I think God had a sense of humor the day he created the pomegranate.
I’ve never in my life experienced such a sweet, juicy and delectable fruit… that was so absurdly difficult to get at. (Although the coconut ranks high up there too).
But all the hard work and time is usually worth it in the end.
Health benefits of the pomegranate:
- Pomegranate seeds contain high levels of flavonoids and polyphenols–some pretty powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals and protect us against disease.
- Contains phytochemical compounds that stimulate serotonin and estrogen receptors, improving symptoms of depression.
- May be useful in fighting osteoarthritis, by cutting levels of inflammatory chemicals and stopping enzymes that erode cartilage.
- One pomegranate has about 40 percent RDA of Vitamin C, along with Vitamins A, E, folic acid, fiber, potassium and niacin.
- In recent studies, compounds only found in pomegranates called punicalagins are shown to offer powerful benefits to the heart and blood vessels by lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and increasing the speed at which heart blockages dissipate.
And this is just a portion of the health benefits this miracle fruit is said to provide. But what are the best ways to enjoy a pomegranate?
Enjoy seeds plain or frozen (yumm!)
Sprinkle seeds over salads or other prepared dishes
Mix seeds into yogurt, oats, cereal or desserts
Make homemade pomegranate sorbet from frozen seeds
Enjoy fresh pomegranate juice (you know I did!)
But I also got a bit creative with these seeds and had a practice run with one of the dishes I think I’ll be making for Christmas dinner. Let’s call this, Merry Christmas Cabbage & Kale. I started off with a base of chopped fennel, leeks, celery and red cabbage in the slow cooker. Cabbage takes awhile to cook so I let it go for about two hours. I later added some curly kale, dried cherries and a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds.
Merry Christmas Cabbage & Kale
Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time: 2.5 hours
Keywords: slow-cooker saute party food side gluten-free low fat low-carb nut-free soy-free sugar-free vegan vegetarian kale cabbage Christmas Easter Thanksgiving winter fall
Ingredients (serves 6)
- 1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
- 1 sm. fennel bulb, sliced
- 1 leek, chopped (may substitute onion)
- 4 stalks celery, chopped
- 4 c. green curly kale (stems removed and chopped)
- 2 tbs. balsamic vinegar
- juice from 1/2 lemon
- 1/4 c. orange juice
- 1/2 c. dried cherries (may substitute dried cranberries)
- 1/4 c. pomegranate seeds
- salt and pepper to taste
Wash, prep and chop veggies.
Combine cabbage, fennel, leeks, celery, orange juice, lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper in slow cooker.
Add about 1 c. water and cook on high for about 2 hours until cabbage is fully softened.
Remove cabbage and veggies using tongs into large saute pan on stovetop.
Add kale and dried cherries and cook until kale is bright green and cherries have softened.
*It’s important to discard the kale stems, because they require longer cooking time to soften. If using stems, cook until stems soften, but you will loose the bright green color of the kale.
Add pomegranate seeds and stir until slightly warmed.
Serve and enjoy!
This turned out absolutely delicious. The bittersweet taste of the cabbage and the spiciness of the fennel, combined with tart dried cherries and juicy pomegranate seeds… is one heck of a combo! Full recipe here.
Merry Christmas Florida-style! We are still enjoying some gorgeous weather around here. Gorgeous enough that I’ve been spending a lot of time studying for my finals out on the patio.
To everybody else cramming for finals this week–hang in there! The end is near! ;)