Kids and the Pom Factor

is for Pomegranate, the new fruit of choice for the discerning health-conscious. One fruit provides 40 per cent of an adult’s daily vitamin C requirement and is a rich source of antioxidants.


Pomegranate juice is being marketed as a new wonder food – it is three times richer in antioxidants than green tea, as well as high levels of vitamins C and E….Obviously, you can extract the juice yourself (which is a bit of a pain), or you can invest in POM Wonderful 100% pomegranate juice.


To peel a pomegranate, first cut off the crown and gently scoop out some of the center core without disturbing the seeds. With a sharp knife, score just through the outer rind around the fruit in quarters. Put your thumb in the core center and gently pull apart the sections. Peel away the inner white papery skin covering the seeds and discard. Gently invert the skin inside out and the seeds will pop out to be easily removed without bruising.


The unadorned, fresh seed pips make a beautiful edible and colorful garnish. This is why you will see them used often on gourmet dishes from salads to entrees to desserts. They work with every course. To facilitate separation of the white membrane from the pips, place cut pieces in a bowl of cold water and gently separate the juicy seeds. The membrane pieces should float to the top of the water for easy separation.


If you want the juice, but not the seeds, you have a number of options. Use a food mill to grind fresh juice from the seeds, leaving the seeds trapped in the mill. Pulse the pips in a blender with short bursts. Cut the fruits in half crosswise and ream them as you would a lemon. You can also place the seeds in a sealed plastic freezer bag and roll over them with a rolling pin. These former methods may impart a touch of bitterness due to abrasion of the seeds, but the bitterness should be minimal if you have a light and patient touch. You can also slow cook the seeds in a bit of water in a crockpot or on the stovetop, and press through a sieve or cheesecloth to remove the seeds.


Be forewarned that the juice will stain not only your fingers but also your clothes, which is why it has been used as a natural dye by many cultures. Wear an apron when working with the fruit since as you cut it, the juice may naturally burst out in a stream and potentially spot your clothing.