Pomegranates are nutritional powerhouses, and in-season now. Not only are they loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and fiber – their ruby-red seeds make festive adornments to many a holiday dish. Try sprinkling pomegranate seeds (arils) on salads, over cold cereal or oatmeal, and in Greek yogurt. Pomegranates are also well paired with chicken and seafood and are the perfect ingredient in chutneys, salsas and jams. If you’re entertaining this holiday season, try some of these pom recipes:
Pomegranate Ginger Muffins (from www.about.com)
2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 Tbs baking powder
½ tsp salt
1/3 cup minced crystallized ginger
1 tsp grated lemon peel
1 ¼ cups pomegranate seeds
1 cup milk
1 large egg
¼ cup butter or margarine
In a bowl, mix flour, 2/3 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir in crystallized ginger, lemon peel and pomegranate seeds. Make a well in the center.
In a measuring cup, blend milk, egg, and ¼ cup butter. Pour liquid all at once into well. Stir just until batter is moistened; it will be lumpy.
Spoon batter into 12 (2 ½ inch wide) or 24 (1 ¾ inch wide) buttered muffin cups, filling each almost to the rim. Sprinkle with 1 to 2 teaspoons sugar.
Bake in a 425° oven until lightly browned, about 16 minutes for large muffins, 13 minutes for small. Remove muffins from pan at once. Serve hot or set on a rack and serve warm or cool.
Yields 12 (2 ½ inch) or 24 (1 ¾ inch) muffins
Per 2 ½ inch muffin serving:
215 calories, 3.5 g protein, 6.3 g fat, 37 g carbohydrates, 290 mg sodium, 34 mg cholesterol
Gingery Pomegranate Punch (from www.realsimple.com)
4 cups pomegranate juice, chilled
4 cups vodka
¾ cup fresh lime juice, plus 1 lime, thinly sliced
6 cups ginger beer, chilled
½ cup pomegranate seeds
In a large punch bowl, combine the pomegranate juice, vodka, and lime juice; chill for up to 12 hours. Just before serving, add the ginger beer, pomegranate seeds, and lime slices.
Yields 10 servings
168 calories, 0 g protein, 17 g carbohydrates, 0 g fat, 16 g sugar, 8 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol
Vanilla Pomegranate Parfait (from www.eatingwell.com)
2 Tbs sugar
2 tsp cornstarch
1 cup pomegranate seeds
2/3 cup pomegranate juice
1 Tbs lemon juice
1 cup low-fat milk
¾ cup half-and-half
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup sugar
1 ½ Tbs cornstarch
1 Tbs butter
½ cup pomegranate seeds for garnish
6 mint sprigs for garnish
To prepare compote: Mix 2 Tbs sugar with 2 tsp cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice and lemon juice; stir to combine. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring, until syrupy, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl. Refrigerate while you prepare the pudding.
To prepare pudding: Combine milk and half-and-half in a medium heavy saucepan. Add vanilla extract. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat, cover and let steep for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, whisk egg, egg yolk, 1/3 cup sugar and 1 ½ Tbs cornstarch in a medium bowl. Reheat the milk mixture just until steaming. Carefully whisk one-third of the steaming milk into the egg mixture. Pour the egg-milk mixture back into the pan. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until very thick, 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in butter.
To prepare parfaits: Divide the pomegranate compote among six 6-ounch parfait glasses, ramekins, or other small dessert cups. Spoon the pudding mixture over the compote. Cover and refrigerate until the pudding is well chilled and firm, at least 3 hours. To serve, garnish each parfait with pomegranate seeds and a mint sprig, if desired.
Yields 6 servings
209 calories, 8 g fat, 4 g protein, 1 g fiber, 31 g carbohydrates, 48 mg sodium, 88 mg cholesterol