“You know, LJ, one of the reasons why I love this time of year is because of the mighty pomegranate,” said Annie. “Are you sure about that Annie, because I always thought you loved this time of year because of the many holidays?” “Actually, you’re right, sweetheart. And I love this season because there are so many pomegranate dishes that are part of the celebrations.” LJ thought, here goes the pomegranate pitch. “Ok, babes, tell me about life on planet pomegranate.” “Very funny, LJ. Ok, when I was a little girl, I used to walk home from school with Monica Haupt. Monica’s family had a giant pomegranate tree in their yard, and when they were in season, we would stand under the tree and eat until we were stuffed. One day I came home with pomegranate juice all over my uniform blouse. My father scolded me about it and told me not to stop at the Haupts and eat pomegranates again.

Of course the next day I was right back at it. When I got home, my Dad asked me if I had been eating pomegranates, and I said, No! He walked me into the bathroom and stood me in front of the mirror so that I could see the pomegranate juice all over my face and clothes. I was scared, but he was laughing so hard that I thought well maybe I’m going to get off lightly. After he stopped laughing, I got punished, but it did not diminish my love of pomegranates. They are an ancient fruit that is native to Iran and the region north of that country. Saideh and I were swapping pomegranate stories not long ago. She said pomegranates are used routinely in Persian cooking, and its juice is a staple of their diet.

Pomegranates are super healthy too. Their deep red color indicates the presence of polyphenols, strong antioxidants that protect our bodies from free radicals. The juice has powerful anti-inflammatory properties, which also act as a barrier in preventing the formation of plaque on your teeth, and they’re loaded with vitamins C & K, two immune system boosters. This superfood is loaded with potassium (blood pressure regulator and muscle control), calcium (strong bones), magnesium (creates and repairs DNA), phosphorus (energy booster), and folate (healthy fetal development).” LJ said, “But how do you get the seeds out?” Annie thoughtfully paused, and…

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