I’m a baker at heart, so I’m always thinking about how to incorporate any given ingredient into a cake. When it comes to pomegranates though, I'm a bit stumped.

They feature prominently in Greek and Iranian cuisine. In Turkish dishes, pomegranate juice is used in salad dressings and meat marinades. In Pakistani cuisine, the dried seeds, anardana, are used as a spice in savoury dishes, while fresh pomegranate seeds are usually eaten on their own, or in fruit chaat. They have such a unique flavor and color but sadly are only available for a few months a year; maybe that’s why we haven't been more creative in how we use them in our cooking.

While none of these recipes require cooking and baking, hopefully they’ll give you some ideas and inspire you to get creative in the kitchen.

Pomegranates are good for you too; a good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and dietary fiber, which comes from the seeds so don’t spit them out!


Banana Pomegranate Smoothie

A healthy smoothie to start your day with
A healthy smoothie to start your day with

Ingredients

½ cup pomegranate juice

1 banana

1 tablespoon sugar

A tiny pinch of salt

½ cup yogurt

A handful of ice

Method

Add all ingredients to a blender, blend until smooth, and serve.

Serves 1.


Chickpea, Feta and Pomegranate Salad

The pomegranate gives the perfect zing to this salad!
The pomegranate gives the perfect zing to this salad!

Ingredients

1 400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained

1 cucumber, finely diced

2 to 4 tablespoons feta cheese

⅓ to ½ cup pomegranate seeds

½ teaspoon za’atar (use ¼ teaspoon each of black pepper and dried oregano if you can’t find za’atar)

Salt, to taste (see note below)

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Method

In serving dish, spread the chickpeas in an even layer.

Top with diced cucumber, feta cheese and pomegranate seeds.

Season with za’atar and salt, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil, and serve.

Note: Feta cheese is quite salty so taste the salad before adding more salt.

Serves 2 to 4.


Chocolate Pomegranate Bark

Love the harmony of the two flavors here!
Love the harmony of the two flavors here!

Ingredients

200g dark chocolate

⅓ cup pomegranate seeds

Method

Line a large tray with foil or wax paper.

Break up the chocolate into pieces and add to a large glass bowl. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water, making sure that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.

When the chocolate has melted, pour it onto the tray, and gently spread into a square (approx. 6-inch square).

Let the chocolate cool a little, then sprinkle the pomegranate seeds over it and press down gently.

Place in the refrigerator to set.

When the chocolate has hardened, break the bark into pieces, either by hand or with a knife.

Store leftovers in the fridge.

Serves 4.

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