Written by Patricia Pauyo | Reviewed by Jennifer Calo MS, RDN, CDN, CDE, CLT
It’s Pomegranate season!
Pomegranate is a beautiful and delicious fruit that has many uses and health benefits. Pomegranates are unusually used in baking, cooking, juice blends, garnishes, and smoothies. They are a good source of vitamins, especially vitamin A, C, and E, as well as folic acid and also contain antioxidant, antiviral, and antitumor properties.
-Pomegranates are native to the Middle East
-Pomegranate trees can live for over 200 years
-Pomegranates are classified as a super fruit.
Below are some fun ways to add Pomegranate to your meals this season!
Pomegranate Quinoa Breakfast Parfait
Makes 2 servings
6 oz. plain Greek yogurt
½ cup cooked quinoa
2 tbsp. honey
1 tsp. grated orange zest
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. walnuts, chopped
¼ cup fresh pomegranate
2 tsp. chia seeds
In a mixing bowl combine the yogurt, quinoa, honey, zest, and vanilla.
Layer the mixture with the remaining ingredients.
Modified from: http://www.fooddolls.com/pomegranate-quinoa-breakfast-parfait/
Pomegranate And Cream Cheese Bruschetta
1 large French baguette, cut into 1"slices
8 ounces vegan cream cheese
1-cup pomegranate arils
¼ cup fresh basil, minced
Juice and zest from 1 orange
Balsamic reduction (recipe below)
1 cup high quality balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons agave nectar or Bee Free honey
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Slice the baguette into 1" slices and lay flat on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes until crispy and slightly brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cool.
Stir together balsamic vinegar and agave nectar in a sauce pot over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil and boil for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until balsamic has reduced to about 1/3 cup. Remove from heat and let cool while assembling the bruschetta.
In a small bowl combine pomegranate arils, basil, and orange zest and juice.
Spread a layer of vegan cream cheese on toasted baguette, drizzle with balsamic reduction, and top with pomegranate/basil mixture.
Pomegranate Chocolate Bark with Ginger
10 oz. bittersweet (vegan) chocolate (60% cacao), broken into 1-inch pieces
1- cup fresh pomegranate seeds (from 1 large pomegranate)
1½ tablespoons minced candied ginger
¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or waxed paper.
Put the chocolate in a wide, shallow, microwave-safe bowl and microwave on high until it just starts to melt, about 1 minute. Stir with a spatula until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth, heating in additional 15-second increments if necessary.
Gently stir half of the pomegranate seeds, the ginger (break up any clumps with your fingers), and the salt into the chocolate.
Scrape the chocolate mixture onto the baking sheet and spread it into an 8×10-inch rectangle.
Sprinkle the remaining pomegranate seeds evenly over the top, pressing them into the chocolate.
Refrigerate until fully set, about 30 minutes.
Break the bark into chunks with your hands (be careful not to crush the seeds), and serve. The bark will keep, refrigerated, for up to 5 days.