There is nothing like the tart and sweet taste of pomegranate seeds (or arils). The fruit is quite unique, and I've been fascinated with them ever since I got a juicer. They are one of the trickier fruits to negotiate getting at their juice.

A squished seed can spray highly staining juice several feet. After one of my first encounters juicing a pomegranate I found juice drops 10 feet from where I was juicing!

Since then, I've gotten much better at it, with the help of a Google search and a little practice.

A few days ago, a good neighbor friend of mine brought over a box of nicely ripe pomes she'd picked up from a tree in her yard. So I found myself back at the pome juicing game. One way to get the juice that is really pretty effective is to roll the pomegranate on a flat, solid surface, pressing down as you roll. You'll hear cracking sounds--that's the seed membrane pulling away from the outer shell, releasing the seeds. The juice around each seed is then also released, so after the rolling you can make an incision in the outer skin, stick a straw in there and drink up. Or, further squeezing of the fruit into a bowl, yields a pretty nice amount--usually about a half a cup.

One of the best ways, though, is to slice off the top of the fruit, then quarter it. Put the quarter in a bowl of water and use your thumbs to peel the seeds away from the outer shell. This rips the seed packet membranes, which you can discard (they are bitter, but I keep some of them because they are very high in antioxidants).

Pomegrantes are considered one of the Top 10 Superfoods because they not only are three times higher in antioxidants than green tea, but also because recent research shows significant effects as an anti-tumor agent. Pomegranate juice also prevents arterial damage by LDL cholesterol, and allows the blood to carry more oxygen to the heart muscle, so the fruit is an essential food for those with cardiovascular issues.

An inspiration to many poets down through the ages, the pomegranate "...shows its heart, like a pearl in the jewel box of spirit." -- Rumi

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