Everything you wanted to know about pomegranates

Pomegranates are a mystery fruit with their thick, fibrous shell casing and myriad of bright red seeds inside.

Separating the seeds from the connective fibres looks difficult but there are several easy techniques.

Pomegranates prefer hot, dry Mediterranean-style conditions and are grown near Condobolin in New South Wales and Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Each hectare holds about 600 trees and each tree has about 25 pomegranates. It’s a labour intensive crop as the trees have to be pruned every four weeks and the fruit is all hand picked.

The list of good things that pomegranates, like wine, tea and blueberries, do for you is impressive. It starts with fighting off bacteria and viruses and ends with possibly improving sperm quality and lowering prostate enlargement. Let’s not forget lowering blood pressure and blocking the formation of skin tumours. It’s all to do with polyphenols – a type of antioxidant.

However, from my point of view, the best thing about pomegranates is that as well as being good for you, they actually taste good in a strange sort of way and I feel great after eating them.

I also note that there doesn’t seem to be any deterioration in the taste in those I left sitting in the fridge while I sunned myself in Fiji for a week.

I’ve been adding them to my breakfast muesli or porridge and like the result – it’s another touch of crunch!

Baby leaves with beetroot and pomegranate salad
Serves 4.
Prep Time: 15 minutes.
* 1/2 cup of arils from 1 large Royal Pom™ pomegranate
* 180g packet baby leaves with beetroot mix
* 100g smooth fetta cheese, crumbled
* 1/3 cup olive oil
* 1 1/2 tbsp balsamic vinegar or glaze
* Salt and ground black pepper to taste

* Place baby leaves with beetroot into a large bowl, this is washed and ready to use.
* Cut off the crown of the pomegranate, removing with it some of the pith. Make light incisions on the skin in quarters, from the stem to the crown end. Gently break the sections apart, following the incisions. Bend back the skin and scoop the arils into a bowl, removing any pith (Refrigerate or freeze remaining arils for another use).
* Add the pomegranate arils and fetta, toss gently.
* Pour olive, balsamic, salt and pepper over the salad then toss and serve immediately.

Disclaimer: Ed+bK was gifted two pomegranates.