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When life gives you pomegranates

You know the old saying: “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!”  So what do you tell someone who suddenly ended up with 64oz of pomegranate juice on his doorstep? I know what you’re thinking, “how often does one get a crate of pomegranate juice?”  Well, not often, but I had been contacted by a woman named Molly from the Pom Wonderful company asking if I’d like a free sample of their juice.  Now, I’ve never been one to turn down a free sample, so I agreed.  I assumed I would be getting one little bottle to taste, but I ended up getting more juice than I knew what to do with!

I started digging for recipes to use the juice, but most asked for something called “pomegranate molasses.”  Great… how was that supposed to help me?  Luckily one of my culinary heroes (Alton Brown [1]) came to my rescue and showed me that with a little time, you could turn a ton of juice into a bit of concentrated awesome.  Today we are making Pomegranate Molasses (don’t panic, it’s good, I swear!).

Mmm... Molasses-y! [2]

Mmm... Molasses-y!

First up, we need some pomegranate juice.  Luckily I happen to have plenty, but if you don’t (and it isn’t pomegranate season) Pom Wonderful [3] would be a great choice.  I’m using about 6 cups (48oz) here, but you can adjust it up or down to get however much you need.

Ingredient Breakdown:

Yeah, that’s it… no molasses actually goes into this stuff, it actually is more like a syrup (just has a cool name).  Now, how to make it:

Instructions:

  1. Grab a medium sized pot and put it over medium heat.
  2. Pour in all your ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. When the pot comes to a boil, reduce the heat until it just simmers.
  4. Leave it (stirring occasionally) until reduced down about half (about 50 min).
  5. Continue to reduce and stir until reduced down a total of 65-75%.  Keep an eye on it as once it gets done it is only a few minutes until it is burnt.
  6. Move the pan off the heat and let it cool for about 30 minutes until you can put it in a jar and refrigerate.  The sauce will thicken as it cools to a molasses-like thickness.

That’s it.  Once you have that done the uses are almost limitless.  Cookies gravy, BBQ sauce, ribs, dips, etc.  I plan on overloading you with uses this month as I have plenty of it to go around.  The good thing is that pomegranates are incredibly healthy, so saith the current science:

Anti-inflammatory Effects Of Pomegranate In Rabbits: A Potential Treatment In Humans? [4] @ Science Daily

Oral ingestion of pomegranate extract reduces the production of chemicals that cause inflammation suggests a new study. The findings indicate that pomegranate extract may provide humans with relief of chronic inflammatory conditions.

Pomegranate juice helps babies resist brain injury [5] @ Science Blog

Expectant mothers at risk of premature birth may want to consider drinking pomegranate juice to help their babies resist brain injuries from low oxygen and reduced blood flow, a new mouse study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests.

Can drinking pomegranate juice help lower my cholesterol? [6] @ Mayo Clinic

Preliminary evidence suggests that drinking concentrated pomegranate juice may reduce cholesterol. But studies so far have been small, and more research is needed to fully evaluate this possible benefit.

Pomegranate Juice May Slow Prostate Cancer [7] @ WebMD

Drinking 8 ounces of pomegranate juice daily may slow the progression of localized prostate cancer (prostate cancer that hasn’t spread), a new study shows.

Pomegranate Juice Fights Heart Disease, Study Says [8] @ National Geographic

According to a new study, antioxidants contained in pomegranate juice may help reduce the formation of fatty deposits on artery walls. Antioxidants are compounds that limit cell damage.

Holy Superfruit [9], Batman!!  So anyway, now you know… when life gives you pomegranate juice, make pomegranate molasses!  If you find any good uses, please share as I am in love with the stuff!