The Fethiye markets are filled with fruit and vegetables all year round in Turkey, but the arrival of autumn brings a feeling of anticipation and excitement.

Pomegranates - tangy, delicious and full of health benefits

The change of fruits in autumn is quite dramatic with apples, pears, plums and oranges coming into season and replacing the last of the summer fruits.

The jewel of autumn fruits is the pomegranate. There are many places in the world where you can buy pomegranates all year round but it does have a season, from September to February. Now is the time when pomegranates (nar in Turkish) are sweet, juicy and at their best.

Pomegranates - tangy, delicious and full of health benefits

The pomegranate (nar)

Did you know?

  • The word pomegranate means apple with many seeds.
  • Pomegranates are native to the Middle East.
  • Pomegranate trees grow in hot and dry climates.
  • Pomegranates belong to the berry family.
  • Pomegranates are classified as a superfruit.
  • Pomegranates don’t continue to develop sugar once harvested so can be stored up to 2 months in the refrigerator.
  • Pomegranate trees can live over 200 years.

And they’re good for you

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, anti-inflammatory fibers and paraoxonase enzymes, and can limit UV damage, help prevent arthritis and keep LDL, or bad cholesterol, from accumulating in arteries.

Pomegranates - tangy, delicious and full of health benefits
Health benefits of pomegranates. Photograph courtesy of OAWHealth

What can you do with pomegranates?

The sweet and tangy seeds are great eaten on their own. The best way is to just peel one, bite into it like an apple, and enjoy the explosion of taste on your tongue (mind you don’t end up with a permanently red chin though as the juice stains).

Pomegranates make a delicious and healthy natural juice drink.

Pomegranates - tangy, delicious and full of health benefits
Pomegranate juice. The vendor positions the pomegranate, squeezes the fruit and discards the fibrous skin with a well-practised hand
©HUANG Ziyou/globalgoodfood.com

Add the seeds to vegetable dishes, salads, sandwiches, desserts, drinks or use as a garnish for meat dishes. They add a tang to any dish and are full of natural health benefits too.

Here are some suggestions…

Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranates - tangy, delicious and full of health benefits
Warm Brussels Sprout Salad with Pomegranate Seeds. Photograph courtesy of Safeway.ca

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Yogurt and Pomegranate Seeds

Pomegranates - tangy, delicious and full of health benefits
Twice baked sweet potatoes with tahini yoghurt and pomegranate seeds. Photograph courtesy of Food52

Avocado toast with pomegranate salsa

AVOCADO TOAST WITH POMEGRANATE SALSA. Photograph courtesy of dishing out health.

Nar ekşisi (pomegranate molasses)

Nar ekşisi (pomegranate molasses) is an essential ingredient in Antakya and southern Turkish cuisine and widely used in Middle Eastern cooking. The concentrated flavor of pomegranates molasses adds so much goodness and flavor to salads, casseroles, dips and desserts.

Pomegranates - tangy, delicious and full of health benefits
Nar ekşisi. Photograph courtesy of Ozlem’s Turkish Table

Click here for the recipe from Ozlem’s Turkish Table and have a go at making it for yourself.

Afiyet olsun

Sources: thatsitfruit.com/dishibg out health/Food52/Safeway.ca/Ozlem’s Turkish Table/ehealthtribune.com

1 COMMENT

  1. I prefer the Nar Sirkesi, less sweet, a vinegar when mixed with olive oil, a bit of crushed garlic, a spoon of Dijon mustard, a bit of fresh basilic chopped makes the best dessing. Did find it at the Migros in the harbor

LEAVE A REPLY