Pomegranate juice is making a name for itself in the United States, and vinegar has long been touted as a household cure-all. What health benefits exist when the two are combined?
While it has long been a staple across the Middle East and India, the seed of the pomegranate shrub or tree is only recently gaining in popularity in the U.S. as an antioxidant powerhouse. Providing vitamins C and B5 and potassium, pomegranate juice has been shown to prevent bad cholesterol (LDL) from oxidizing, which helps keep heart disease at bay. Pomegranate can help prevent blood clots, and it is also showing promise in preventing prostate cancer.
Vinegar is considered by many as a household elixir. As stated on the Vinegar Institute's website, vinegar can soothe a bee or jellyfish sting, offer relief from sunburn and dry, itchy skin, combat dandruff, ease sore throats and chest congestion, clear up toenail fungus, provide relief from arthritis and morning sickness, and remove warts—a true cure-all.
When combined, pomegranate vinegar is indeed a powerhouse. It packs a lot of nutrients into a powerful punch of flavor, so use sparingly. Try drizzling pomegranate vinegar on salads or fish dishes. Add it to poultry recipes for added sharpness of flavor. Add zing to marinades or desserts, or plate it with olive oil for a refreshing dip for crusty bread.
De-seeding a Pomegranate
It's a messy job, but somebody's got to do it. There are two ways to de-seed a pomegranate. In the first method, use a large chef's knife to cut halfway through the fruit, starting at the crown. Pry the pomegranate open the rest of the way, preferably over a bowl filled with water (to catch stray seeds). Cut each half of the pomegranate halfway again, starting at the crown, and pry the sections apart, again over the bowl. Then pry the seeds away from the shell into the bowl. The membranes will float and the seeds will sink. When all the seeds are separated from the shell, scoop away the floating membranes and then strain the seeds from the water.
In the second method, cut the pomegranate in half with a large chef's knife. Holding one half over a bowl (cut side facing down), use a wooden spoon to whack the back of the pomegranate; seeds should fall out of the pomegranate and into the bowl. Repeat the whacking process until all seeds are separated from the pomegranate. Squeeze any excess juice out of the fruit into the bowl.
Pomegranate Vinegar Recipe
1 cup pomegranate seeds 2 cups white wine vinegar
Place the pomegranate seeds in a clean, dry jar. Add the white wine vinegar. Seal the jar with a tight-fitting lid. Place the jar in full sunlight for eight to ten days.
Line a colander or strainer with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Drain the vinegar. Pour into a dry, clean bottle. Seal and store the vinegar in a cool, dark location for up to six months.