pomegranatewebsiteWe’re featuring the delicious pomegranate as our fruit of the month!  If you’ve been shy about grabbing one of these at the grocery store, read on to see how easy it is.

Pomegranates are sized between a lemon and a grapefruit. They are round with a thick reddish or pink coloured skin. As they ripen they take on more of a square shape. Choose pomegranate that is heavy for its size. The heavier ones are juicer. Fresh, whole, unpeeled pomegranates can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months.  Once they are seeded, the seeds will keep in a closed plastic container for a few days or they can be stored in the freezer for up to ten months.  To freeze, dry the seeds and arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet lined with wax paper. When frozen (about 2 hours) place in a freezer bag or plastic container and store in the freezer for up to ten months.

Removing the seeds from a pomegranate can be messy.  Half Your Plate Industry Partners POM wonderful have some great resources that you can use here!   Just remember that the seeds could stain work surfaces so we recommend using a plastic cutting board rather than a wooden one.

Pomegranate seeds can be used in cooking, baking, salads, as a garnish, in juice blends, smoothies and even alcoholic beverages. They also make a great snack right from the bowl.  Make an easy spinach salad by adding thinly sliced red onion, orange wedge and pomegranate seeds with a simple oil and vinegar dressing.

Pomegranates are in season from fall to early winter. A 100g serving of pomegranate seeds has 83 calories and is a good source of Vitamin C, K, folate and fibre and a source of potassium.

Here are some of our favourite pomegranate recipes:Pomegranate tart by Emily Richards

Pomegranate Jewelled Chocolate Coconut Tart: A tasty dessert sure to impress!

Grapefruit-Pomegranate Ceviche from POM Wonderful: A fresh citrusy appetizer that you’ll want to eat as a main.

Fresh Mozzarella, Pomegranate and Basil Bruschetta from POM Wonderful:  What a deliciously sweet appetizer!

Fall Antioxidant Smoothie Bowl from Noelle Parton:  This bowl is packed with great nutrients!

Autumn Squash Quinoa from Teaspoon Living: Delicata squash and pomegranate seeds are the stars of this autumn bowl. The perfect fall lunch!

What are your favourite pomegranate recipes?

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National Salad Month
When I toss romaine hearts into my shopping cart, chances are I'm heading home to make my family’s favourite salad. Every cook should know the joy of crafting a true Caesar salad while avoiding the also-ran dressings at the supermarket that never quite measure up to the real thing. Over time we’ve experimented with lots of additional flavours in this salad but, more often than not, I toss in lots of fresh basil leaves and brightly flavoured cherry tomatoes. What a great way to fill Half Your Plate! SERVES 4 TO 6 For the croutons 1 baguette, cut into large bite-sized cubes 1/4 cup (60 mL) of water 1/4 cup (60 mL) of your best olive oil For the dressing 6 thick slices of bacon, finely cut 1/4 cup (60 mL) of extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup (60 mL) of Dijon mustard 4 cloves of garlic a full 2-ounce (50 g) can of anchovies the zest and juice of 2 lemons 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of honey a dash or two of your favourite hot sauce For the salad 3 hearts of romaine lettuce, rinsed and sliced into bite sized pieces 1 large bunch of basil leaves 2-ounces or so of Parmigiano-Reggiano, shaved into thin pieces with a vegetable peeler 1 pound of cherry tomatoes, sliced in half Preheat your oven to 375ºF. Turn on your convection fan if you have one. Begin with the croutons. Sprinkle the bread cubes with water and toss until evenly absorbed. Continue tossing with the oil until it too is absorbed. Spread the works out on a baking tray and bake until the croutons are crispy, crunchy and thoroughly golden brown, 20 to 30 minutes. Remove and cool while you prepare the rest of the salad. Make the dressing. Toss the bacon and a big splash of water into a pan over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring frequently until the bacon is fully browned and evenly crispy, 10 minutes or so. Strain off the bacon bits and reserve for garnishing. Reserve all, some or none of the tasty fat. Measure the oil, Dijon, garlic, anchovies, lemon zest and juice, honey and hot sauce into your blender or food processor. Add the reserved bacon fat. Purée until smooth. Make the salad. In a large salad bowl toss together the romaine leaves, basil leaves, croutons and tomatoes. Pour in the dressing and toss the works until the salad is evenly dressed. Top with the bacon and Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serve and share! Freestyle Flavour You can easily elevate this salad into an entire meal by adding lots of your favourite protein. Try grilling off a few chicken breasts and thinly slicing them into the works. A filet or two of salmon, grilled steak, pork tenderloin, even chunks of tofu can be added for a full protein kick.
Basil Caesar Salad
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