It’s a Jewish New Year…..Best time of the year! Most perfect weather, a harvest season and a time to reset our goals for the year to come. It is full of hope and desire for all that will come, a time to manifest all we want in life.
On Rosh Hashana, we express our gratitude by saying a blessing on a new fruit. Pomegranates are a great fruit for this because they supposedly contain 613 seeds, the same number of commandments in the bible that we abide by. We also hope that our good deeds of the new year will be as numerous as the pomegranate seeds!!!!
Tradition has it that we invite family and friends to join us for the first 2 nights of the holiday and pomegranates are a beautiful addition to any dessert you plan to make! I consider them to be food jewelry! Sprinkle them on any dessert and watch them sparkle in color and texture.
Are you wondering how you will get those little seeds out of the pomegranate? Many people don’t eat pomegranates because of its seemingly time-consuming cutting process. Here is a trick.
Score the center of the pomegranate right around the fruit with a paring knife. Twist it open. Score the edges and losen up the rind. Place the pomegranate with flat seed part in one hand, and take a spatula or wooden spoon to tap on the skin all around the fruit. The seeds will fall easily. Keep tapping until the rind is empty.
If all else fails, buy them already seeded. They can be found in small portioned snack packs during the fall and winter months.
And how do you eat them you ask? It’s easiest to eat pomegranate seeds in conjunction with the arils.(seeds) It’s completely safe to chew and swallow the seeds along with the juicy arils. In fact, you might enjoy the variations in texture.
Still, you don’t have to eat the seeds if you don’t care for the texture. Instead, you can spit them out as you would when eating seeded watermelons or citrus fruits.
The popularity of the pomegranate has increased greatly in the 21st century due to the fruit’s health benefits. Studies have found that pomegranate juice can improve heart health, protect against prostate cancer, slows cartilage loss in arthritis, and even help diabetics. Pomegranate juice also has high levels of antioxidants!
Did you know that the pomegranate is a fruit, native from Iran to northern India, that has been cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times? Spanish settlers introduced the pomegranate tree to North America in the 18th century, and today it is grown there primarily in California and Arizona. They can be more easily found in grocery stores from September to January.
So have I convinced you yet to plunge into a pomegranate? Here are 3 creative ways on how to use this fruit in desserts for the holidays.
- Pomegranate jello, mousse and non-dairy whipped cream – simple and elegant. Full of flavor and something everyone can enjoy, even vegans!
2. Donut bits or cupcakes or cake with pomegranate icing and more jewels…
- Mix icing sugar with a bit of pomegranate juice and you will get beautifully decorated jewels.
- Take an apple recipe and liven it up with pomegranate seeds.
Hope you enjoy the holidays and the fruits it brings! Experiment and let me know how it goes…..