Superfood of the Week: Pomegranates

Sarah-Jane Bedwell, SELF magazine

Pomegranates are pretty much the perfect fruit. First of all, they're completely gorgeous. They have a unique flavor all their own. And the fact that poms are packed with cancer-fighting antioxidants and a vitamin profile other fruits envy? Bonus points. But hurry--this superfood is only in season until the end of January, so start on these four recipes now. And don't forget this important purchasing tip: The heavier the fruit, the riper it'll be.

See more: The Flat-Abs-Fast Secret

Pomegranate Parfait: Pomegranate arils (seeds) make a tasty addition to yogurt--not only are arils crunchy and sweet, they're packed with fiber to curb cravings and rev metabolism. Layer 1/4 cup protein-packed nonfat Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp of granola, 1 tbsp of slivered almonds and 2 tbsp pomegranate seeds. Repeat for one or two more layers and then devour.

Pomegranate Salsa: Next time you're having friends over, try this unique pomegranate salsa as an appetizer; it's loaded with superfoods like goji berries, cantaloupe and avocado. If the ingredient list has you going "Say what?" hear this: You'll get tons more fiber and protein than in traditional salsa, which means you'll be less likely to overeat when dinnertime rolls around. Plus, it'll be a conversation starter. Serve with whole-grain tortilla chips for a nice crunch.

See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

Pomegranate Vinaigrette:
Antioxidants never tasted this good! Give your salad a superfood makeover with this deliciously healthy vinaigrette adapted from Simply combine 2 tbsp greek yogurt, 1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 3 tbsp pomegranate juice, 1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup and 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Drizzle over an arugula, aril, goat cheese and almond salad or over fresh salmon, chicken or shrimp. The tangy flavors will pop with sweet or savory dishes, so the possibilities are endless.

Pomegranate Smoothie: Add a hefty dose of Vitamin K, potassium, fiber and antioxidants to your morning ritual with this creamy pomegranate smoothie. In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of low-fat milk, 1 cup frozen berries, 1 sliced and frozen ripe banana, 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds and a dash of vanilla. If you're feeling especially healthy, throw in a handful of spinach--we promise you won't even taste it!

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