Sunday, September 16, 2018

SweetHeart dried pomegranate seeds ~ a review

Water comes as a solid, liquid, and a gas. For different situations, you need a specific one. Ice cubes to cool you in the summer, water to drink when you are thirsty, and water vapor (steam) to open up those stubborn envelopes (LOL!)

Pomegranate seeds also come in three forms: fresh, frozen, or dried. The technical term is arils, but nobody will mind if you call them pomegranate seeds. I like fresh arils best for eating with a spoon whenever I’m craving some fruit, I like the frozen ones to put in my blender when making smoothies, but dried arils are the easiest to bake with! That’s why we’ve been having fun all summer long with the SweetHeart dried pomegranate seeds from our friends at!

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We met our friends from juicy gems last fall at the MomsMeet WOW Summit. They are such an awesome group of people who love providing quality fruit to points all around the US. You can read more about their frozen pomegranate arils over in this post.

SweetHearts dried pomegranate seeds can be substituted in just about any recipe that calls for dried fruit. If you have a favorite scone recipe, substitute the SweetHearts for the dried cranberries. Granola recipe that calls for raisins? Use pomegranates instead. Trail mix? Add a new dimension to your mix’s flavor by adding SweetHearts dried pomegranates to your other dried fruits, or switch them out completely. I’ll share some of our favorite recipes below.

There are a variety of other ways to use SweetHeart dried pomegranate seeds as well. I frequently toss them on my salads, especially if I’m out of fresh pomegranate arils. They work really well with both chicken and fish. My usual is chopping up the leftover chicken and adding it to my pomegranate salad for lunch the following day. Try adding a quarter cup of dried arils to your breakfast cereal.

Nutritionally, pomegranates pack a one-two punch with Punicalagins and Punicic acid, two healthful substances not found in other fruits. But truthfully, I just know that the flavor makes my taste buds happy and eating pomegranate arils keeps me regular. 

Because juicy gems grows their pomegranates in California, the easiest time to find them fresh in the store is October-February. That’s right, October, as in I'm getting myself some fresh yum real soon, but - if you’re going to be baking - these dried ones are perfect anytime! 

SweetHearts dried pomegranates come in three size offerings: 2 oz, 1 pound, and 5 pound bulk boxes. The 2 oz packages are great to throw in your backpack for snacking on the trail, or taking on a road trip, but since we use them a lot for baking, I’m going to suggest you go for the 1 pound or 5 pound size. Once you get started baking with them, you’ll be glad you stocked up!

Arlene is usually the one who bakes our scones. This batch she made bison shaped, because we had just added a bison to our cookie cutter, umm, I mean scone cutter collection. :)

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Here is our scone recipe:

1 cup flour
1/2 cup dried fruit
1/4 cup sugar
2 oz butter
2.5 oz milk
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 415 degrees Fahrenheit 
Mix flour, baking powder, sugar + salt
Add butter (cut into pieces)
mix with fingertips until crumbly
pour in milk and dried fruit, mix until dough-is
place on floured surface and roll to 1/2" thick
cut into shapes
bake for 12 minutes, remove and cool on a wire rack

Arlene found this recipe in her Recipe Holder book from, which I believe is now out of print.

I like making some trail mix for whenever we head out. I have these nifty Ball® brand freezer jam jars that are plastic with rubber lids that fit really well into a cupholder. So if it is just going to be me, I’ll make a small batch of trail mix in my tiny stainless steel bowl and just fill one of them. If there will be several of us out, I’ll make a bigger batch, pack a couple jam jars for the trip, and leave the rest at home in a quart jar for the next trip. In the winter I usually add chocolate chips, but in the summer I don’t want one giant chunk, or a gooey mess, so I skip the chocolate but often add in coconut flakes or another nut variety instead. This summer it was usually cashews.

My basic trail mix recipe is:

1/2 cup raw almonds
1/2 cup organic raisins
1/4 cup dry, unsalted sunflower seeds
1/2 cup cashews (summer) or chocolate chips (winter)
1/2 cup SweetHeart dried pomegranate seeds

Mix, put into reusable container, and enjoy! 

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Trail mix made with dried fruit is a terrific snack to keep in the car. Since the fruit has already been dried, you don’t have to worry about it sitting in a hot car for the day, like you would with a banana or grapes. Plus, with the resealable lid, what you don’t eat on your ride home today will still be waiting in the cup holder for you tomorrow. Ta da!

Granola, granola, granola!

Oh how I enjoy a good bowl of granola. I have one specific brand that I buy at the store (and add fresh, frozen, or dried pomegranates or blueberries to) or I make it myself. I’ve experimented with a few recipes, because even though I like to bake, granola just seems to come out better if I start with a proven recipe and then tweak it to my individual taste. If you've never made your own granola - try it -  it really is not that difficult! My current favorite recipe is one I found on and tweaked a little. Kate adds the dried fruit at the end after baking, while I like my granola chunkier and find it holds together better for me if I add the fruit before baking.

Here is how I made my last batch, which was delicious!

Granola recipe:

4 cups rolled oats
1 tsp sea salt (next time I’m going to try 1/2 tsp of salt)
1 tsp cinnamon (if you’re not a huge cinnamon fan like I am, cut it back to 1/2 tsp)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup SweetHearts dried pomegranate arils

Preheat oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit 

line 2 baking sheets with parchment (I use jelly roll pans just to make sure none of it rolls off the side and gets lost to the bottom of the oven

mix dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl (at least 3 Qt size)

in a small bowl or pan, mix honey and oil, add vanilla - then pour slowly over dry ingredients in large bowl - slowly mix until well coated

pour half of granola mixture onto each lined baking sheet
press flat with back of mixing spoon (if you press it together you get more lumps, for looser granola, just spread it out)

bake until golden 20-25 minutes (Do not over bake!)

Let cool completely, then break into chunks and store in an airtight container for up to a week.

If you think you won’t eat it all in a week, you can store half in the freezer, just toast it back up for a few minutes in the oven once it defrosts. (But who wouldn't eat it all? LOL!)

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I hope you will give SweetHeart brand dried pomegranate arils a try soon! Come back by when you do and let me know your favorite way to eat them - I'm always looking for ideas!

Disclaimer: we received free product from juicy in exchange for an honest review. We were not required to write a positive review, nor were we compensated in any other way. We are disclosing this in a accordance with FTC regulations.

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