Loving the BITE: Pomegranate Olive Oil Pan Sauce

When’s the last time you ate a pomegranate?  I mean, really, bought the fruit, cut into it, and ate it.   For most people, it’s not anytime recently, and maybe never.  So much easier to buy the juice in a bottle, right?  Is any fruit really worth all that mess?

Oh yeah it is.

Free radicals beware.  This week, we’re going all pomegranate on you.

Recipe of the week: Pomegranate Olive Oil Pan Sauce

Ingredients:

  • Protein source of choice: 4 – 4oz. slices of organic chicken, turkey, firm tofu slices, etc.
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 pomegranate, juiced (1/2 cup juice – see below for tips)
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 Tbsp honey
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil

Instructions: 

  1. Heat olive oil in a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat.  Once warmed, add protein and sauté. After 3-4 minutes, depending on type and thickness of protein, turn to other side and continue to sauté until cooked thoroughly (can turn down heat and continuing cooking through if necessary).  Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Add garlic cloves to sauce pan, set at medium-high heat.  Stirring continuously, sauté for ~2-3 minutes.  Then, stir pomegranate juice and wine.  Stir in honey.  Continue to cook on medium-high, swirling around pan until reduces by ½ the volume and is a thick liquid.
  3. Remove from heat.  Stir in additional olive oil.  Serve over protein choice.

Comments:

Why’s a pomegranate worth the trouble?  It just happens to be a Super Food with high amount of antioxidants, polyphenols, and fiber.

Hmmm. Cyclists need antioxidants, polyphenols, and fiber.  In fact, pomegranates may just help you stay on your bike and off the sick-bed.  Research has correlated it with potentially reducing the risk of:

  • Common Cold
  • Heart disease
  • Prostate cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Lymphoma
  • Rhinovirus infection
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Dental caries

First, your cardiovascular system.  It takes free radicals to oxidize LDL cholesterol.  Once oxidized, LDL cholesterol can enter the cell wall of an artery and form a dangerous plague.  No oxidation, no plaque.  In one study performed in 2000, daily consumption of pomegranate juice by healthy men increased antioxidant levels; decreasing their LDL cholesterol oxidation by 90%!  What’s more, two weeks of pomegranate juice has also been shown to reduce systolic blood pressure.

Then, nasty bacteria and viruses.  Pomegranates’ antimicrobial properties can help your teeth fight bacteria and your body fight viral infections.

Lastly, the intestines, colon, and for all our male cyclists, the prostate.  Mice studies have shown that metabolites of pomegranate juice tannins localize specifically in the prostate gland, colon, and intestinal tissues.   This has led researchers to hypothesize the benefits of pomegranate juice and begin studying its effects specifically in these organs.  Remember, if your intestines aren’t healthy, your whole body isn’t healthy since they are the gateway for most all nutrients to enter the rest of the body.  Antioxidants can’t fight free radicals if they can’t get in.

While it’s not hard to convince you of the health benefits, still some might find this fruit more intimidating than a 5000-foot-elevation-gain road ride!  And, they are such a mess!

Problems solved.

To buy:  The pomegranates skin gives a clue to a ripe fruit.  It should be tough, unbroken, and have its distinctive reddish color.  When tapped, one should hear a metallic sound.

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