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Monday, 15 November 2010

Pomegranate 'Parties'

I have always loved pomegranate. I remember how enamored I was, as a child, whenever my dear Dad would open up one of these round red balls, only to reveal the juiciest, most flavorful ruby 'jewels', that he'd scrape out of it's 'innards' -- much to my delight. We were never allowed to eat one in the house as the juice would spurt out everywhere. So, pomegranate-eating was often a summertime treat, when I would spend time with my Dad, on the porch at home, or on the steps at my Grandmother's house -- popping the kernels and talking about the world. I also remember how totally surprised friends were whenever we had the opportunity to share -- which was quite often as it became well-known that we always had good food and aplenty. They had never even seen a pomegranate, let alone taste one.

Now, THIS is the PLUS side of being born into a food-loving Italian family -- there was ALWAYS not just MORE than enough food in the house despite not having the smartest-looking house on the block -- but the food was the absolute BEST, TOP quality -- FRESH, HEALTHY, VARIED, INNOVATIVE -- not the typical lower middle-class fare of the day. The wealthy folks on the other side of the tracks had nothing over us when it came to our food and dining habits. AND, we ALWAYS, ALWAYS had enough to SHARE and we often would end up sharing to anyone and everyone. I'm proud to say, that even though my folks were not nutritionists, I think they probably exposed the children and families in our large neighborhood and in the neighborhoods of both my grandparents', early-on, to the benefits of a varied, balanced and HEALTHY diet of fresh fruits and vegetables to include many that these people would, otherwise, have never tried; grilled and steamed fish and poultry of all kinds, whole-grains like home-made pasta and polenta; the freshest cheeses and meats,like fresh wet mozzarella and lean proscuitto; and nuts and seeds.

This is what life is about -- finding the true 'jewels' the world has to offer, enjoying them as God intended, and sharing them with friends and folks along our way -- to make ourselves and others feel and look good and be the best they can be.

Pomegranates are an excellent source of potassium. They also contain vitamin C, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, fiber, and even a bit of calcium and protein. They have negligible fat and have about 100 kcals for a WHOLE pomegranate.

In the UK, I have found the neatest thing -- SEEDED pomegranate kernels found in packets. I ALWAYS have a pack in the fridge waiting to be sprinkled in my morning porridge, in salads and couscous or rice dishes, and just to nosh on when I want to have something intensely flavorful and fun. I ALWAYS think of my wonderful Dad, and folks he and we made happy along the way.

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