Pomegranate season is underway! The pomegranate is a fun-to-eat and unusual treat, packing a tart and sweet taste. Not only is it tasty, but this beautiful fruit is also celebrated for its medicinal powers.
Pomegranates were first introduced into California by Spanish settlers in 1769, and Californians have been spoiled with this ruby red fruit ever since. The good news for pomegranate fans is that high temperatures are essential during the fruiting period to get the best flavor in the seeds. With this summer being a hot one, (according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, it was the hottest California summer in recorded history!) you can find the sweetest, juiciest and tastiest pomegranates at our Saturday Markets this fall, picked fresh just for you!
Here are three great reasons to stock up on pomegranates at the Saturday Farmers Market!
1. Pomegranates Are Good For You
The pomegranate is known as a superfood – a food that has an extreme amount of nutrition in proportion to its tiny size and calorie count. Its jewel-like seeds (arils) have been used for medicinal purposes for millennia. Packed with powerful antioxidants and vitamins, it is said to help stomach upsets, lower blood pressure, stimulates the immune system, ward off the flu, reduce inflammation and lower cholesterol.
Pomegranate juice packs a high antioxidant potency punch – this royal red juice has an even higher concentration of antioxidants than other sources of dietary antioxidants such as red wine, grape juice, blueberry juice, cranberry juice and green tea!
2. Pomegranates Have a Long Shelf Life
Whole pomegranates keep well at room temperature and away from sunlight for several days and up to three months when refrigerated in plastic bags. Fresh arils (the seeds) can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If you freeze the arils in single layers on trays, or juice the pomegranates, they can be safely stored for six months or longer in the freezer in an airtight container.
3. Pomegranates Just Taste Great
Pomegranate seeds taste great on their own, you just peel and eat! You can also use pomegranates in desserts – sprinkle a few seeds over ice cream, frozen yogurt, or sorbet. Pomegranates are at once sweet and tart, making their flavor perfect for chutneys, jellies, and syrups. If you’re planning on making pomegranate juice, be sure to choose the largest, heaviest pomegranates you can find, since they will be the juiciest! Use in smoothies, shakes or even marinades for meats!