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POMEGRANATES — The name derives from the Middle French “pomme garnete,” meaning “seeded apple.” Also referred to as a Chinese apple, pomegranates have long been cherished for their beauty, flavor, color and health benefits. From their distinctive crown to the ruby red arils, pomegranates are royalty amongst fruit. They are symbolic of prosperity and abundance in virtually every civilization, and are ready to eat when they are picked. (Surface abrasions do not affect the quality.)

Those glistening red jewels inside are called arils, full of delicious, nutritious sweet-tart juice surrounding a small white crunchy seed. You can eat the whole arils, including the fiber-rich seeds, or dispose of them out if you prefer. The rind and white membranes surrounding the arils are bitter and we do NOT suggest eating them, though some say this part of the fruit has medicinal value.

Three Step, No Mess Process for Removing Arils:

1) Cut off the crown, then cut the pomegranate into sections.

2) Place the sections in a bowl of water. Roll out the arils with your fingers. Discard everything else.

3) Drain out the water. Eat and enjoy!

STORAGE: WHOLE pomegranates keep well at room temperature for up to a week when kept away from sunlight . Refrigerate in a plastic bag, and you can expect them to be fine for about a month. Arils (and their juice) can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. If you need to freeze this fruit, arrange in a single layer on a tray placed inside an airtight container in your freezer. Although they often lose their shape when thawed, the integrity of the frozen fruit stays intact for up to 6 months.

Spicy Pomegranate Relish  – To make about 2 cups of relish that your family will relish, gently fold all the following ingredients together. So simple! Can be served cold or room temperature on crackers, brats or burgers, sandwiches, baked potatoes or anything else you want to add a little zip to!

2 Medium pomegranates, seeds removed (to equal about 1-1/2 cups), 1/2 C. Finely chopped sweet onion, 1-1/2 T. Finely chopped green jalapeño pepper, 1 T. Lemon juice, 1 T. Sugar, 1/4 t. Salt

JAZZ APPLES — Jazz Apples were developed in New Zealand from multiple cross pollinations of Braeburn and Royal Gala, producing 8,500 seedlings of which only one would be chosen for greatness. Developers tasted apples from over 5,000 seedlings before selecting the variety now known as Jazz.

The new kid on the produce block began tantalizing the taste buds of apple lovers around the globe, and over the last six years, enough Jazz trees have been planted around the world (including in the United States) to produce more than 500 million apples!

STORAGE: Store in a cool, dry place or refrigerate. Apples may seem crisper when they are chilled. Tip: Do NOT store near carrots! The ethylene gas apples release can turn carrots bitter.

Jazz Apples & Fig Breakfast Bars –  2-1/2 C. Rolled oats, 1-1/4 C. Shredded coconut, 3/4 C. Dried figs, chopped, 1/3 C. Pepitas, 1/3 C. Sunflower seeds, 3/4 C. Flaked almonds, 2 Jazz Apples, grated, 1 can sweetened condensed milk. Preheat oven to 275°. Put the oats, coconut, figs, pepitas, sunflower seeds and almonds in a large bowl. Mix well to combine. Add the shredded Jazz apples, and mix again. Pour on the sweetened condensed milk. Mix thoroughly until the ingredients are evenly coated.

Press mixture into a lined 8″ square cake pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until lightly golden on the edges and firm to the touch. Cut into 18 pieces. Cool thoroughly before serving.

THE WORD FRUIT  IS A DERIVATIVE OF THE WORD FRUCTUS. THE LATIN WORD FRUCTUS MEANS “ENJOYMENT.” HOW FITTING!

 — SOME APPLE BITES TO CHEW ON — • YEAH!  There are more than 7,000 different varieties of apples.

• GOOD! Apples are nature’s toothbrush! Eating an apple doesn’t actually cleanse your teeth, but biting and chewing one stimulates your gums, and the sweetness increases the flow of saliva, reducing tooth decay and lowering the level of mouth bacteria.

• GREAT! Adults who eat apples regularly are 37% less likely to have hyertention, according to a recent food database analysis.

• PASS THE APPLES! Packed with fiber and water, they fill us up, allow us to pass up high sugar treats, and aid in weight loss.

• OH, OH . . . They are one of five fruits (including blackberries, mangoes, plums and watermelon) who may ‘put gas in our tank.’

About the Author
Tracie Burket
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