Pomegranates are just delicious – especially at this time of year. Who doesn’t want to sit with a cocktail stick and half a pomegranate, carefully plucking out its deliciously nutritious bright red jewels? Yum! And if you need any more reasons to pick up a pomegranate, scientists have recently discovered that pomegranate juice (200ml daily) can help to prevent exercise-induced oxidative stress2.
Pomegranates have also been associated with improved cardiovascular health, joint health and prostate health. Research shows it is the fruit’s high antioxidant content that drives its health benefits; pomegranates are a rich source of ellagitannin compounds such as punicalagins and punicalins that can help to fight against harmful free radicals. Less easy to make yourself, pomegranate juice is widely available to buy from most health food shops and supermarkets.
We've found a couple of recipes packing a pomegranate punch for you to try...
Pomegranate, Kale & Wild Rice Salad with Walnuts and Feta (serves 4 as a side dish)
For the salad:
• 1 cup pomegranate seeds
• 2 cups chopped baby kale
• 2 cups cooked wild rice (you can use leftover rice or buy precooked)
• ¼ cup toasted walnuts
• ¼ cup feta cheese
• ½ cup minced onion or shallot
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoons water
• 2 tablespoons honey
• ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 1 squeeze lemon or orange juice
1. Prep the salad ingredients (chop, rinse, toast, etc). Chill the ingredients in the fridge while you're making the dressing if you want a cold salad.
2. Mince the shallot or onion and saute in ½ tablespoons olive oil to reduce the bite. When soft and fragrant, remove from heat and transfer to a food processor. (If you want a stronger flavor for your dressing, skip the sauteing altogether. The shallot in particular works well for this.)
3. Pulse the onions or shallot with the remaining olive oil, water, honey, apple cider vinegar, salt, and orange juice until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust. Add additional olive oil or water to keep the mixture moving through the food processor.
4. Toss the salad ingredients together with the dressing just before serving. I prefer to serve this at room temperature or chilled slightly.
Winter Rainbow Quinoa & Pomegranate Salad
2 cups cooked red quinoa
2 cups chopped pickled or regular cooked beets
1 cup pomegranate arils
4 ounces goat cheese
½ cup crushed or chopped pistachios
2 cups chopped Opal apples
2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
a handful of green onions or fresh herbs if you want
dressing of choice
1. For Mason jar salads, layer in order: ½ cup quinoa, ½ cup beets, ¼ cup pomegranate arils, 1 ounce goat cheese, 2 tablespoons pistachios, herbs, ½ cup apples, and ½ cup spinach. Store in the fridge for as long as 4-5 days. When ready to serve, toss with the dressing.
2. If not making in Mason jars, toss everything together and serve immediately. I also recommend saving some pomegranate arils, crushed pistachios, and crumbled goat cheese to make it look pretty on top.
1. Both recipes are from pinchofyum.com http://bit.ly/1xWKx1f http://bit.ly/IKtCNa
2. Fuster-Munoz et al. Effects of pomegranate juice in circulating parameters, cytokines and oxidative stress markers in endurance-based athletes: A randomised controlled trial. Nutrition. Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2015.11.002
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