All About Pomegranates
As summer comes to a close, it’s time to celebrate the jewel of fruits- the wondrous pomegranate. Mentioned in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this super fruit belongs to the berry family and comes into season from October to February in the Northern hemisphere. The pomegranate is prized in cooking, for adding colour, sweetness, and super nutrition to savoury dishes from fish and chicken to exquisite desserts of chocolate mousse with rich pomegranate sauce. While this heavy, exotic, abundantly seeded fruit is rich in antioxidants and polyphenols and used to rejuvenate the skin, it also is more than just skin deep. It has been used in numerous medical remedies around the globe for hundreds of years, while traditionally grown in the Middle East and the Mediterranean. King Henry the VIII’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, thought so highly of the fruit that she even used it to represent herself on their royal emblem. But what we love most about the story behind the pomegranate and its – its unmatchable benefits to your skin’s longevity and clarity.
What to know more about pomegranates?
1. The pomegranate family boasts over 760 varieties.
2. The Spanish word for pomegranate is “granada”; funnily, the word for hand grenade in Spanish is the same!
3. In Transcaucasia, pomegranate remnants have been found from as far back as 1000 BC.
4. Low calorie: only 234 calories per entire fruit!
5. A pomegranate tree’s lifetime can exceed 200 years!
6. The fruit’s name “pomegranate” comes from medieval Latin “pomum” meaning apple and “granatum” meaning seeded; roughly translated to “apple of many seeds.”
We know that pomegranates were important to the ancient Greeks and Egyptians, and is even alluded to in the Old Testament, but why is that the case? Modern science may just give us the answer. Not only can the fruit boast these facts, both the seeds and outer skin are rich in flavonoids; a polyphenolic compound with important health benefits such as acting as an anti-inflammatory. This is particularly nourishing for your skin and general youthful glow. It’s #1 beneficial ingredient- antioxidants! They reduce the risk of premature ageing like fine lines, wrinkles, age spots, dark spots, skin blemishes, and more. Specifically, the presence of antioxidants like Vitamin C and minerals like zinc and copper promote regeneration at a cellular level when consumed regularly. A study from the University of Wisconsin, Madison found that the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties from the polyphenols present in pomegranates might help skin protect itself against sun damage.
Food as Medicine – Bursting with Antioxidants
Pomegranates provide all-natural and extra delicious alternatives to traditional vitamins and supplements for your beauty concerns. Since it contains the protein collagen, it keeps skin healthy as well as strengthening your nails and teeth. Some even say that eating or topically applying pomegranates may even be a treatment for acne because of the Vitamin C and abundance of water that has been linked to clearer skin. Additionally, pomegranates are a strong source of punicic acid (an omega-5 fatty acid) which helps the appearance of dry skin by promoting the ridding of dead skin. Talk about a super fruit, eh?
KORRES has always been known for their unique and nourishing beauty care lines with its origin coming from one of the oldest homeopathic pharmacies in Athens, Greece. Their Pomegranate skincare line is no different. With a focus on minimising pores and balancing skin tones, KORRES Pomegranate is best for those with oily or combination skin who believe only the best, most natural ingredients belong on their faces. That’s right- the lightweight products contain at least 93.1% natural ingredients. That means no nasty petrolatum, mineral oil, silicones, propylene glycol, or ethanolamines will wreck havoc on your T-zone. It is dermatologically tested, cruelty-free, and suitable for vegetarians and vegans so you don’t have to sacrifice anything while still feeling clean, refreshed, and pampered.
Pomegranate Beauty Competition
With five products available, the AHAs & Enzymes Resurfacing Mask, the Mattifying Primer, the Cleansing & Make-up Removing Wipes, the Moisturising & Balancing Cream Gel, and the Toner (keep reading for a chance to win the latter two products!), KORRES utilises pomegranate water and extract to restore the look of your skin with its tannins, polyphenols, and vitamins A, C, and E. As a bonus ingredient to help activate the pomegranate, KORRES mixes in Alpine Willowherb Extract to make pores appear smaller and oil-free. Each of their products are meant to take you on a journey towards clearer, brighter skin.
How about taking your taste buds on an adventure as well? The pomegranate, ripe when heavy and firm, has been a integral part of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cooking for years but is just recently starting to catch on in European and North American culinary elite circles and home kitchens alike. Pomegranates can be used in baking, cooking, grilling, juice blends, meal garnishes, smoothies, alcoholic beverages (such as cocktails, gin & tonics, and wine), and so much more! The fruit does not contain any cholesterol or saturated fats so its addition to dishes helps promote a healthy diet and protect against metabolic disorders. The University of Florida has even conducted studies that suggest that pomegranate juice may inhibit the growth of certain types of cancers in the prostate, breasts, colon, and lungs causing healthy eaters everywhere to rejoice!
How to Open and De-seed a Pomegranate
Despite its popularity, what’s the number one deterrent people have from using pomegranates in their everyday cooking? Opening and de-seeding it. While you could always let Martha Stewart teach you, here are a few tips and tricks we have picked up along the way:
***Warning: Careful! Pomegranate juice will stain so always make sure you cut them on a surface away from any precious heirlooms!***
1. Start by slicing 2/3-centimetre off of the stem end to give the rest of the cuts some stability. You’ll now be able to see the blossom-end on top!
2. Now it’s time to cut the blossom-end out of the rest of the fruit. Adding a slight angle to your cut will help you get rid of all of the crown.
3. Take your knife now to the small ridges that are present on the outside of the pomegranate from blossom-end to stem-end. This should be about 6 cuts.
4. Resembling prying orange slices apart, separate each wedge of pomegranate from the next to uncover the seeds, or arils.
5. Now for the fun part! Take each wedge and push the seeds and membrane away from each other into a bowl*.
*Pro tip: Fill your bowl with water first as seeds will sink and the fleshy bits will float.
Want a day of delicious eating? Try Kimberley Hasselbrink’s Pomegranate-Apple Salad with Greek Yogurt for breakfast. Then for lunch, have James Martin’s Spiced Pork and Pomegranate Tabbouleh. Followed by Thomasina Miers’ Pomegranate-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Red Quinoa Salad for dinner. Trust us, you won’t regret it.
So now that you’re familiar with the pomegranate (and hopefully as in love with it as we are), want a chance to win a goody bag from our friends at KORRES Skincare and Naturaline containing the best the fruit has to offer? All of this could be your’s:
All you have to do is share this feature with your friends on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or whichever platform you love most by clicking the icons below. Then leave a comment telling us how you’re going to be using pomegranates this season!
This luxurious bag is worth £52.00. The winner will be announced on next Friday, 12 October, 2018. The editor’s decision is final and there is no cash alternative. The contents of the goody bag are subject to change without notice. The value will remain the same. This competition is only open to UK readers. We will have a competition open to readers in the US and UK shortly.
Written, researched, and compiled by Gwyneth Duesbery. Edited by Alison Jane Reid. Photographs provided by Pexels.