Monday, September 05, 2016

Pomegranate Cocoa Lemon Gluten-Free Antioxidant-Rich Snack

Pomegranates as the basis for a tasty GF treat

One of my favorite fruits is the wonderfully delicious pomegranate — a fruit that requires a bit of patience when it comes to retrieving all the individual edible berries (seeds) from within its thick reddish skin and the inner near-white pulp. I have tried repeatedly over the years to improve the efficiency with which I can harvest those little single seeds inside, moving along as quickly as possible without bursting each flavorful juicy bit during its extraction.  Yet, a good sized fruit (which may reach the size of a medium grapefruit) takes me perhaps 10 minutes to fully shuck and disassemble.  I have tried methods that claim to be faster, but nothing really works better than careful deconstruction, especially if you want to keep the seeds intact.

Fresh Whole Ripe Pomegranates

Good plain, and fantastic in various gluten-free recipes too...

As good as the pomegranate fruit tastes on its own, I also have experimented quite a bit with various gluten-free recipes and combinations of ingredients mixed with pomegranate seeds.  I especially like simple recipes!  One of my perennial favorites is mixing pomegranate seeds, plain Greek yogurt, almond butter, and a few drops of vanilla (if for some reason you desire added sweetness, honey is my recommendation due to the flavor it adds). I further vary that formula with things like hints of cinnamon, some cocoa, and some citrus (I prefer lemon, but orange can be nice too, with the almond butter especially).

Recently, I have settled on a super-simple and healthy gluten-free snack that is nothing more than the pomegranate seeds, drizzled with fresh-squeezed lemon juice, and then tossed about in a heaping teaspoon or so of plain cocoa.  The resulting "dish" may look a bit unusual, as the next image demonstrates:

Cocoa-Dusted Pomegranate Seeds with Fresh-Squeezed Lemon Juice Binder
The lemon juice serves two purposes: it makes more cocoa stick to the pomegranate seeds, and furthermore it imparts a lovely sharpness and slight sourness to offset the sweetness of the pomegranate.  In fact, this snack is all about contrasts.  Textures contrast substantially, ranging from the crunch of the seeds inside each little pomegranate berry to the juicy popping of each berry as you bite into them, and the powder of the cocoa is quite different and contrasting as well.  Tastes range from that sweetness you would expect from the main fruit, to the tangy and sour taste of the lemon, to the slightly-bitter flavor of the bold cocoa powder.

In my opinion, it all combines nicely. It may be an acquired taste, but it is something that can be experimented with in a small batch (just a few seeds) to see if you like it before using the entire pomegranate.  I'd recommend playing around with other complementary flavors and combinations of your own too.

Furthermore, this gluten-free snack has a nice range of nutritional elements from vitamins to minerals to antioxidants and polyphenols / flavonoids (e.g., the theobromine of the cocoa), which makes it a bit of a super-food combination.  Hope you enjoy yours!

Continue to read this Gluten-Free Blog for all sorts of gluten-free recipes, product-reviews, and related information. In addition, visit my Gluten-Free Recipes Site where many of the recipes I have featured on this blog are available.

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