5 Ways to Use Pomegranates in Your Cooking

Pomegranates might be the hardest and most tedious fruit to eat but the ends justify the means. However, there are three easy ways to de-seed a pomegranate. The ruby-esque seeds are jam packed with antioxidants, which may help prevent heart disease and cancer. They also have a very distinctive tart yet sweet and crunchy taste to them. If you're at a loss for what to do with this delicious fruit, here are some recipe ideas to get the (pomegranate) juices flowing: 

* Pomegranate, Beet, and Blood Orange Salad: This is a great salad recipe for the summer as the blood orange, beet and pomegranate combination is sure to be refreshing. Combine the three ingredients with some onions and vinaigrette or leave as is or toss in with some arugula to add more greenery and a taste of bitter to the mix.

* Mango Pomegranate Guacamole: Combine mashed avocados with onion, chiles, 1/4 cup lime juice, and a few sprinkles of sea salt, then add in the pomegranate seeds, mango, and cilantro. This is a tasty twist on the classic guacamole recipe and it brings a wow factor to any party you bring this to.

* Fresh seeds in a margarita or sangria: A great way to add some pizzazz to a frozen margarita or a glass of sangria is to add in some fresh pomegranate seeds. Another great cocktail to make is a Pomegranitini!

* Chocolate Cake with Pomegranate Granita: Chocolate and pomegranate is such a good combination of flavors as the super sweetness of the chocolate pairs well with the juicy tartness of the pomegranate. To make granita, just combine 2 cups pomegranate juice and 1/4 cup sugar in a glass baking dish and stir until the sugar dissolves. Leave the mixture in the freezer overnight or until firm. Serve with a small slice of your favorite chocolate cake.

* Orange and Pomegranate Marmalade: Combine slices of oranges with marinated orange water (orange slices in a quart of water left overnight) and add sugar and pomegranate juice in a pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and allow the sugar to dissolve then keep on heat until it thickens. Stir in the pomegranate seeds and pour out into jars and let cool.

Photo: Greencolander on flickr