Friday, December 1, 2017

Juicy Gems Pomegranate Frozen Arils ~ a Review

What is your favorite way to eat a pomegranate? Mine is to sprinkle the arils (seeds) over a bowl of granola or cereal and top it with a little almond milk. Of course, since pomegranates are a delicious, nutritious fruit, I also like to just eat them fresh... but I do not like the mess that happens when I try to open and de-seed a pomegranate in the kitchen. They are still yummy - but it looks a little like a crime scene if you walk in on me with my hands covered in pomegranate juice - LOL!

What? You've never had a pomegranate? You are missing out! It is time to change that.

punicalagin, juicy gems pomegranate arils

Imagine my delight to meet the friendly people from juicy gems who grow pomegranates out in sunny California and find out that they specialize in making them eater-friendly! No mess required. I'm in - sign me up! They invited me to try their pomegranate arils three ways: fresh, frozen, and dried. 

Just in case you are wondering, aril is another word for seed. Because so many people think of something hard and crunchy when they hear the word seed, and pomegranate arils are not hard and crunchy, I'm going to keep referring to them as arils ok? If you are wanting a texture comparison, the fresh and frozen arils are similar to the consistency of uncooked sweet corn. A little bit of texture, and a lot of juiciness. Oh - that gives me an idea for another salad to try!  The dried ones are similar to the consistency of dried cranberries, but smaller, and much sweeter. These pomegranate arils are tasty frozen, but eating them frozen is a treat for warm weather. Pomegranates are nutritious and delicious!

For this review the lovely people at juicy gems had me head over to our local Wal-Mart where you can find their 10 oz. bags of frozen arils in the frozen fruit aisle. One of the benefits of getting the frozen arils is that they stay fresh for a really long time. You can find their fresh arils at several retailers, but their frozen ones are right there at Wal-Mart, and is there anyone out there that does not drive by a Wal-Mart every month? Probably not! So stop in and pick up a couple bags of juicy gems the next time you are in the neighborhood.

juicy gems pomegranates, frozen fruit

I've been experimenting with using the pomegranate arils in different ways these past few weeks. My newest repeating recipes include them in a lot of salads. You can either put some of the arils in the fridge the night before and let them defrost before you add them to your salad, or you can do what I do and toss the frozen ones on your salad in the morning while you are making lunch, and by noonish they're defrosted anyway. :)

I've been keeping a steady supply of juicy gems defrosting in the fridge to put on my morning granola or other cereal. It has been unseasonable warm here this past month, so I have not had them in my hot oatmeal yet, but I'm pretty sure that will be happening next week when they're predicting snow. I just open the bag of frozen arils and pour about half of them into a resealable container and put them in the fridge at night for the next two or three days' breakfast treats. The 10 oz. bags contain 2 servings at a 3/4 cup serving size. Putting 3/4 of a cup of fruit in my 1 cup of granola every morning would be a bit overwhelming, so I usually use around 1/4 cup of the juicy gems pomegranate arils in my bowl of granola.

punicalagin, juicy gems pomegranate arils

My other new favorite use for the arils is as salad toppers. I made the most delicious salad by accident one day when I threw a bunch of leftovers in a container and topped them with juicy gems right before I headed out the door to work.

1 cup romaine lettuce
1/2 cup shaved turkey
1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup juicy gems pomegranate arils
a generous slosh of honey mustard dressing

punicalagin, juicy gems pomegranate arils

I tried it again without the bell peppers and it was not as satisfying. Something about the combination of those arils with the peppers made this salad pop with flavor.

Then I got around to baking with the juicy gems. Oh yes, my family started laughing at me, but they were delicious baked with chicken, just adding a little sweetness ... although they loose their color when baked, so I've decided that next time I will set some defrosted arils aside to add as garnish after the chicken is baked. Yes, that is honey mustard dressing as a glaze for the chicken - I'm on a honey mustard kick this month. In December it will probably be raspberry vinaigrette, you should stop back by to see what I make next!

punicalagin, juicy gems pomegranate arils

I've been waiting for salmon to come up again on our menu rotation to try this latest salad, and it was worth the wait! I grilled the salmon and then put it over a bed of romaine lettuce which was generously seasoned with honey mustard... yes ~ pomegranates do work wonderfully with other dressings, or even no dressing if you'd like a dry salad ~ I'm just letting you in on what I did. :) So after the lettuce and dressing, I added the salmon, chopped green bell peppers, and about a quarter cup of juicy gems. It was delicious!

punicalagin, juicy gems pomegranate arils

Arlene and I have been working on a smoothie using juicy gems, crushed pineapple and chocolate whey powder. I'll let you know once we've perfected the recipe.

Just in case you love the challenge of de-seeding a pomegranate yourself... Arlene and I saw these lovely ones at Costco this morning! They have plenty - and they're juicy gems - so they'll  be delicious!

juicy gems pomegranates, eat healthy, punicalagin

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I received free product in exchange for this honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, nor was I compensated in any other way. All opinions are mine, or those of my family. I am disclosing this in accordance with FTC regulations.

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