Shop Smart, Prep Smart: Pomegranates

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If you are lucky enough to live in an area with pomegranate bushes, you just might find a produce stand with these gems, or even a neighbor willing to share their bounty!  These delectable fruits can be messy to eat… here is a way to extract the arils without crushing them or staining your clothes! For ideas about how to serve the arils and why they are a nutritional superstar, read the newspaper article I wrote about them. Be sure to try them on Mia’s Apple Salad, too!

  1. Fill a large bowl with water.
  2. Carefully slice off the top and bottom of the pomegranate.
  3. Score the skin along the sides several times, making segments.
  4. While holding the pomegranate completely under the water in the bowl, pry the pomegranate apart into segments at the score lines.
  5. Carefully free the arils underwater and discard the white structure and skin.
  6. Drain the water and spread the arils on a paper towel to get rid of excess moisture.
  7. Transfer the arils, covered loosely with a damp paper towel to a plastic or glass food storage container.
  8. They will stay fresh for a week or more when kept like this in the refrigerator. They can even be frozen!

Pomegranate season in pretty short (in California: Oct-Dec), but you can store whole pomegranates in the bottom drawer of your refrigerator for several weeks before you are ready for the arils. The arils also freeze very well in zip-top bags (thicker freezer-friendly type), so if you are willing to invest a little time during the season, you can enjoy them for months to come, in smoothies, cooked cereal (oatmeal, is a favorite) or cold cereal, as well as other recipes.

Pomegranate arils are phytonutrient jewels!

Pomegranate arils are phytonutrient jewels!

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