Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Pomegranate Tree

When I was little I loved fall because it meant Halloween was coming. Now that I'm an adult (and a homeowner) I adore fall because it means the Pomegranate tree in the backyard is going to produce. This particular tree is actually our neighbors tree but it is positioned so the majority hangs over our fence, oh darn!

When the tree first blooms in the summer it has tiny red flowers all over. The flowers grow a red tube like shape and the flower wilts and falls off. This tube is what is eventually becomes the end of the pomegranate at picking time. The easiest way to open them is by scoring the outside flesh with a knife and breaking it open. I've been told it's easier if you freeze them first but I haven't tried it.

Poms are known to be high in vitamin C about 19% of a persons daily intake. They are also a good source of vitamin B5. And if you eat them with seeds in they are high in fiber. In India Poms have been used as a remedy against diarrhea (by eating the rind) as well as a tonic for the heart and throat. Although this sounds strange some studies have found that the consumption of Poms help with diabetes, rhinovirus, and the common cold (from Wikipedia).

Besides the health benefits there are so many delicious recipes to use with pomegranates. Grenadine syrup is derived from the pomegranate and the seeds are used regularly as a spice in Indian cuisine. Last year I basted pork chops the pom juice from our tree for Christmas dinner. Here are some recipes for great food made with pomegranates that I love: Pear and Pom salad, Apple and Pom crisp, Pom Margarita, Roast Pork with Pom and Ginger glaze, and Avocado, Grapefruit and Pom salad by none less than Ms. Martha Stuart.

Usually the squirrels get a large amount of our crop before we can get to them. This year I've been determined to pick them as soon as they are ripe. Do you have a favorite pomegranate recipe? do you have a favorite fruit that is out of the ordinary? I would love to hear about them.

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