Pomegranate sounds scary. However breaking through the hard skin and getting into the juicy ruby-red seeds (also known as arils, is worth the 10 minutes effort as the health benefits of pomegranate are extensive. These fruits are widely consumed and have been used as preventive and therapeutic agents since ancient times.
Tart arils help to maintain a strong immune system. Plus it might help add flavor to your salads or your seltzers.
Let's take a look at pomegranates' history and health benefits, and how they should be added to a diet.
Pomegranate is thought to have originated in Persia, but it now grows in many countries throughout the world. It is widely cultivated for both its fruit and because the pomegranate plant is an attractive ornamental landscape specimen plant.
The botanical name for pomegranate is Punica granatum. The word "granatum" means a seed-bearing structure with seeds.
The word "pomegranate" comes from medieval Latin and means apple with many seeds.
Pomegranates are now widely grown throughout the world for their health-giving properties, tolerance of heat and cold, decorative value, high productivity, and industrial usefulness.
They are cultivated in most warm temperate to subtropical regions of the world and in certain tropical areas.
Pomegranates are very drought tolerant plants which make them well adapted to hot climates such as those found in Southwestern Asia and California's San Joaquin Valley.
Once established these plants will grow and fruit prolifically with very little maintenance required.
How do I prepare and eat pomegranates?
Pomegranates can be eaten in a variety of ways. The most well-known way is to eat the seeds inside, which are full of health benefits. The taste has been described as somewhere between apple and grapefruit, perhaps a little tangy.
You can use them in smoothies, salads or desserts, pomegranate jelly, pomegranate juice, or pomegranate martinis.
While traveling in Turkey I was amazed to watch how they juice pomegranate in the streets in seconds, using a pomegranate press, and it is a more popular juice than orange juice; no wonder why... it is delicious and has tons of health benefits.
They are commonly used on top of the famous Middle East Eggplant Dip, Babaganoush, and the pomegranate molasses are also used in famous dishes like the Roasted Peppers Muhammara Dip, and the Lebanese salad, Fatoush.
Pomegranates are commonly sold in markets already prepared and ready to eat. The arils can be scooped out of the fruit's interior…
Although you only need
- Water (optional)
Pomegranate - how to juice
If you are looking into how to make pomegranate juice, you have arrived dot the right place. Although you only need a pomegranate fruit itself, I like to add some water in order to facilitate the blender's work and the sieving process.
I find that adding water also balances the tartness, and of course, makes the pomegranate yield more volume, but that is completely optional.
Top tip: use an apron before you start, as pomegranates tend to sprinkle. No worries, the drops look like red wine, but they don't stain permanently, but still, you will need to wash any fabric to easily get rid of the stain.
Cut the pomegranate
Trim off the crown with the tip of a knife.
Check where the star angles are, then cut the top, in a pentagon shape.
Continue scoring the skin halfway down.
Then open the fruit, like an open flower.
Place the pomegranate seeds into a large mixing bowl with water and deseed.
The juicy seeds will sink while the peels (white membranes) float. Use the colander to skim peel from the top of the water and drain arils in a colander.
Doing the deseeding underwater helps to prevent the red drops to sprinkle all over you.
Strain the pomegranate arils using a colander. At this point, you can use your pomegranates arils to place them on top of baba ganoush, desserts, or blend them in a smoothie, like our superfood detox smoothie.
Place the pomegranate arils in a high-speed blender, and add water.
Blend for 40 seconds until perfectly mixed. It will look creamy with a silky dark pink color.
Sieve the liquid with a fine-mesh colander. You will notice that the liquid is thick; no worries, stir with a spoon to accelerate the process; it will not take more than one or two minutes.
And that is it; you have a fresh pomegranate juice, ready to drink.
Serve in a glass or store in a mason jar or a container with a closed lid.
Sometimes, and just for a change, I like adding a knob of fresh ginger to the blender. If you are like us and like adding ginger to your sweets and soups, you will surely love our carrot and ginger soup made easier with a blender.
To juice your pomegranate, you need a:
- High-speed blender
- Large or medium mixing bowl
A blender is an excellent choice for making this delicious cleanse juice, designed for Juicer-less mates!
How to select and store pomegranates?
Pomegranates feel sturdy on top. Don't overthink the hue because it shows the pomegranates type and not their maturity - colors ranging from vibrant pinks to bright reds.
Avoid any pomegranate which shows signs of bleeding. It's easy to store pomegranates in the fridge or freezer.
The whole fruit may sit at your kitchen temperature for about a week and be stored in the freezer for two weeks.
Fridge - you can store pomegranate juice in the fridge using a closed mason jar, for up to 5 days.
Freezer - what is nice about freezing the juice is that it holds better the taste and color.
To freeze pomegranate juice, make sure you leave about ½-inch (about 1 cm) headspace to allow for expansion. Always store in an upright position until frozen.
Pomegranate seeds (arils)
Fridge - use an airtight container and keep the arils in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Freezer - spread the pomegranates arils on a parchment-lined baking sheet, and freeze for 1 hour. Then transfer them to a freezer bag or an airtight container.
The arils will be good to use for up to 1 year. Simply thaw them leaving them in the fridge overnight, or use them as they are if adding to a smoothie, where you use frozen fruits regularly.
10 Health benefits of pomegranates
Drinking pomegranate juice has many potential health benefits and helps find many serious diseases.
High blood pressure
The pomme is also rich in folate and potassium, a key factor in maintaining healthy blood pressure and healthy blood flow.
In one study, people suffering from hypertension experienced a reduction in blood pressure after consuming pomegranate juice daily for two weeks.
If you are fighting against high blood pressure and need to improve systolic blood pressure, pomegranate extract or juice may help to lower blood pressure.
Pomegranates are great for cardiovascular health, as they help with blood flow and appear to protect the heart and arteries. This is why it is considered one of the most heart-healthy juice.
Studies have shown that pomegranate juice keeps the arteries from becoming stiff and thick, improving heart health.
If you suffer from heart disease, consuming pomegranate juice would be great. Remember to consume with your doctor, as some studies find that pomegranate juice may not interact well with certain medications.
Several studies suggest that drinking pomegranate juice may help slow the spread of prostate cancer cells.
Pomegranates may help fight inflammation because of their high concentration of antioxidants. It can help reduce inflammation throughout the body and prevent oxidative stress and damage.
Chronic inflammation is a widespread problem that can be linked with a healthy diet.
If fighting inflammation is your main goal, alternate this juice with our anti-inflammation juice.
Improves exercise capacity
Is Pomegranate a good food for weight loss?
A significant increase in the intake of pomegranate does not necessarily result in weight loss overnight.
Currently, there is very little evidence that pomegranate can be helpful for fat loss but the research suggesting this connection was very small or not important for conclusions.
But, a study in athletes running on a treadmill showed that one gram of pomegranate extract 30 minutes before exercise significantly enhanced blood flow, delaying fatigue and increasing exercise efficiency.
Although more studies are needed, it seems that we can benefit from consuming pomegranate — like beetroots —for physical performance. See our pre-workout beet juice and your perfectly balanced post-workout smoothie.
Despite the weight reduction benefits, pomegranates are a vital component in healthy eating and are also good for the body and can reduce weight.
Pomegranate holds dietary fiber and may help reduce weight if eaten as a healthy sweet treat instead of more caloric-dense sweets.
Also, endurance while exercising may help contribute to higher caloric burn.
Drinking pomegranate juice for brain health
Another study in 28 older adults with mild memory complaints found that 1 daily cup (8 ounces) of pomegranate juice helped to improve verbal and visual memory.
One study found that subjects consuming 8 ounces (1 cup) of pomegranate juice daily helped half of the participants to experience an improvement in their erections. The fruit's vitamin may help with erectile dysfunction.
Antioxidants found in pomegranate juice have higher levels than most other juices, including high levels of Vitamin C, one of the most potent antioxidants.
Pomegranate juice's antioxidant activity is way bigger than that of common, well-known antioxidants containing fruits and vegetables.
Rheumatoid arthritis and joint pain
We know that arthritis has become a common problem in Western countries, often linked to lifestyle habits.
Studies in mice indicate that pomegranate extract may be beneficial against arthritis, but still, human research is needed.2.
Pomegranate was traditionally used as a diabetes remedy in India and some countries in the Middle East.
While more research needs to be done, it is agreed that pomegranate juice may help lower blood sugar and decrease insulin resistance. 1.
You can widely find pomegranate juice, but we prefer fresh pomegranate juice, as its flavor is better and its Vitamin c is better preserved.
The Health benefits of pomegranate don't end here, we have picked the ten we consider to be the most prominent, but there are many more.
Side Effects of Eating Pomegranates and Potential Health Risks
Pomegranates have a good reputation. Some people, on the other hand, maybe allergic to pomegranate.
Typically, allergic reactions are apparent by the following symptoms: an itchy eye and difficulties breathing.
Pomegranate juice may hinder the effectiveness of other drugs, including cholesterol-lowering and blood-pressure medication.
It would make sense to check the medical practitioner before starting to take any form of a pomegranate; this helps to determine the risks involved.
Nutrition of pomegranates
One Cup of Pomegranate seeds contains 117 calories, 6 grams of fiber, 26 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fats, and 2 grams of protein.
More healthy juices recipes
We love green juices to start our day, and this Simple Detox Green Juice checks all the boxes.
Since we are carrot lovers and admirers of great skin, the Carrot, apple, and celery juice, and health benefits, is the juice that we drink the most, along with our Morning celery juice which has great anti-inflammatory benefits.
The Beetroot, apple, and celery juice is our juice of choice previous to workout, given beets' amazing recovery benefits.
If you liked this post, I am sure you will love to learn how to make strawberry juice at home and learn about its health benefits.
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don't forget to tag a photo #ourplantbasedworld on Instagram. Cheers!
Pomegranate recipe juice
- 1 large pomegranate about 21 ounces, 600 grams = deseeded 11.5 oz (325 grams)
- 5.5 oz water 155 ml
Cut the pomegranate
- Trim off the crown with the tip of a knife. Check where the star angles are, then cut the top in a pentagon shape.
- Continue scoring the skin halfway down.
- Then open the fruit like an open flower.
- Place the pomegranate seeds into a large mixing bowl with water and deseed.
- The juicy seeds will sink while the peels (white membranes) float. Use the colander to skim peel from the top of the water and drain arils in a colander.
- Strain the pomegranate arils using a colander. At this point, you can use your pomegranates arils to place them on top of baba ganoush, desserts, or blend them in a smoothie, like our superfood detox smoothie.
Juice pomegranate juice
- Place the pomegranate arils in a high-speed blender, add water, and blend for 40 seconds.
- Sieve the liquid with a fine-mesh colander. You will notice that the liquid is thick; no worries, stir with a spoon to accelerate the process. It will not take more than one or two minutes.
- And that is it; you have fresh pomegranate juice, ready to drink.
We sometimes take for granted that we have years (or decades) of cooking experience that the average visitor may not. Add to, or remove from, the list below with health and safety tips.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking points to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist's advice. See our full Nutritional Disclosure here.
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