The Healing Powers of Pomegranate + Recipes

img_2392There has been some debate of late as to whether pomegranates should be added to the list of so-called superfoods, those foods which are believed to help prevent, heal and recover from disease due to their powerful nutritional content. Studies both in labs, in test tubes and on small groups of humans show promising results. Many people now believe adding pomegranate to your diet can be nothing but beneficial in the prevention and treatment of chronic lifestyle diseases like Type II diabetes, heart disease, arthritis, weight gain, clogged arteries, certain cancers and so on.

Pomegranates are berries which grow on a small shrub and it is the bright seeds which are eaten or juiced, the flesh and peel being tough and inedible.

These jewelled fruits are high in antioxidants, coming in at a massive 3 x those found in red wine and green tea, they are good sources of Vitamin A, C, and K, potassium, B5 and other B Complex compounds as well as being high in soluble and insoluble fibre. This makes pomegranates an effective anti-inflammatory weapon to help protect against asthma, arthritis, breast and colon cancers and diseases of the digestive tract.

Some studies indicate that daily pomegranate juice (unsweetened) may lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of heart attack and increase blood circulation and even reduce accumulated fat in arteries. It is also suggested this regimen can benefit heart patients by improving heart function and boosting immunity.

Due to its fat-clearing and anti-inflammatory properties, pomegranates can also help with weight loss as the fibre content helps reduce extra fat deposits and keep bowel movements regular.

All in all, this berry appears to lift above its weight in terms of nutritional and health benefits, so how do we use it?

img_2394I only recently started using pomegranates so I am still a novice, I have so far sprinkled the seeds on porridge on salad and in a smoothie.

This porridge bowl makes an excellent  start to the day or if you prefer a lighter breakfast of juice or smoothie, you could have this later as I do and it will keep you going for hours.

This breakfast contains protein, fibre, calcium, magnesium, antioxidants, healthy fats, probiotics for a healthy gut and lots of vitamins and minerals.

All ingredients are organic, vegan and glutenfree.

Ingredients

1/2 Cup Porridge Oats

21/2 Cups Non-dairy Milk (I had homemade almond milk, see How To Make Almond Milk)

A Small Handful of Cashew pieces (presoaked if you have time, to make them easier to digest. Swap for seeds or tiger nuts if you are nut-free)

1 Tbsp Chia Seeds*

1 Tbsp Lucuma Powder* (it has a mildly malted flavour and is full of nutrients)

Seeds from Half a Pomegranate

Small Handful of Goji Berries*

1 Heaped Tbsp CoYo Coconut (ie non-dairy) Live Yogurt

Cook the oats in the milk on a medium heat, stirring to prevent lumps and sticking, when it’s nearly done add the cashews and mix in well

Remove from heat, add the chia seeds and lucuma powder, stirring well

Pour into a bowl and top with pomegranate seeds, goji berries and yogurt.

Of course, you could be really adventurous and try my Cauliflower Oats (Don’t Laugh, It’s a Thing!) with peanut butter, banana and pomegranate seeds!

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*https://www.therawchocolatecompany.com/

Copyright: Chris McGowan

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The One That Got Away: The Sweet Carob & Blueberry Vegan Tiger Nut Pancakes That Became Sweet Carob & Blueberry Vegan Tiger Nut Porridge!

When I read the big build-up The Tiger Nut Company’s Ani gave me on Instagram, telling everyone I was going to be posting new Tiger Nut recipes every day this week, I have to say I panicked! I read it out to my husband and he said, ‘right, you’d better get your thinking cap on’ and went off to oil his bike.

imageSo, I thunk and I thunk and thought, aha! I have Chufa di Valencia flour, we can make pancakes. My husband makes the traditional pancakes so beloved by our grandsons – they can demolish a baker’s dozen without blinking an eye – but I don’t pay much attention. So does our son, all sorts of weird and wonderful concoctions. Again, I don’t give them a glance. I’ve never been a pancake lover, all that smoke and fumes and alarms going off, no thanks. I like peace and quiet and clean air.

But, to get my husband on board with the project, I decided pancakes it would be, and to further tempt him, they would have carob in (a bit ‘out there’ for him, but so long as it has a chocolate flavour, he won’t mind what it’s called).

Here’s the recipe:

Add 1 Tbsp Chia Seeds to 3 Tbsps Water, stir vigorously and allow to stand for 15 minutes to form a gel (chia egg)

1 Cup Chufa de Valencia Tiger Nut Flour

1 Tsp Gluten-Free Baking Powder

2 Tbsps Finely Ground Almonds

1 Tbsp Carob Powder

Sieve all dry ingredients into large bowl.

Add a pinch of Pink Himalayan Salt and the Chia egg,

plus approx 1 1/2 Cups Tiger Nut Milk or Almond Milk (click on links for how to make your own, it’s very easy)

and 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup

Mix well.

Add a Cup of Frozen Blueberries.

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Heat a tiny drop of coconut oil and add a ladle of the mixture, it will sizzle and bubble like a pancake should…

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…and that’s as far as I can take you, because that’s all it did! No way would it come together, let alone flip over!

So I failed. As I threw a strop and it was scraped into a bowl, I had a taste of it. It was surprisingly good, so I put some Coyo plain coconut yogurt with it and ate it like dessert, it tasted a bit like summer pudding! Very yummy. I forgot to take a photo while I was pondering and had eaten it all before I realised.

My husband suggested we cook the rest like porridge. So porridge it became. With extra blueberries and some CoYo plain yogurt on top.

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It won’t be to everyone’s taste, it is a bit bran/oaten-like in texture, but it’s nice and fruity, sweet and very good for you – and extremely filling. I could only manage half of it.

So I’ll leave it up to you. If anyone can suggest what we did wrong, I would be very grateful – and I just know boingghealth will be first in the queue 😉

Sorry, Ani!

Ps I was told off, very nicely, by Rachel @healthy&psyched because there was no video last time, so to make up for it, here is a great wake-up video of sand and surf and Jake Owen singing ‘The One That Got Away!’ (Click on the blog to see it)

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Copyright: Chris McGowan