Biblical and beautiful

Biblical and beautiful

The Protea is our National flower and the Pomegranate is the National fruit in Xian in China. I believe that many scholars debate whether the apple in the Garden of Eden was in fact a pomegranate.

The pomegranate is native from Iran to the Himalayas in northern India and was cultivated and naturalized over the whole Mediterranean region since ancient times. I love this biblical fruit; I love everyone one of the little ruby jewels contained under its skin. These seeds are called arils and are what we eat either raw, or processed into pomegranate juice. It is said that pomegranates are among the healthiest fruits on earth. They are said to contain a range of beneficial plant compounds, virtually unrivalled by other foods. Studies have shown that they have incredible benefits for your body, and may lower the risk of all sorts of diseases.

An average pomegranate yields 3/4 cup seeds and 1/2 cup of juice. When you go shopping for pomegranates make sure that you choose them with a thin, yet tough unbroken skin. They should have a deep red colour and be heavy for their size, as well as a crown that is free of mould.

Pomegranates will stay fresh for about two weeks when you store them in a cool, dry place. Make sure that this is out of direct sunlight.

If you keep them in the refrigerator, they can be stored for up to two months. Although it is recommended that you don’t freeze the fruit whole, the seeds can be frozen.

They are in the shops now, so go and get some.

Let’s cook!

Pomegranate and pink grapefruit quencher

I like to add lots of fresh pomegranate seeds to the glass. I just love to suck the pips clean; they are so swollen with juice and rich in antioxidants.

Serves 8-10

Ingredients:

1 cup sugar

2 cups gin

3 cups fresh grapefruit juice

³̷₄ cup fresh lime juice

³̷₄ cup Cinzano Bianco

1 cup pomegranate seeds

Crushed ice

Chilled soda to top up the glasses

Extra fresh pomegranate seeds, to garnish

Fresh mint, to garnish

Method:

In a large jug, stir the sugar with the gin, grapefruit juice, lime juice and Cinzano Bianco, until dissolved. Stir in the pomegranate seeds. Refrigerate until chilled; about 2 hours.

Fill glasses with crushed ice, top up with grapefruit quencher and garnish the glasses with lots of fresh pomegranate seeds and a sprig of fresh mint.

© Jenny Morris 2017 All rights reserved

Rosemary and Pomegranate cocktail

Serves 4-6

Ingredients for the syrup:

2 cups warm water

1 cup sugar

4 large sprigs rosemary

Ingredients for the cocktail:

Slice of orange

2 cups freshly squeezed orange juice

1 long sprig fresh rosemary

1 cup rosemary syrup

1 cup pomegranate seeds

1 cup of anything white and spirited like vodka, gin, white rum or tequila

Method:

To make the syrup, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and simmer till reduced by a third; turn off the heat and let the rosemary infuse while the syrup cools.

Add all the cocktail ingredients to a large jug of crushed ice and top up with sparkling mineral water.

To serve, pour into tall glasses filled with crushed ice, and top with a fresh sprig of rosemary

© Jenny Morris 2017 All rights reserved