I love recipes, food and enjoying the results of a successful combining of ingredients. Recipes are fascinating and enjoyable and spark new ideas and ways to combine foods to enhance their natural flavors. What about the simplicity of foods just as they come? Too often we are caught up in the need to add more and more to a recipe to make it taste good. Take grapefruits and pomegranates. This morning I cleaned the seed arils from a pomegranate. It was exceptionally sweet. I was planning to eat a grapefruit for breakfast. Grapefruit are wonderful and nutritious. As I cut my grapefruit, I kept thinking of the pomegranate arils and ended up eating a plate of them together. Juicy and sweet, they were just perfect, and perfectly unadorned.
Grapefruits are Healthy and Delicious
Grapefruits seem to be another of those foods that generate a love or hate relationship. I fall on the love side of that equation. I have always loved the tart, tangy sweetness of a juicy grapefruit. Ruby Red varieties seem juicier and sweeter. The grapefruit, Citrus paradisi, is a large citrus related to the orange, lemon and pomelo. When buying, look for relatively unblemished skin and a good weight, which indicates juiciness.
They are high in vitamin C, as with most citrus and also are high in Vitamin A. Grapefruit juice ranks among some of the highest in anti oxidants, in such company as Concord grape juice, apple juice and cranberry juice. Some phytonutrients in grapefruit may help prevent some kinds of cancer. Both red and white grapefruits positively influence cholesterol levels, with red grapefruit more than twice as effective. They may reduce the risk of some kidney stones and aid in the production of healthy colon cells.
Pomegranates Have Similar Health Qualities
The pomegranate, Punica granatum, is a tropical tree grown for export in vast numbers in India, Iran, the Caucuses and Mediterranean regions. The fruits have a leathery textured skin in bright red, purple or yellow orange color and can be about the size of grapefruits. They are extensively cultivated for food, juice, flavoring and coloring and are now being considered a super fruit.
Pomegranates are a source of both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber. One serving of about 100 grams provides about 17 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin C. Some studies suggest regular consumption has been found to be effective against some prostate cancers, diabetes and lymphoma, as well as keeping blood cholesterol healthy and enhancing the immune function.
Serving Grapefruit or Pomegranate
Okay, enough about all the health reasons for eating these fruits. How about the fact that they are delicious all on their own? No spices, herbs or dressings needed. They can be combined in myriad ways with other fruits or vegetables to make a nutritious meal or side dish, as well as being beautiful to the eye.
Everyone knows citrus fruits, so the grapefruit is no mystery. The segments of the grapefruit can be eaten in any number of ways. The segments may be cut out whole, a term called a supreme, pronounced suPREHM. The whole fruit may be cut in half and served with a grapefruit spoon to remove the individual sections. Grapefruits, with their combination of tart and sweet flavors, go excellently paired with salads and salsas in otherwise savory recipes. Segments can be paired with arugula and a handful of pomegranate seeds as a salad, both beautiful and delicious.
Pomegranates are tough and leathery on the outside. Getting inside might be a challenge, if one has never tried this fruit. The ruby jewel like bits inside the fruit are what is eaten. These are called arils, as they are juicy coatings for the actual seeds which is contained inside. Cut off the top and bottom of the whole fruit and then just pull it apart into its natural components, then separate out the seed arils. This is easily done in a bowl of water, as the seed arils sink to the bottom. The membranes separating the segments are spongy and float, making it easy to drain away the parts not needed. Pomegranates can be very juicy, so beware. This is best done in a sink.
Pomegranate arils are so beautiful with the rich ruby color and facets resembling jewels. These little jewel nuggets make any dish look beautiful, just by their presence alone. Combine them with similar colors as with small diced beets for a texture contrast. They can be paired with pistachios to grace a rice dish. Or they can be paired simply with another fruit, like grapefruit, and be enjoyed in all their raw beauty and splendor, simply, as nature intended.
Thank you for taking the time to read my article. I hope it was informative and helped you along your own culinary journey.