National pomegranate month
If you've ever walked past the display of hard red apple-type things in your grocery store and wondered what they were, chances are you were staring at a pile of pomegranates.
This funny looking fruit is as ancient as it is versatile, and is known for its health benefits. Pomegranates are originally from Persia -- where Iran and Iraq are today. They gradually grew popular in Asia and Europe because of their flavor and medicinal qualities. In fact, the Ancient Egyptians saw pomegranates as a symbol of ambition and success.
Pomegranate seeds are high in Vitamin C and fiber, and have been linked to helping with heart disease and increasing good cholesterol. Why the seeds? The seeds, or arils, are the part that most people eat.
Getting them out of their casing can be a bit tricky. Try cutting the pomegranate in half and holding it over a bowl, whack the back of the fruit until all of the seeds break free. You can also do this by hand in a bowl of water to stop the seeds from flying everywhere. The seeds tend to sink while the pulp (which isn't edible) floats.
Once your hard work has paid off, try using your pomegranate seeds in a salad or glaze, or you could make yourself a cocktail. Grenadine, after all, is just sweetened and thickened pomegranate juice.