed I couldn't fully enjoy the fruit that was overflowing from my tree, that I wasn't well enough to pick them with my kiddos, and that I couldn't share the deliciousness with my family. I was thankful for my Mom and Mother-in-law to each share a special moment with the kids during this time. I remember watching my mom, who was practically living with us (thankfully!), pick the fruits with E and I remember my mother-in-law splitting them open with the boys and watching the joy in their faces as they gobbled the seeds up.
Last weekend, I was thankful and happy to tackle that tree armed with my kids, a John Deer tractor, a stepladder, and scissors. E helped spot the fruit and he and X both helped load'em up in the tractor. We had quite the pile.
All that was left to do was sit down, enjoy, and start our own rituals. Although, X and the Husband abstained...this year. Even baby M had a few seeds!
Why you should dig in?
- They have a very high concentration of antioxidants. Nearly 3 times the antioxidant levels of any other fruit.
- They can help lower high blood pressure and can help reduce bad cholesterol.
- The fruit is very good at promoting anti-aging properties. Whoo Hoo!
- Phytochemicals in pomegranate seeds and juice can help the body fight against some cancers. The juice has shown positive results against prostate and breast cancer.
According to Leo Galland, "The anticancer effects of pomegranate juice are related to its potential ability to induce cancer cells to self-destruct, a process called apoptosis. Laboratory research studies suggest that pomegranate juice may help induce apoptosis of human breast, prostate and colon cancer cells by activating genes and enzymes that regulate apoptosis."
- They are an awesome source of vitamin C, A, fiber, and potassium.
The Pomegranate Bath
The easiest way to clean a pomegranate is to cut it open, put it in a deep bowl of water and split it into quarters. Then just break and pick away the seeds. The white pith will rise to the top while the seeds drop to the bottom. This is so simple and it doesn't stain your hands.
Sprinkle seeds in cereal, oatmeal, or salad.
Add 1 cup of pomegranate to 2 cups of vanilla yogurt and a banana with a dash of apple juice for a delish smoothie.
or serve a rockin' side dish to your Thanksgiving meal...
Barley and Wild Rice Pilaf with Pomegranate Seeds Adapted From: Eating Well
serves 6, 3/4 cup each | Active Time: 20 min | Total Time: 1 hour
2 teaspoons of 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
1/3 cup pine nuts
1 cup pomegranate seeds (1 large fruit)
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons chopped 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, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl to cool.
3. Add pomegranate seeds, lemon zest, parsley and the toasted pine nuts to the pilaf; fluff with a fork. Sprinkle with goat cheese. Serve hot.
*You can also add mushrooms or kale to this.
**You have to try this. So yummy!!!!
Another use for Pomegranates? Skin care!
Because of the antioxidant properties in pomegranates, they are amazing on the skin! They are said to promote the regeneration of cells in the epidermis and dermis. In some labs, it has even reduced skin tumors caused from skin cancer.
These are a few of my favorite Pomegranate 100% Pure products:
Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration SPF 20
I love the Pomegranate Antioxidant Hydration from 100% Pure. It is a light weight, anti-aging facial moisturizer with SPF20 to protect your skin against the sun's harmful UVA and UVB rays. In addition to sun protection, it is concentrated with antioxidants to protect against environmental damage such as pollution, radiation, smoke, smog, car exhaust, etc.
Click here to order!-Pomegranate Antioxidant SPF 20
Pomegranate Body Scrub
I can't say enough about 100% Pures' body scrubs. They exfoliate and leave your skin literally glowing. I love to use the scrub and then shave. You don't even need any shaving cream or soap. It will make for the smoothest shave. It deeply nourishes and hydrates for healthy, glowing skin!
Click here to order! -Pomegranate Body Scrub
Pomegranate Nourishing Body Cream
After the body scrub, hydrate your body more with the Pomegranate Nourishing Body Cream but don't eat it! It smells sweet and delish. It is concentrated with potent anti-aging antioxidants, vitamins, skin softening fruit oils, and moisturizing cocoa and avocado butters.
Click here to order! -Nourishing Body Cream
100% Pure Pomegranate Lip Butter
With an ultra-moisturizing base of organic avocado and shea and cocoa butters leave lips nourished, silky, soft and delightfully infused with natural fruit and berry pigments. I keep this in my purse and it gives my lips a nice pomegranate stain. Love it!
Click here to order! -Lip Butter
Now is a great time to try 100% Pure with alex+von.
*Until 10pm tonight (11/10/11) we are offering 20% off all scrubs and face scrubs!
* If you purchase over $100 you get Fruit Pigmented Lip Butters 3 piece set ($39 value)! Makes a great gift idea or split up into stocking stuffers! (while supplies last)
*If you spend over $150 you get 10% off!
*Free shipping on all order over $50!
Time to stock up for the holidays and treat yourself.
E's drawing of a pomegranate!
Pomegranate: absolutely appropriate that it is the symbol of life, health, and fertility!