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Saturday, 28 December 2013

Pomegranates For Everyone!

Dear friends,

I am very attached to fruits... I love fruits ever since I was a wee lass :) I would eat every citrus in the house - including lemon! and I would eat it with pleasure, without sugar, and closing my eyes tight due to its taste that would set my teeth on edge. I also got introduced by my parents to the real ananas and cocos fruit - and man, that was fun to open! especially the cocos! - and later on a bit to the pomgrenates. I loved their weird and akward taste - as if they would not know themselves if they should be sweet or sour... - and I loved how they were sitting there, inside, tight locked between themselves... and if you would try to pinch one out they would splash you all over and it would look like you would have been covered in blood! My method was always cutting them in 4 equal parts - half and then half again - and then slowly and gently trying to work my way through them, without redecorating the house ;))) Both me and Adrian - a very good friend of mine, and I like to say that he is "my little brother" - love this fruit :) and even though it is an akward one - my husband keeps calling it "the brain" - it is hard for the season to pass without eating a bunch of them :)
This year though, I got lucky! I was randomly reading an article about how to get those lovely red and tasty seeds out without the house looking like a masacre and guess what?! I tested it and it worked so nicely that I am going to do this all the time ;) And this way my husband gets to eat them as well and he really likes them :) Mission Completed! It is easy, you just slice the pomgranate open in half and then in half again and then you take a pot full of water - better make it cold water to keep those babies fresh! - and start breaking them out. The splash will not come out and you will not get yourself dirty. Only the water will get a bit bloody ;) but that should be no issue!
The pomegranate is a fruit-bearing deciduous shrub or small tree growing between 5–8 meters (16–26 ft) tall. The pomegranate is widely considered to have originated in the vicinity of Iran and has been cultivated since ancient times. Today, it is widely cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region of southern Europe, the Middle East and Caucasus region, northern Africa and tropical Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Central Asia and the drier parts of southeast Asia. Introduced into Latin America and California by Spanish settlers in 1769, pomegranate is also cultivated in parts of California and Arizona.
In the Northern Hemisphere, the fruit is typically in season from September to February. In the Southern Hemisphere, the pomegranate is in season from March to May. The pomegranate has been mentioned in many ancient texts, notably in Babylonian texts, the Book of Exodus, the Homeric Hymns and the Quran. In recent years, it has become more common in the commercial markets of North America and the Western Hemisphere. Pomegranates are used in cooking, baking, juices, smoothies and alcoholic beverages, such as martinis and wine.
Pomegranate seeds provide 12% of the Daily Value (DV) for vitamin C and 16% DV for vitamin K per 100 g serving, and contain polyphenols, such as ellagitannins and flavonoids. Pomegranate seeds are excellent sources of dietary fiber which is entirely contained in the edible seeds. People who choose to discard the seeds forfeit nutritional benefits conveyed by the seed fiber and micronutrients.
Metabolites of pomegranate juice ellagitannins localize specifically in the prostate gland, colon, and intestinal tissues of mice, leading to clinical studies of pomegranate juice or fruit extracts for efficacy against several diseases.
In 2013, 44 clinical trials were registered with the National Institutes of Health to examine effects of pomegranate extracts or juice consumption on a variety of human disorders, including: prostate cancer, common cold, oxidative stress in diabetic hemodialysis, male infertility, aging, memory, pregnancy complications, osteoporosis, erectile dysfunction, artherosclerosis, coronary artery disease, infant brain injury, hemodialysis for kidney disease, prostatic hyperplasia, diabetes, lymphoma, rhinovirus infection. One pilot study in adult subjects found that daily consumption of pomegranate juice over two weeks increased salivary testosterone levels by 24% and had other effects on blood pressure, mood, anxiety or emotion.
So with a lot of vitamin C and being used againts the common cold, I believe they are the perfect fruit for the season, along with the citrus fruits - like mandarins and lemons ;) And they go nicely as a snack as well, especially with some Nalewka Babuni - traditional alcohol in Poland, more for the ladies. I particularly enjoy the one made out of pigwa - Polish name for quince. The drink is soft and does not burn your intestins like regular alcohol does and you can have it as a shot or you can just enjoy it and drink it slow - my type ;)

Again I come with the hope that you had a very Merry Christmas :) Enjoy the holidays and take time to relax and be with the ones you truly love. Make the most of each moment! And may you all have a very happy and kick arse New Year! Just a few more days to go from this year...

Yours truly,
The LadyBug