Ring in the new year with some pomegranates, which are eaten in Turkey to bring luck, health and prosperity for the coming year (and coincidentally, are at the peak of their season). Similarly, on New Year’s Eve in Greece, a whole pomegranate is smashed on the floor for good luck at the stroke of midnight. But it’s not just luck that these thick-skinned fruits will bring you; they have loads of antioxidants and are a super sweet-tangy addition to everything from salads to homemade lollipops.
There are a few ways to remove the seeds from the pith of pomegranates. My favorite way (the best option to work out some anger management issues) involves whacking pomegranate halves with a large metal ladle over a sturdy bowl. You can also cut the pomegranate in quarters and stick them in a bowl of water. Peel the seeds from the pith to easily release them. If you need further brushing up on your pomegranate skills, watch this video.
So even if you don’t buy into the whole pomegranate-brings-good-luck thing, there’s no harm in adding some extra antioxidants to your new year with the following recipes:
- Nadia G.’s DIY Vodka Bar with Spicy Pomegranate and Lemongrass Limeade Mixers (pictured) is the perfect (stress free) setup for a New Year’s Eve bash.
- Pear Crumble with Pomegranate Sauce utilizes pantry staples like all-purpose flour and steel-cut oats for a quick dessert.
- Raita is an Indian yogurt condiment that can be used as a dip, dressing or sauce. Nigella Lawson makes Pomegranate Raita to drizzle over Mughlai Chicken, Muttar Paneer and Pilaf for a Curry Banquet (though you could always just eat the raita on its own as a snack).
- Butter Lettuce, Mache and Pomegranate Seeds Dressed with Champagne Vinaigrette is exactly what your New Year’s resolutions called for.
- If you’re not ready to start on those resolutions yet, make a batch of frozen Pomegranate Margaritas or take your Pomegranate Margarita on the rocks.
- Add habanero simple syrup to that and you have Sunny Anderson’s Pomegranate Margaritas.
- Bring Pomegranate Quinoa Pilaf with a lemon-shallot vinaigrette to work for lunch; the almonds and quinoa will keep you full throughout the day, which will help you cut down on eating those leftover holiday cookies that seem to replenish themselves overnight.
- Blueberry and Pomegranate Salad is loaded with tons of antioxidants to help you recover from your holiday-season hangover.
- Bobby Flay’s Blueberry Pomegranate Smoothie is the perfect on-the-go breakfast. You can substitute frozen blueberries for ice, like in this Pomegranate-Berry Smoothie.
- Sweet meets spicy with Kelsey Nixon’s Pomegranate-Glazed Skirt Steak Fajitas.
- Virgin Pomegranate and Cranberry Bellinis will be a favorite for the kids, and can easily be converted into traditional bellinis with the addition of Champagne or Prosecco.
- Homemade Pomegranate-Lime Lollipops are a great addition to a party-favor bag. Kelsey Nixon utilizes powdered sugar to make the lollipop molds. You can find lollipop sticks at most craft stores.
- Meyer lemons have a golden-yellow skin and a slight orangey flavor that sweetens up vinaigrettes, like in this Pomegranate Salad with Meyer Lemon Vinaigrette.
- Granita is easy to make because you don’t need a bulky ice-cream maker to get it done. Just pour everything into a pan and freeze for a while, then break up the goods with a fork and you have granita. Try out this simple Pomegranate Granita.
- Take that granita and step it up a few notches for a Dark Chocolate Pomegranate Granita.
- Toast to the new year with a Pomegranate Champagne Cocktail. FYI, cassis is a liqueur made from black currants.
- Tyler Florence’s Pomegranate, Arugula Salad utilizes pomegranate seeds along with pomegranate molasses. You can find this in the international section of the grocery store or try your hand at making Pomegranate Syrup or Molasses at home.
- Kelsey Nixon also makes her own pomegranate syrup for her Homemade Pomegranate Soda Kit, which doubles as a fantastic holiday gift.
- Beef Carpaccio with Pomegranate is easy to prepare when you stick the beef in the freezer for a few minutes before thinly slicing it. Be sure to get the freshest meat from your butcher the same day you plan on serving it.
- Nigella Lawson’s Warm Shredded Lamb Salad with Mint and Pomegranate works around your schedule. Either pop it in the oven overnight or set the oven a bit warmer and put the lamb in there a few hours before eating.
- Pomegranate and Roasted Red Pepper Salsa served with lots of fresh oysters on the half shell (remember to keep them on ice) brings the right amount of class to your New Year’s party.
- Bobby Flay’s Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranates and Vanilla-Pecan Butter straddle the line of sweet and savory, and I don’t hate it.
- Almond Custards with Almond Milk (Biancomangiare) is a sweet Italian custard. Mario Batali flavors the whole milk for the custard with lemon zest and crushed almonds.
- After all of the parties, holiday dinners and events, you’re definitely going to need the Antioxidant Fruit Salad to stay healthy in the new year.
- Pomegranate Chocolate Chip Macaroons with tons of spices like star anise, cloves and vanilla are super wintry and a great make-ahead dessert to bring to parties.
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