Pomegranate juice

Pomegranate juice

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Pomegranate juice

Juicy, rich, hypervitaminic: it is the pomegranate, in the Punica granatum century, a plant of ancient origins coming from the Mediterranean basin and from here spread in Asia and in Europe through the Phoenicians, the Arabs, the Greeks.

The origins

Since its origins, the pomegranate - which takes its scientific name precisely from the Punics, a population that colonized the Mediterranean area around the 4th century BC - has always been appreciated for its appearance rather than for its nutritional properties. The fruit has in fact always struck the symbolic imagination of the populations that have alternated in its cultivation: the plant's capacity to withstand extremely arid and desert climates, the richness of its shiny and crunchy seeds, the vermilion color of the juice, which it remembers, also in its density, the blood shed by Christ during the Passion, the contrast between a hard, leathery bark, apparently unassailable and a surprisingly fertile and juicy interior. All these elements have stimulated, over the centuries, the imagination of peoples of all cultures and all religions.

The beneficial properties of the juice

Over time, however, once the symbolisms and allegorical suggestions had been overcome, this magical fruit began to be appreciated above all for its antioxidant and antibacterial properties, and, more recently, for its anticarcinogenic properties. Inside the juice there are in fact chemicals, flavonoids, which slow down considerably and sometimes prevent oxidation, thus preventing the formation of free radicals responsible for cellular aging as well as performing a protective function for the arteries and the heart. Also sought after for its antibacterial properties, pomegranate juice also has a gastroprotective function: its intake is able not only to fortify the barrier of gastric mucosa, and facilitate the functions of the intestine, but it can also perform a strong astringent action very useful in case of diarrhea. In more recent times it has been discovered that this magical fruit may also have anticarcinogenic properties. Already Hippocrates, the father of medicine, had advanced hypotheses in this sense, hypotheses that have only partially been confirmed in recent years: the anticancer property of the fruit is attributed to the presence, inside it, of ellagic acid capable of appreciably slowing down the process of destruction of the tumor protein P53.

Where to find it

The taste of pomegranate juice is very variable, depending on the varieties of the plant from which it is derived. It is possible to come across very sweet juices, and in others decidedly more acidulous and bitter. The juice of this fruit is commonly called 'grenadine' and takes its name from the vermilion and inviting color of the pressing. On the market, pomegranate juice is found at a fairly high cost since its production requires a huge deployment of labor and energy for a often very small product revenue. A bottle of juice can cost up to sixteen euros! For this reason it is considered a niche good, rarely found on supermarket shelves or in bars. It is easier to find it in herbal stores and natural products. Of course it is possible to obtain the juice by itself, by pressing the seeds: it is necessary to have a little patience and wait for the autumn, the season in which the pomegranate fruit returns the best of itself. After having carefully washed and engraved its leathery peel, it is possible to use a simple juicer to obtain its sweet and velvety juice. Pomegranate is a highly sugary fruit: for every one hundred grams, there are about 63 calories.

In the kitchen

Pomegranate juice is widely used in the traditional cuisine of the countries of origin. In our country it is usually present in tasty winter recipes, not only because of the seasonality of the fruit, mainly available in autumn, but also because of its festive beans that often cheer up the Christmas tables, the large serving dishes, the sumptuous salads , giving color and joy as well as a fantastic crunchiness always pleasant to the taste and under the teeth. In addition to the preparation of desserts, alcoholic and non-alcoholic cocktails, velvety creams, meolograno juice is mainly used in the accompaniment of white and sweet meats, such as game, chicken, and pork, and is often found combined with dried fruit such as walnuts. almonds, chestnuts, or in the preparation of simple but original risottos. Below, two easy and light ideas for a first and a second based on meolograno for an original and festive table and a healthy and healthy diet free of free radicals!

Pomegranate risotto

Prepare the base of the risotto in a traditional way with onion and butter, add finely chopped bacon fillets, add the rice, preferably of vialone nano quality, blend with the meolograno juice and continue cooking with vegetable broth until the rice is cooked. completely. When cooked, add the Meolograno beans, freshly ground pepper, a sprinkling of Parmesan and, if necessary, a knob of butter.
Capicollo of pork: after having breaded the slices of meat in chestnut flour, brown them quickly, in a very large saucepan in a mixture of butter and oil, blend with a glass of meolograno juice, and continue cooking the meat for about one ten minutes. Season with salt and pepper and complete the dish with meolograno beans and chopped walnut kernels.