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


  • 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


  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.


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.

To get those delicious seeds out: 

  1. Cut off the crown at the end
  2. Lightly score the rind in several places around all the way around the fruit
  3. Immerse it in a bowl of water for 5 minutes
  4. Hold the fruit under the water and break it apart, separating the seeds from the membrane.  The seeds will sink while the membrane floats.
  5. Skim off and discard the membrane and rind (really, you’ll impress people with this one).
  6. Pour the seeds into the colander, drain and pat dry.  A medium pomegranate provides approximately ¾ cup of seeds.
  7. Eat as a snack or as part of a meal.  For upcoming Holiday dinners and parties, simply set a bowl of pomegranate seeds out on the table with a serving spoon.

To juice:

  1. Roll a pomegranate on a hard surface.  Press down and squeeze repeatedly until soft.
  2. Puncture the skin and bore a hole into the fruit.
  3. Simply cut it open or even stick a straw in it!  A medium pomegranate should yield approximately ½ cup of juice.

For a limited time only!  The pomegranate season lasts from September through December.  Buy them now, and you can actually store them in your refrigerator for up to 6 months without shrinking or spoiling!  And, you’re in luck: the fruit improves with storage.

Don’t wait.  This week, we suggest you get on your bike, roll down to the market, and pick up some pomegranates while they last.  Yum and yum.

Fuel Your Ride.  Nourish Your Body.


Enjoy Your Ride


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  11. Amanda Gale Kotyk on November 17, 2011 at 10:29 am

    My mother-in-law makes a delicious salad with pomegranates….I will have to share this recipe with her.  It sounds delicious!  

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on November 17, 2011 at 10:53 am

      Hi Amanda!  I’m a big fan of pan sauces, whether I’ve cooked a protein source in the pan or just begin by reducing the liquids.  You could definitely add more flavors to it such as mustard (common in pan sauces), onions, etc.  I think it would actually work well over a Thanksgiving Turkey, too.  Let me know what you think!

  12. John on November 17, 2011 at 9:35 am

    I love pomegranate, but I never knew how good they were for me.  Thanks for this information and the recipe.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on November 17, 2011 at 10:51 am

      I love them too.  I always put the in a dish and intend to share, but usually polish it off by myself! 

  13. Valerie on November 17, 2011 at 9:23 am

    Pomegranate’s are my favorite.  I eat them all the time, but I’ve never cooked with them.

    • Kelli Myers Jennings on November 17, 2011 at 10:50 am

      Thanks Valerie.  There are actually quite a few pomegranate recipes online.  I’ve used the juice in this pan sauce and a chicken walnut dish. I hope you enjoy it!

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Sugar Alternatives for Energy and Hydration

Question: I am using the homebrew sugar formulations (sometimes added to green tea).  I am also trying to wean myself off 1/2 dose adrenalean “lip tonic delivery system” (biorhythm brand- caffeine, hoodia g, synephrine, yohimbe) capsule for energy.

My question is other than juice, can you suggest modifications in lieu of table sugar for energy and hydration.


Both raw/organic honey or agave can work great in the homebrew (substitute in the same quantities for the sugar, or to taste), but you do have to shake well in order to make sure they don’t settle out.  Have you tried either of these?  Also, make sure to use at least the minimum amount of salt recommended in the homebrew as the temps rise, you need the sodium replacement if you’re sweating.

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Please send us your questions for our Expert Sports Nutritionist, Kelli Jennings to “Ask the Sports Nutritionist“. Kelli Jennings is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for healthy eating, wellness, & sports nutrition. For more information go to www.apexnutritionllc.com.

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