Written on November 21, 2013 at 8:00 am , by Erin Gleeson
On a recent trip to Granada, Spain, I bought these adorable Moroccan tea glasses, sold all over Granada because of its Moorish history. I drink a lot of tea during the day while working from my cabin in the woods, but I thought I’d mix it up and make some hot cider instead. (Feels very holiday!)
Since the word Granada means pomegranate in Spanish, I was inspired to add fresh pomegranates to the cider. Starting with this BHG cider recipe, I simmered apple juice, pomegranate juice and spices, then garnished each cup with fresh pomegranate seeds and an apple slice decorated with cloves. I think this would be a fun after-dinner drink on Thanksgiving Day to cozy up by the fire with (plus, it can be spiked with bourbon for the adults!).
Cheers…And Happy Thanksgiving!
Spiced Apple-Pomegranate Cider
Adapted from BHG’s Recipe, serves 6-8
1 gallon of apple cider or apple juice
2 cups pomegranate juice
1/4 cup maple syrup or packed brown sugar
Peel from 1 organic orange, cut into strips
4 cinnamon sticks
12 whole cloves, plus more for garnish
Thinly sliced apple and seeds from 1 pomegranate for garnish
1. In a large pot or Dutch oven, combine apple cider/juice, pomegranate juice, and maple syrup or brown sugar.
2. To make a spice bag, cut a double thickness of cheesecloth into a 12-inch square. Place the orange peel, cinnamon sticks and cloves in center of cloth. Bring the corners of cloth together and tie closed with clean kitchen string. Add spice bag to the cider pot.
3. Bring mixture to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove spice bag and discard.
4. To serve, ladle cider into mugs. Drop 1 T fresh pomegranate seeds into each glass. To make the garnish, slice an apple into ¼ inch thick circles. Then cut each circle into quarters and push whole cloves into the apple slice (see photo above). Make a little slit in each apple slice to hang it over the side of the glass.
Photos and Illustrations by Erin Gleeson of The Forest Feast, a blog and soon-to-be cookbook full of simple recipe and entertaining ideas inspired by living in a cabin in the woods.
Written on December 5, 2012 at 8:30 am , by Kristin Porter
If you’ve been keeping your eyes peeled at the market lately, chances are you’ve come across a crop of perfectly pink and plump pomegranates at one time or another.
Pomegranates have been grown and cultivated in many parts of the world since ancient times, but have only gained popularity here in the US over the past couple of years, notably for the high levels of antioxidants found in their jewel-toned arils, or seeds.
I know you’ve heard about pomegranates before, but maybe you’re wondering – what the heck do I do with ‘em?!
Well it’s the aforementioned seeds you’re after, where one of the most potent sources of antioxidants lie in waiting – pomegranate juice. Higher in free-radical-killing, and skin-smoothing benefits than both red wine and green tea, pomegranate juice is as delicious as it packed with vitamins and minerals. Plus it’s kind of fun to make at home!
Start by purchasing pomegranates that are smooth-skinned and heavy for their size. For each large pomegranate, you can expect to extract about 1 cup of juice.
Wash and dry the pomegranate, then cut into the blossom-end about one inch. Use your fingers to crack the pomegranate in half, which will reduce the amount of juice lost vs cutting the whole thing down the center. Repeat the cutting and cracking process on both halves to make four quarters.
Next, use your fingers to pry the juice-filled seeds from the quarters, letting them land in a bowl filled with cold water. I recommend doing this deep in the recesses of your sink, by the way, to cut down on juice splattered around the kitchen!
Once all the seeds have been removed, scoop out any white pith that may have fallen into the bowl from the pomegranate, which will rise to the top of the water, then rinse and strain the seeds a couple of times.
At this point you can add the sweet seeds to your morning yogurt, toss into lunchtime salads, pop as-is, or continue on with the juice-making process.
Which is where we head to next! Transfer the seeds to a blender, then pulse and blend until a pulp is formed.
Strain the seeds into a bowl through a fine-mesh strainer, then use a spatula to press and scrape every last drop out of the pulp
A few minutes later – voila! – fresh pomegranate juice! Some may find the juice a tad too tart to sip as is, so add a sprinkle of sugar if it tastes good. Me? I like it straight up. Sweet and perfectly tart!
Refreshing, and ultra-healthy, too!