If you have never tried pomegranates, the chances are that the high price tag prevented you from the get-go. Pomegranates are somewhat pricey compared to other fruits.
Pomegranates are expensive for several reasons. The two main reasons are; they have a lot of health benefits, i.e., they are a superfood, and most of them are imported.
This article discusses why pomegranates are not cheap. Additionally, we will discuss how to choose the best pomegranates, how to prepare and eat them, how to store them, and how to use them at home.
What are pomegranates?
Pomegranates are ancient exotic fruits that are about the size of oranges. They grace grocery stores in the late fall, between September and December. The color of the pomegranate’s rind ranges from orange to reddish-purple.
Each pomegranate has a white membrane that contains approximately 840 seeds. Every seed is surrounded by a translucent juice sac that is ruby-colored.
The only edible parts of the pomegranates are the seeds and the juice found in the juice sac, also called the arils.
Pomegranates have been grown for several centuries in the Mediterranean, Asia, India, and Central Africa. In the past, people believed that the fruit represented fertility.
Pomegranates were introduced to North America a few centuries ago. Spanish settlers introduced the pomegranate tree to California in 1769. Currently, it is grown in two states, including Arizona and California.
Pomegranates quickly gained popularity in the United States because of their health benefits.
Scientists have researched the health benefits and confirmed that pomegranates are some of the healthiest fruits available.
Currently, pomegranates are sold in different forms, including the fruit itself, pomegranate juice, supplements, extracts, and powders.
People started calling pomegranate a superfood in the early 2000s after POM-funded studies popularized its health benefits. Consequently, grocers all over the United States started stocking pomegranate juice
Reasons why pomegranates are expensive
Here are the main reasons why pomegranates are not cheap.
- They have many health benefits.
Pomegranates have many health benefits. They contain several important nutrients, including dietary fiber and vitamin C.
Additionally, they are rich in antioxidants and are known to have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties. Since most people strive to eat healthy these days, they are in demand hence the high prices.
- Most of them are imported.
Although pomegranates are grown in California and Arizona, the harvest is not always enough to meet the needs of all Americans. Therefore, most pomegranates need to be imported.
Importation causes the price of pomegranates to shoot due to shipping costs, taxes, middlemen fees, and other incidental costs.
Potential health benefits of pomegranates
As mentioned above, pomegranates gained popularity because of their numerous health benefits.
Consuming pomegranates can greatly reduce your chances of contracting specific diseases since they have several beneficial compounds.
Here are some of the potential health benefits of pomegranates.
Pomegranate seeds contain polyphenols which are powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are important for healthy living since they prevent cell damage.
- Anti-inflammatory properties
Pomegranates have inflammatory properties since they are rich in antioxidants. They may reduce inflammation in any body part.
- Vitamin C
Pomegranates contain Vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient that boosts your immunity.
- Improved digestion
Pomegranates may improve digestion by lessening inflammation in the gut.
- Prevent infection
Pomegranates have anti-viral and anti-viral properties. Therefore, they may prevent infections.
- Stabilizes blood pressure
Research has shown that the antioxidants in pomegranates may lessen plaque on artery walls. Consequently, less stress will be on the cells that line artery walls, hence reduced blood pressure.
- Cancer prevention
Scientists have argued that consuming pomegranates reduces the risk of developing prostate cancer since pomegranates contain ellagic acid, preventing cancer cell division.
- Improved memory
Antioxidants in the pomegranates may protect one’s memory and reduce one’s risk of contracting Alzheimer’s disease.
- Protects the heart.
Studies have shown that pomegranates may protect the heart by improving blood flow and ensuring that the arteries are not too stiff.
- Remedy for diabetes
In the past, Indian and Middle East residents used pomegranates to traditionally treat diabetes. They believed that the fruits lowered blood sugar and reduced insulin resistance.
How to choose the best pomegranates
To get value for your money, you need to choose the best pomegranates at the store.
Go for the ones that have a deep red color and are somewhat heavy for their size. You should also check the skin for any blemishes. Avoid the ones that have blemishes.
Ripe pomegranates should be soft to touch, so if the pomegranate feels hard, the chances are that it is not ripe enough. You can try scratching the skin using your nail. If it scratches easily, it is ripe.
If you want juicy pomegranates, go for the ones that are squared off circle in shape. These pomegranates are more likely to be juicy compared to the others.
How to prepare and eat a pomegranate
You should know that pomegranates can be quite messy and can easily stain your clothes and hands. Therefore, it would be best if you wore an apron and gloves before preparing it.
To start, cut off the crown end of the fruit. The crown end refers to the part that sticks out. You can’t miss it.
After that, score the pomegranate skin four times or until you can disintegrate it into smaller pieces.
Fill a bowl with water, then place the pieces of fruit in it. Use your hands to separate the ring from the arils. While you do so, the arils will collect at the bottom of the bowl.
Once you have collected all the arils, discard the rind. Strain out the water so that you only remain with the arils.
You can eat the arils the way they are. Alternatively, blend them to make pomegranate juice. Do not blend arils for too long. If you do, the juice will turn out murky. After blending, strain the juice and enjoy.
Raw pomegranate seeds are perfectly edible, so you can eat them.
Here are a few ways you can use pomegranate at home.
Pomegranate is a great addition to your smoothies and smoothie bowls.
Pomegranate seeds make for an amazing salad ingredient.
You can add pomegranate seeds to your pudding.
Blend the arils to make pomegranate juice. It is both tasty and healthy.
Are you tired of plain yogurt? Mix plain yogurt with pomegranate seeds, honey, and chia seeds. Top it off with cranberry seeds and enjoy!
You can blend pomegranate and add it to your dips.
Add pomegranate juice to your sauces to enhance their flavor.
How to store pomegranates
If you have fresh pomegranates, store them in a cool, dark place. You can either store them in the pantry or refrigerator. They will retain their good quality for one month in the pantry and two months in the refrigerator.
Store the kernels in the refrigerator. They will retain their quality for three days. If you want them to last longer, freeze them in an airtight container. They will retain their quality for six months.
You can store pomegranate juice in the refrigerator or freezer. When frozen properly, it will last for six months.
Pomegranates are a pricey fruit, but they are worth it because of the numerous health benefits they offer.
The two main reasons pomegranates are pricey are; they are a superfood, and most of them are imported.
If you have not tried pomegranates because of the high price, this is a cue for you to do so. They may be expensive, but they are worth it.