The Cooking Cardiologist Dr. Richard Collins from South Denver Cardiology Associates tells us all about pomegranates.
Pomegranates have an abundance of nutrients including vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and a variety of anti-oxidants known as polyphenols, making them an important part of a heart healthy diet. Think of these anti-oxidants as sun tan lotion for your arteries, protecting against oxidative stresses and guarding against free radicals…unstable molecules that accelerate aging and damage the inside of our bodies. Among the strongest anti-oxidant is punicalagin, a strong polyphenol (protectant) unique to pomegranates and anthocyanin which produces the deep rich pomegranate color.
The secret to remove the seeds (arils) is to not remove them under water. Cut the pomegranate in half and then split each section to the rind. Over a medium bowl with a weighted wooden mallet, pound the shell watching the seeds drop into the bowl. Amazing!
Guacamole with Pomegranate
Here is a twist on a standard recipe. There are multiple recipes for guacamole starting with ripe avocadoes plus lime, heat intensity with jalapenos, onions or shallots, optional garlic and cilantro. The twist is adding the arils of a pomegranate. This gives the dip some crunch and sweetness. Also, it is a perfect dip for the holiday season with the green color and bits of red. Short on time? Purchase prepared guacamole of choice and add the pomegranate seeds. Enjoy!
3 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and diced
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves
1 lime, juiced1 shallot finely chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded, deveined and finely chopped
¾ cup pomegranate arils
In a medium bowl, add the avocados and mash firmly with a fork. Add the cilantro, lime and shallot. Salt to preference as well as the jalapeno. Combine the pomegranate. Serve fresh to prevent browning of the avocado.
Nutrition Info: Calories: 140, Total Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 80 mg, Carbs: 10 g, Fiber: 6 g, Protein: 2 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 2 Fats
Persimmon Pomegranate Winter Salad
This salad is an expression of winter. The colors in the salad remind me of the Holidays. The kale is “body beneficial” with a number of protective benefits. However, kale needs some work. The leaves are tough, earthy and bitter so they need to be massaged to break down the cellular membranes and allow flavors to offset the kale taste.
1 grocery bunch of kale, approximately 8-ounces
1T Dijon mustard
2 fuyu persimmons coarse chopped
1 red pear, unpeeled but seeded, coarse chopped
1/2 cup pomegranate arils
½ cup nut of choice…toasted walnuts, almonds, or pecans
Salt and pepper to taste
For the dressing:
1 finely chopped shallot
2T pomegranate balsamic vinegar or 1T plain balsamic vinegar with 1T pomegranate juice
1t Agave Nectar
2T olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Tear the kale leaves away from the stem. Roll the kale to form a cigar shape. Slice the kale into thin strips, chiffonade (tiny ribbons). Place the kale in medium mixing bowl. Add the mustard, salt and pepper. Using your hands, massage the kale until tender and the color deepens. Add all salad ingredients. Prepare the dressing in a small bowl, adding the shallots, vinegar, pomegranate juice and Agave Nectar. Whisk in the oil slowly to emulsify. Toss with the salad ingredients. Serve fresh.
Serves 6. Serving size approximately 3/4 cup for salad with dressing.
Calories: 180, Total Fat: 11 g, Saturated Fat: 1 g, Trans Fat: 0 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 140 mg, Carbs: 22 g, Fiber: 5 g, Sugars: 13 g, Protein: 4 g
Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Carb, 2 Fats
Turkey Sliders with Pomegranate BBQ Sauce
After the Thanksgiving feast, you need a change of taste, but still have all of this leftover turkey. Here is a great way to enjoy the remaining turkey with a twist for Thanksgiving weekend. The recipe is simple yet adds great flavor and augments the taste of turkey just like cranberries without the berries. The short cut is easy, just purchase your favorite BBQ sauce and add equal amounts of Pom Juice with a touch of Agave Nectar. Add a splash of Sriracha sauce and you are ready for the best slider on Thanksgiving weekend. Bring on the football!
For the BBQ sauce:
1 cup favorite BBQ sauce
1 cup Pomegranate Juice
1 or 2t Agave Nectar, adjust sweetness to desired taste
1 finely chopped shallot
½ t Sriracha sauce (optional)
For the slider:
1 pound leftover turkey
8 slices of turkey bacon nitrite free and cooked (see below)
½ - 1 cup leftover Thanksgiving stuffing
1 egg white
8 toaster slider buns
¼ cup pomegranate arils for garnish
In a medium sauce pan, add the BBQ sauce, Pom juice, agave nectar and chopped shallot. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 20 minutes until thickened. Add the Sriracha if desired. While this is simmering, prepare the turkey bacon according to directions. Place on a paper towel to absorb any fat. Set aside. Add the turkey to the food processor to chop. Add dressing and the egg white, processing until the turkey is moist and can form a patty. On a medium skillet, cook the patties until firm and temperature reads 1700F.
To serve, prepare eight slider buns, toasting each. Lay down lettuce onto each bun and then the turkey bacon. Add the turkey burger, the pomegranate BBQ sauce and garnish with the arils and top with the toasted bun top.
Serves: 8. Serving size: 1 slider.