As the busyness of the holiday season kicks into high gear, it’s also the peak of the season for pomegranates. Pomegranates are the perfect way to dress up any dish for the holiday season.
This big, red fruit is full of crunchy juicy-filled seeds, called arils, that make any dish special with their jewel-like appearance. The juicy, sweet cranberry-like juice with a crunchy seed is a treat, as long as you have a few tips in how to access the seeds in this large fruit.
Start by cutting off the top, about a half-inch below the crown. Then score the fruit with a sharp knife. Open the fruit under a bowl of water, allowing the loose arils to sink to the bottom of the bowl. The underwater method prevents the bright red juice from getting on your clothes as you open the fruit. Discard the bitter, white membrane and strain away the water so you are left with a bowl full of ruby-red arils.
Now you can enjoy these beautiful seeds that contribute potassium, vitamin C and fiber simply on their own by the spoonful, as a garnish for any salad, or mixed into yogurt or your breakfast cereal. Pomegranate arils also add a festive appearance to any bubbly holiday beverage or sprinkled on top of any holiday candy or chocolate-covered pretzel treats you may be making this season.
Arils will keep in the refrigerator for approximately five days or frozen for longer storage. A rich source of vitamin C and antioxidants, pomegranates are a smart item to add to your shopping cart this holiday season.
Chicken Pomegranate Salad
1 cup canned pineapple tidbits, drained, reserving juice
3 cups diced cooked chicken
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced red apple
1 cup diced red grapes
½ cup pomegranate arils
1 cup chopped walnuts
½ cup light mayonnaise
½ cup yogurt
¼ cup pineapple juice
- Toss the pineapple in a large bowl with the chicken, celery, apple, grapes, pomegranate seeds and walnuts.
- In a separate bowl, combine mayonnaise, yogurt and reserved pineapple juice.
- Toss dressing with chicken mixture in larger bowl and serve.
5 oz sparkling wine or sparkling cider, chilled
3 oz pomegranate juice, chilled
3 fresh pomegranate seeds
- Pour sparkling wine or cider slowly into a festive 8-ounce
- Slowly fill glass almost to the brim with pomegranate juice.
- Drop in pomegranate seeds and serve
Chocolate Pomegranate Ginger Bark
10 oz bittersweet chocolate (60% cacao), broken into one inch pieces
1 cup pomegranate seeds (from one large pomegranate)
1 ½ TBL minced candied ginger
¼ tsp fine sea salt
- Line a baking sheet with silicone baking mat or waxed paper
- Put the chocolate in shallow bowl and microwave on high until it just starts to melt
- Stir chocolate with spatula until completely melted and smooth, heating in additional 15 second increments if needed
- Carefully stir in half of the seeds, the ginger, and the salt
- Scrape the mixture onto the baking sheet and spread into 8×10 inch rectangle
- Sprinkle remaining seeds over the top, pressing them into the chocolate
- Refrigerate until hard
- Break the bark into chunks and serve
This will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Makes a perfect hostess gift!