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TEXARKANA, Ark. –
In the grocery store aisle you may see a fruit about the size of an apple, with a
brilliant ruby red exterior. It may seem an odd fruit, with its leathery appearance,
and apple-like size. But what is it and what do you do with it? Do you eat it; if
so how? Do you decorate with it? Do you just admire it for its brilliant color and
I am talking about the pomegranate, thought to have originated in the Persia and Sub-Himalayan
foothills of Northern India. It now is produced at a commercial scale in the Mediterranean
This fruit is so unique in that instead of eating the bitter, spongy, white membrane
inside the pomegranate, it is the tiny seeds – called arils – inside which are eaten.
Each aril is a delicious sac of juice that surrounds an edible seed. The arils range
in colors from pink to dark red.
Pomegranates are not only delicious and beautiful, they are also nutritious. They
are considered to be high in vitamin C and potassium, a good source of dietary fiber,
which aids in smooth digestion and bowel movements, and are low in calories. In fact,
one half cup of arils is about 80 calories, but contain 5 grams of fiber. The fruit
is also a good source of vitamin-C, which helps the body develop resistance against
infectious agents by boosting immunity. Researchers found that regular consumption
of pomegranate to be effective against prostate cancer, diabetes, and lymphoma.
To choose ripe pomegranates, look for a well-developed, firm, bright crimson red fruit,
that feels heavy for its size. The heavier it feels, the juicier it will be. Avoid
spotted, over-mature fruits as they can be bitter and inedible. Avoid those with surface
cracks, mold, and fruit that is bruised or shriveled as they are inferior in flavor.
Once home, store them in a cool dark place at room temperature for 5-8 days or more.
In general, pomegranates possess a long shelf life. You can also put them in the refrigerator
for a couple of weeks.
Follow the three step method to retrieving the arils. First, cut off the “crown,”
then score the outer layer of the skin into sections. Second, place the pomegranate
in a large bowl of water and break apart the sections along the score lines. Roll
out the arils with your fingers. The arils will sink to the bottom while the white
membrane floats to the top. Third, strain out the water. The arils are ready to eat
and to enjoy their juicy goodness. You can purchase the arils without the shell but
the cost is pricey.
Fresh arils placed in an airtight container will keep for a few days in the refrigerator.
If you choose to freeze them, freeze in single layers on trays; then package in an
airtight container for up to 6 months. Remove only the arils that you plan to use
at the time.
There are many uses for the Pomegranate arils. They make an attractive garnish on
salads and dishes; can be made into juice for drinking or to use later in preparing
soups, jellies, sorbets, sauces as well as to flavor cakes, baked apples, and other
desserts. Pomegranate concentrate is a popular ingredient used in Middle Eastern and
Add pomegranate to your grocery list to purchase next time you shop and add it to
your fruit bowl. It will not only add color, it will be a delightful nutritious treat.
For more information, contact the Miller County Extension Office, 870-779-3609 or
visit us in room 215 at the Miller County Courthouse. We're online at firstname.lastname@example.org,
on Facebook at UAEXMillerCountyFCS/CarlaHaleyHadley, on Twitter @MillerCountyFCS or
on the web at uaex.uada.edu/Miller
Experiment with pomegranates in this Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Warm Dressing.
The combination of the sweet pear and tart pomegranate seeds work nicely together
adding color, crunch, and flavor.
Pear and Pomegranate Salad with Warm Dressing
6 cups romaine lettuce, rinsed and torn
2 Bartlett or Anjou pears
2/3 cups pomegranate seeds
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup pomegranate juice
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons prepared Dijon-style mustard
1 tablespoon honey
ground black pepper to taste
Add rinsed and torn lettuce to serving bowl. Halve, core and dice the pears. Add pears
and pomegranate seeds to the bowl and toss lightly.
Combine the olive oil, pomegranate juice, lemon juice, mustard, honey, and pepper
in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat; reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently,
until the dressing thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Pour the warm dressing over
the salad and serve immediately.
By Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSThe Cooperative Extension ServiceU of A System Division of Agriculture
Media Contact: Carla Haley-Hadley County Extension Agent - FCSU of A Division of AgricultureCooperative Extension Service400 Laurel Street, Suite 215 Texarkana AR 71854 (870) 779-3609 email@example.com
The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative
action institution. If you require a reasonable accommodation to participate or need
materials in another format, please contact your County Extension office (or other
appropriate office) as soon as possible. Dial 711 for Arkansas Relay. The Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service offers its programs to all eligible persons
regardless of race, color, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin,
religion, age, disability, marital or veteran status, genetic information, or any
other legally protected status, and is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer.