What is it about this rouged little orb that’s so irresistible? Since biblical times we’ve been cracking open this majestically-crowned fruit to reveal its ruby red seeds, bursting with sweetness and glistening like treasure. One of the first fruits to be cultivated by humans, the pomegranate appears in ancient art, history and legend and used as a symbol of fertility, wealth and power.
In ancient Ayurvedic medicine (and many other religions and cultures around the world) the pomegranate is often used in traditional remedies. At Raw we believe in the power of plants and the benefits of eating them as close to their natural state as possible, so naturally the healing properties of the pomegranate intrigue us. We decided to have a closer look at the pomegranate and its special qualities.
- Taste Sensations
It’s hard to deny the juicy little gems packed tightly inside the tough exterior are a delight in themselves. But quite aside from any wellbeing benefits, the seeds (officially called arils), popped out from their foamy casing, are something akin to mother nature’s popping candy – bursting with fizzling sweet (or sour) flavour. Sprinkle them on salads or eat them straight from the fruit.
- Beautiful antioxidants
One of the most provocative things about a pomegranate is the colour of the seeds, but the colour is in fact a byproduct of a very useful health benefit. The deep ruby red is caused by polyphenols – a powerful antioxidant, linked to many positive possible health benefits:
- Preventing cellular damage from pollution and smoking
- Anti-inflammatory properties
- Potentially lowering the risk of some chronic diseases
- Antioxidants are being researched in terms of being
Many fruits and veg contain these antioxidants, but considering pomegranate juice contains higher levels of antioxidants than most other fruit juices (and three times as much as red wine), it might be time to get a little of that red stuff in your everyday?
Along with antioxidants, pomegranates are also packing a whole lot of vital vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin C: 17% of your RDA
- Vitamin B5:
- 19 percent of a day’s potassium, 17 percent of its manganese
- Vitamin K: 14% of your RDA
And that’s not the limit to this little berry’s powers – it’s also been used for digestion and is a great source of dietary fibre, not to mention it’s in the running as the most heart-healthy juice, appearing to protect the heart and arteries by preventing the arteries from thickening.
So how’d you use this power-packed benefit-boosted superfruit? Here’s how to make the best of it:
Get into it
Score the fruit with a knife and break it open. *Top tip*: Separate seeds from the pulp in a bowl of water – the seeds sink and the pulp floats.
Drink it up
Obviously pomegranate juice is great on its on, or as a mixer, but there’s also the deliciously syrupy, somehow both sweet and sour older sister: Grenadine. Commonly used in cocktails like a Tequila Sunrise or a Sea Breeze, give it a go in a healthier, booze-free concoction such as the Cinderella, made by shaking pineapple juice, orange juice, soda water and grenadine served over ice.
Our RAW Organic Pomegranate vinegar (yes vinegar!) is so versatile. Like the juice it is both sweet and zingy but is also raw, unfiltered and unpasteurised (ensuring the beneficial properties of the ‘mother’ remain intact). We make it with naturally fermented pomegranates and you can use it as a marinade, a tonic, in your salad dressings and in sauces.
Generously chuck the seeds all over a herby green salad for a crunchy sweet kick; this little gem goes particularly well with butternut squash and feta.
Need more inspiration?