As excited as I am for SPRING, I can’t get enough winter produce…including blood oranges and pomegranates! The season for these delicious fruits is way too short and I wish they could stick around for just a little bit longer.
Blood oranges and pomegranates are #DietitianApproved for many reasons. I could go on and on, but here are the main reasons why these beautiful fruits deserve a spot on your plate:
- Rich in antioxidants. Blood oranges are especially high in antioxidants called anthocyanins, which give them their distinctive color, while pomegranates are high in punicalaglins. These antioxidants protect your cells from damaging free radicals, which are molecules that can cause inflammation and lead to disease. Both fruits (especially blood oranges) also provide some vitamin C, which functions as an antioxidant in your body and is most well-known for its ability to strengthen your immune system.
- High in vitamins & minerals. Pomegranates contain a decent amount of vitamin K, vitamin C and folate, in addition to small amounts of almost every mineral that your body needs. Blood oranges are full of vitamin C, in addition to vitamin A, thiamin and potassium. You get a lot of bang for your buck with these fruits because they’re low in calories yet HIGH in the good stuff (i.e. vitamins and minerals). The vitamins & minerals they provide are incredibly important for your overall health, and may help to protect against a variety of illnesses, from heart disease to diabetes.
- Fiber-rich. We could all use some more fiber in our lives. It’s necessary to keep your digestive system running smoothly and happily. Fiber ALSO keeps you full and satisfied because it takes longer for your body to digest. For this reason, it’s also beneficial for blood sugar control and may help with diabetes management (it also plays a role in preventing diabetes from developing in the first place!). A 1/2 cup serving of pomegranate seeds provides almost 4 grams of fiber, while 1 medium blood orange provides 3 grams.
- Delicious! Yes, last but not least, blood oranges and pomegranates are delicious. They’ll sweeten up just about any dish, from salads to smoothies to stir-fry.
What I did with this recipe was add a little spin on what would have been a bland kale salad. You’re getting ALL the vitamins, minerals and fiber from the greens, pomegranate seeds and blood orange, and protein from the baked tofu. The pumpkin seeds and olive oil incorporate some healthy fats…and there you have it, another well-balanced meal with carbs, protein AND fat! If you’re unsure how to go about making baked tofu, try this recipe or this one! You can eat this entire salad as a full meal, or split it into multiple servings for a side dish.
This recipe is also spiced up with pomegranate vinaigrette, which you can make easily by combining olive oil, pomegranate vinegar, honey and sea salt. I found pomegranate vinegar at Trader Joe’s – but know that you can make it on your own with a little pomegranate juice and vinegar!
Now, go enjoy all of the lovely colors and flavors of this recipe.
- 2 cups kale
- 1 cup arugula
- 1 cup lettuce (I used baby lettuce)
- 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds
- ½ of a blood orange, peeled and sliced
- 2-3 oz baked tofu
- Handful of shredded carrots
- 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
- 1 tsp chopped onion (optional)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp pomegranate vinegar (find at Trader Joe's)
- 1 tsp honey
- Pinch of sea salt
- For the salad: Simply toss the greens, pomegranate seeds, orange, baked tofu, carrots, pumpkin seeds an onion together as desired.
- For the dressing: Mix olive oil, pomegranate vinegar, honey and sea salt together. When well-combined, drizzle over the salad.