So exotic of a fruit is the pomegranate that it appears in religious texts, romantic literature, and famous paintings. Its outside appearance keeps secret that inside resides ruby red arils that pop with bright sweet-tart flavor. In Greek mythology legend has it that Aphrodite planted the first pomegranate tree, thus giving the fruit its aphrodisiac reputation.
A number of ancient religions considered it a sacred symbol of abundance, fertility, and eternal life. Egyptian pharaohs were buried with pomegranates to ensure rebirth. It appears in many depictions of Madonna and Christ, including the famous portrait by Botticelli. And some use the fruit for festive decoration during the Christmas season.
A powerhouse of antioxidants, especially polyphenols, just one glass of pomegranate juice supplies the body with more cancer fighting agents then green tea or cranberry juice combined. Rich in vitamin C, these little jewels help keep the immune system strong and combat physical signs of aging. Chinese medicine uses the stunning red seeds to settle a stomach ache and lift the mood.
Add a pop of festive scarlet to salads, meats, cereal grains, and desserts. Pomegranate seeds look stunning in the bottom of a champagne glass, sprinkled on top of pancakes, or tossed with pineapple and balsamic vinegar. Pomegranate juice,made more accessible by the company POM, can serve as an alternative to orange juice, especially if you suffer from joint pain or get chronic bronchitis in the winter.
To de-seed this fruit cut through it horizontally so there are two halves. Score each half’s rind in several places keeping the top intact. Cup the open side of the pomegranate with one hand and hit the pomegranate with a wooden spoon with the other hand. Collect the arils in a bowl and use within five days.
Steel Cut Oats with Creamy Yogurt and Pomegranates
- 1/2 tablespoon butter
- 1-cup steel cut oats
- 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (the more exotic the origin the better)
- 3 cups boiling water
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup pomegranate arils
- 2 tablespoons of local honey
- 2 tablespoons dried cranberries
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
In a large sauce pan, melt the butter over medium high heat. Add the oats. Stir the oats for 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Add the boiling water and reduce the heat to a simmer. Keep the oats at a low simmer for 25 minutes, without stirring.
Combine the milk with the oatmeal. Stir gently to combine and cook for an addition 5 – 8 minutes. Stir the cranberries, cinnamon, and honey into the mixture. Spoon into individual serving bowls and top with Greek yogurt and pomegranate arils.