Italian Pomegranate Recipe
Pomegranate Health Jellies
by Faustina Gilbey
I’m always happy when it’s pomegranate or melograno time. The joy of eating foods according to the season means there’s always something exciting happening and I love September with the welcome sight of these glorious fruits – one of the oldest fruits known – as they ripen on the trees and beckon us from shop windows.
I first became a fan of pomegranates when I was in the Middle East and sipped a freshly-made pomegranate juice every day – perhaps they did the same in ancient Persia home of the pomegranate tree. Breaking open the tough outer layer of the fruit they too would find the seed sacs or ‘arils’ inside glistening like pearls and filled with a deep red ambrosial liquid that promised health and eternal life.
And although I can’t promise they bring eternal life…they certainly bring good health! They’re packed full of nutrients and are reputed to be the most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits. A glass of pomegranate juice has more anti-oxidants than red wine or green tea so we could all do well to enjoy a glass or two of pomegranate juice a day.
Add to this the fact that it lowers blood pressure, helps clear heart blockages or atherosclerosis, lowers cholesterol, helps lift depression and has potent anti-cancer attributes….then I think we should drink or eat them in any way possible.
I recommend drinking the juice – for flavour and for the healing it gives you. If you’d like to know how to seed them easily then please check the first post ‘Preserved Lemon, Basil & Pomegranate Seed Linguine‘ on my blog: www.eatingcloudsinitaly.com
Once you’ve seeded the pomegranates, collect the juice and drink this topped up with ice, water or soda to make a long cocktail-type drink. You could then juice the seeds themselves to make more liquid or you could just add the seeds to decorate and give texture to salads, stews, muesli and fruit salads etc.
But here’s another idea….and it’s really easy to make.
These pomegranate jellies below are going to be a new addition to our health studio this autumn as clients are always looking for something on our ‘health bar’ to snack on. I usually put out bowls of fresh fruit on warmer days or dried fruit, nuts and fresh dates come the winter. But these I think will be a big hit. They look and almost taste like Turkish Delight, and have the same consistency, but instead of being full of sugar – they’re full of fresh juice.
ITALIAN POMEGRANATE RECIPE
Pomegranate Health Jellies
1 cup fresh pomegranate juice (you’ll probably need 2 pomegranates)
4 or 5 gelatine leaves
Soak the gelatine leaves in some cold water for 4-5 minutes until softened and transparent
Pour ½ cup of the juice into a small saucepan
Take out the gelatine squeezing out as much water as possible and add to the pan
Gently warm and stir until dissolved
Pour this mixture into the other ½ cup juice in a bowl
Stir until well mixed and pour into a medium-sized baking dish
Chill until firm
Serve cut into square wedges
Faustina is English but, for the past 8 years, has been living in Italy. The first couple of years in the Alta Langhe, Piemonte and is now based in Albino near Bergamo. She is the author of “The Little Canadian Cookbook” and wrote for about 6 years for a daily Canadian CBC Television cooking show in Vancouver. Whilst living in South Africa she was assistant manageress of an African restaurant in Capetown as well as writing a pilot TV programme on African food. In London she did private catering and event organising as well as working for the media and independent Film & TV producers.
Faustina moved to Italy to be with her partner, Fiorenzo, and they now have a Feldenkrais, Floating and Food Therapy Centre: www.spaziof.org
She continues her love of food and research by exploring all the wonderful places and products here in Northern Italy; She is a member of Slow Food Italia and teaches seminars on healthy eating and juicing, as well as writing her food/health blog www.eatingcloudsinitaly.com