Not only delicious, pomegranates are one of the healthiest foods you can eat! They are high in vitamin C and potassium, a great source of fiber, and low in calories.
Like blueberries, cranberries and green tea, pomegranates are thought to be healthy because they are loaded with antioxidants, which protect cells from damage by compounds called free radicals.
Pomegranate juice is high in three different types of polyphenols, a potent form of antioxidants. The three types – tannins, anthocyanins, and ellagic acid – are present in many fruits, but fresh pomegranate juice contains particularly high amounts of all three.
Pomegranates in the store have been picked when ripe, so they are ready to enjoy as soon as you buy them. A good, ripe pomegranate should feel heavy. Surface abrasions do not affect the quality of the fruit.
Whole pomegranates keep well at room temperature and away from sunlight for several days and up to 2 months when refrigerated in plastic bags. In October when the fresh crop arrives buy several and store them in the refrigerator.
Tabouli is traditionally made from bulgur which is cracked wheat. Bulgur wheat provides various nutrients and is an especially good source of manganese, magnesium, iron and fiber. I like to use freekeh. I link to the bradn I buy on amazon. It is wheat but it is harvested when it is young and then roasted. The flavor is delicious smoky and nutty. If I don’t happen to have any, I also us regular bulgur and have even used quinoa.
The herb parsley is loaded with nutrition: Lots of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and is the richest source of Vitamin K which is essential for bone health. 1 cup chopped parsley only has 22 calories so using parsley in this salad reduced the caloric density.
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NOTE: Another option to the freekeh is to use quinoa instead of freekeh. I used 4 1/2 c. cooked quinoa in this recipe recently and it was wonderful.
1.5 cups raw freekeh + 3 cups water equals 4 cups cooked (Freekeh is Cracked wheat) I buy Freekeh at amazon or if you want to use Quinoa buy it here on Amazon
6 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil I like this olive oil because it is packaged in glass. Plastic can contain obesogens
5-6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
½ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tsp minced garlic
2 cups (about one large bunch) Italian parsley, washed, spun and chopped. Use more if omitting the mint.
¼ cup mint leaves, washed, spun and chopped –optional. I=
3 scallions or green onions, thinly sliced and chopped
1 cup (or all the seeds from one pomegranate) pomegranate seeds*
½ cup toasted pumpkin seeds or sliced toasted almonds
Cook the freekeh, bulgur or quinoa according to package directions and place in the refrigerator to cool.
To make the dressing combine and whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic in a bowl and whisk. I love my mini whisk for this purpose.
When freekeh or quinoa is cool, add chopped parsley, mint leaves, scallions and pomegranate seeds and dressing. Stir gently to mix ingredients. Chill until ready to serve.
Top with toasted pumpkin seeds when serving.
*How to remove the seeds from the pomegranate. To seed a pomegranate, cut the skin vertically in quarters, then pull it apart. Hold it in a bowl of water and gently pull the white structures apart, dropping the seeds in the bowl. Skim the white bits out. Drain and pat dry to use. To view a video demonstrating how to seed a pomegranate.