Pomegranate: origin, nutritional values ​​& recipes

Pomegranate

A power food rarely comes alone: ​​what makes a pomegranate so healthy and delicious are the many small seeds with a large portion of important nutrients.

What is a pomegranate?

Superfood, nutrient bomb, refreshing snack – the pomegranate is a real winner among the fruits. The fruit is known not only as a healthy snack , but also as a natural medicine . Only one thing at a time …

The pomegranate, also called punica granatum, is a member of the weeping hedge plant family. Botanists like to call it a dried berry because the skin dries out leathery once the fruit ripens. But what makes the pomegranate so special? The inside! Countless seeds are very close together in the amniotic sac. And it is precisely these sweet and sour seeds that form the edible pulp that makes the pomegranate so juicy and delicious.

The seeds can be drunk neat as well as pomegranate juice . For this you can simply cut the fruit in half and squeeze it with a classic citrus press. But beware of splashes! Because the juice of pomegranates has a very intense color and can cause the necessary stains.

pomegranate core
© Westend61

Where does the fruit come from?

It is not entirely clear where the pomegranates come from exactly. Its origins are thought to be in West and Central Asia, but over the years the fruit has come a long way. Today they are grown in Iran, Turkey, Israel, India, China, Tunisia, Spain and Italy, among others. The pomegranate is most at home in a tropical or subtropical climate.

The history of this special fruit also goes back a long way. For example, the pomegranate is mentioned in Greek mythology, the Quran and the Old Testament. Over time, the historic fruit has become a well-known superfood , which is also indispensable in the supermarket here in the Netherlands.

That’s how healthy the pomegranate is

Those who are already convinced of the taste of the pomegranate will be all the happier with the ingredients. The fruit is very healthy . It contains minerals such as calcium , magnesium and potassium , which are important for the heart, nerves and muscles. The exotic fruit is also rich in trace elements such as iron and zinc , fiber , antioxidants and vitamins .

For example, the pomegranate provides a lot of vitamin B , but the vitamin C content is often overestimated. About 7 grams of this vitamin C are contained in 100 kilos of pulp. In comparison: 100 grams of orange contains about 45 milligrams of vitamin C. But that doesn’t make the pomegranates any less healthy!

The absolute boost for your health are the secondary plant substances it contains, such as polyphenols , which protect the cells against harmful influences . These are said to have an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory , even anti-cancer effect . Some doctors suspect that these bioactive compounds in the pomegranate lower your blood pressure, protect and strengthen the heart and circulation, prevent cardiovascular disease and help with arthritis.

Another plus: the pomegranate is very digestible and low in calories . However, pomegranate juice can affect the effect of some medications. You should therefore consult a doctor or pharmacist before taking certain medications.

Here you will find a small overview through our nutritional value table:

VITAMIN  Foods
Energy (kcal) 78
Fat  1 g
Carbohydrates 16 g
Protein  1 g
Fiber  2.20 g
Sugar  20 g
Water 78.5 g

Eating Pomegranate: Hacks for peeling and pitting

The tough pomegranate skin might not be very inviting at first, but with a few tips and tricks, you’ll be done in no time – even without making a huge mess! All you need is a little feeling and the right technique.

Peel pomegranate

You should be safe from splashes with this technique, but you never know with pomegranates. So wear an apron and go for it! To start, use a small knife to cut a circular opening at the top of the fruit.

Now remove this lid and take a look inside: You usually see 4 to 6 white walls dividing the fruit – along these layers you now cut through the peel to the bottom of the pomegranate. Now pull the fruit apart, remove the individual parts and place them in a bowl of water so that the skin can come off.

The knocking trick

The name might suggest otherwise, but this technique works quite thoroughly. First, put the pomegranate on a plate and roll it back and forth with the palm of your hand a few times. Then carefully cut the fruit in half. For this you put a kitchen knife on the skin and make a circular cut. Then press the two halves apart.

Now hold one half over a bowl so the seeds can fall down – and the beating can begin. To do this, use a simple wooden spoon, with which you tap the skin vigorously until the seeds gradually fall out. In the next step, pour some water into the bowl with the pomegranate seeds so that the skin floats to the top and can be removed with a sieve. Now drain the water, put the seeds in a small bowl and eat them with a spoon.

© Luxy Images / RF

Pomegranate recipes

Their tasty mix of sour and sweet makes pomegranate seeds the perfect ingredient for both sweet and savory meals. For example, they refine oriental and Mediterranean dishes , but can also be easily added to pudding , yogurt or cottage cheese . Especially when you think of a protein pancake with chocolate Protein Cream and pomegranate seeds as a topping, your mouth watering immediately starts.

To help you on your way, we have listed 3 simple dishes for you here. Have fun tasting!

Pomegranate smoothie

  • Ingredients: 1 pomegranate, 150 g cranberries, 150 ml low-fat yogurt, 250 ml low-fat milk, ice cubes.
  • Remove the pomegranate seeds from the fruit using the beating technique and set a tablespoon of seeds aside.
  • Put the pomegranate seeds with cranberries and yogurt in a bowl and puree with the hand blender until a fine porridge forms.
  • Now add the milk and ice cubes, puree again and now pour the smoothie into a glass and serve with the remaining pomegranate seeds.

Pomegranate couscous

  • Ingredients: 1 pomegranate, 300 g couscous, 1 tbsp softened butter, 2 tbsp chopped parsley, cinnamon stick, a little salt and pepper
  • Remove the pomegranate seeds from the fruit using the beating technique.
  • In a saucepan, bring 300 ml water to the boil and add the couscous and cinnamon stick.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and let it rest with the lid on for three minutes.
  • Then mix the butter, parsley and pomegranate seeds through the couscous and season with some salt and pepper.

Eggplant with pomegranate seeds

  • Ingredients: 1 pomegranate, 2 aubergines, 10 g chopped parsley, 1 clove of garlic, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, a little salt and pepper.
  • Cut the washed eggplant in half, add a little salt and let it steep for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the pomegranate seeds from the fruit using the beating technique.
  • Finely chop the garlic and mix with olive oil.
  • Brush both halves of the eggplant with the garlic oil.
  • Grill the aubergines for 10 to 12 minutes. Turn every now and then and brush with the rest of the garlic oil.
  • Serve the aubergine with pomegranate seeds, chopped parsley and some sea salt. Finally, drizzle some balsamic vinegar over it.

Conclusion

  • The seeds of a pomegranate are not only tasty, but also very healthy
  • They contain many important minerals, trace elements, vitamins and secondary plant substances
  • The polyphenols present in pomegranate protect our cells against harmful influences
  • The sweet and sour pomegranate seeds can be used neat and as a juice
  • The seeds of the pomegranate are very tasty in both sweet and savory dishes

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