Behold The AMAZING Pomegranate!

In the midst of our winter funk, I've been so thankful that pomegranates are in season. We've been eating them by the truckload and smiling all the way (how can a pomegranate not make you smile?)!

Good for us, pomegranates are LOADED with free-radical fighting antioxidants (primarily Vitamin C) and polyphenols (tannins and flavanoids) that skin loves. The juice has shown benefits for both acne conditions and to help fight the aging process. The edible seeds of the fruit also contain tons of fiber, which helps to clear toxins out of your system that could lead to sluggish skin. In addition to skin benefits, the pomegranate has shown potential in fighting heart disease, cancer and diabetes. And pomegranate extract has even been touted as a sexual tonic! Yes, please!

The pomegranate has a history in just about every ancient culture and religion. In ancient China, it was a symbol of fertility (due to the tons of seeds!). The Hindu's thought of it similarly as both a sign of fertility and prosperity, as well as a medicinal plant which they used in the ayurvedic tradition. There are several biblical references to the pomegranate and it is thought by some to be the actual forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden. The pomegranate also shows up throughout history on money, in famous works of art and even as decoration at Greek weddings and funerals. Crazy!

While we also use the pomegranate to decorate our home during the holidays, what we really like to do is eat it! Our favorite way is straight up, right out of the shell. The easiest way to get out the tasty seeds, called arils, is to break open the fruit while it is submerged in a bowl of water. Break all of the little seeds away from the shell and membrane, then give a quick rinse and drain in a colander. This technique avoids seeds flying all over the kitchen and juice squirting in your eye!

If it is the amazing pomegranate juice that you are seeking, the best way to capture it is exactly how you would squeeze an orange. Cut the pomegranate in half and use a manual orange juicer to squeeze out the beautiful blood-red juice.

Here are a few experimental recipes that I've created using pomegranate juice both internally and externally, for a double whammy! Hope you enjoy!

Pomegranate Skin Toner

Juice of 1  large pomegranate
Distilled water

Blend pomegranate and distilled water 1:1 (same amount of water as juice). Pour into a spray atomizer bottle and store in the refrigerator. Spritz your face throughout the day for some pomegranate lovin!

Pomegranate Lemonade

Juice of 1/2 large pomegranate
Juice of 8 small lemons
3 cups pure water
1/2 cup agave sweetener

Pour all ingredients into a pitcher and stir thoroughly. Serve over ice with a sprig of mint. Turn on your shower until the bathroom is all steamy, sit and sip your pomegranate lemonade while pretending you are somewhere in the tropics!

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