It gives me great pleasure to actually be able to officially write my first blog about the one thing we all love with a passion and have in common - FOOD !
Over the coming months I will be giving you some general hints and tips on food from fresh produce to convenience products, far and wide from around the globe adding nutritional value and helping you take a step in the direction of eating more healthily. We will also be making some suggestions in the way that you can use these foods and how they benefit you by using them in your daily diet. This week we offer you the simple but effective pomegranate.
Where does the pomegranate origin from?
It has been well established that this fruit is a native from Iran and North India and was cultivated across the whole of the Mediterranean since ancient times; you will also find it growing in South East Asia, the East Indies, the tropics of Africa and the drier areas of California.
What are the nutritional values? They are a great source of Vitamin C which helps in fighting off the common cold and although they have a high natural sugar content, they also have a very high potency of Vitamin B, Vitamin K and are high in potassium, folic acid and aids as a great boost to the immune system.
What are the benefits if consumed as a food source?
The pomegranate has been known to help in the healing of diabetes, heart disease, arthritis and also several types of cancers.
Valued for their medicinal properties since ancient times, pomegranates have only recently come to be regarded as a so-called super food. Pomegranate seeds owe their super food status to powerful antioxidants; In fact pomegranate seeds have more antioxidant power than cranberry juice or green tea.
Research has shown that drinking pomegranate juice (made from the fruit's seeds) improved blood flow lowered blood pressure and delayed the oxidation of LDL (in other words bad cholesterol) especially in patients with coronary heart disease. Read more here;
How and when to use them?
The pomegranate can be used in so many ways with concerns to food and although it has its own taste it can change the taste of dishes with just a little sprinkle of the seeds, and as it will take an age to explain the simplicity of how to prepare them we are instead going to point you in the direction of Google or You Tube, as you can find many ways right there.
Once you have prepared the fruit, I will just say that adding it to a super food salad consisting of roasted butternut squash, avocado, toasted mixed seeds and nuts (which are optional), edamame peas, baby spinach, finely sliced red chillies and pomegranate seeds a light drizzle of olive or sesame oil, a touch of dark soy sauce and a squeeze of half a lime to lift the flavour and give it some zing, would be a great healthy dish.
Pomegranates tend to take very well when adding them to the top of Middle Eastern Tagines and they marry superbly with coriander, spring onion and fresh mint when mixed through cous cous.
Giving it to the basic yogurt and granola for breakfast is always on point as with the topping for pancakes or even on the top of Weetabix.
Pomegranates are also a great addition to a fresh fruit salad. To gain the most nutrition is always to eat the fruit in its raw state. For a refreshing drink, grab some crushed ice, a squeeze of lime and just squeeze the fruit until all the juice has left the shell, top with fresh cold water and drink. Enjoy!