Undeniably, I am a nerd. B tells me this all the time when I read “weird things” and sprout out random facts (my “fun facts of the day”).
My first introduction to pomegranates was the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades. Because she ate 6 seeds of the pomegranate from the underworld, she remains there for 6 months while her mother Demeter, goddess of the harvest, mourns, hence giving us seasons.
Another story is that the forbidden fruit, plucked and eaten by Adam and Eve, was not an apple, but the pomegranate. As the fruit originates from Iran, and the word “pomme garnete” literally means seeded apple in French, it makes sense. As lovely as apples are, pomegranates are probably the most beautiful fruits in the world, tempting anyone walking by.
The reason my eyesight is terrible is (according to my mother) all my years reading in the dark or in the car during elementary school. Since the end of high school, I’ve kept a to-read list, now going over 7 years, ranging from art to history to science to religion. Alas, while in medical school the ratio of “to-read” vs “already-read” books has grown alarmingly, during interview season I’ve been voraciously knocking books off the “to-read” list.
Even on vacation, I can’t help but read about medicine, which by far comprises the majority of the list. The last few weeks I’ve tackled women’s health (Half the Sky
), error in surgeries (The Checklist Manifesto
), and most recently – my favorite so far given the topic – the history of cancer (The Emperor of All Maladies
Cancer and nutrition is such a hot topic today – the buzzword “superfoods” certainly was nonexistent when we muddled our way through cancer treatments centuries, or even decades, ago. Antioxidants are one of those terms we like to throw around despite have little knowledge of how it works (much like everything in cancer). Pomegranates, in particular, have been aggressively marketed as offering protection against heart disease and cancer.
I cannot promise you eating dark chocolate and pomegranates will reduce your rates of cancer, but I can promise you eating No Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tarts will make you happier.
Eating pomegranates is tricky, but the best way is to scoring it in a 5 pointed star with a knife and carefully breaking it open. I love the color of the arils, or seeds, and how the juices burst as you open the fruit. Here’s a great step by step
picture guide, so more juices end up in your mouth, rather than on your hands. That gorgeous ruby color and delicious sweet-tartness is something your eyes, belly, and maybe even your DNA molecules, can all enjoy.
No Bake Chocolate Pomegranate Tart
CRUST (adapted from my No Bake Granola Bars recipe)
1 cup packed pitted dates pitted, chopped
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup creamy peanut butter (the less sugar the better)
1 1/2 cups old fashioned oats, toasted
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 cup dark chocolate chips
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup honey
fresh pomegranate arils
CRUST (full recipe details here): Use a food processor or blender to blend the dates to form a dough, adding water as needed (I used about 1/4 cup water, depending on how dry your dates are). Mix dates, honey, peanut butter, oats, cinnamon in a large bowl to make the dough. Add in chocolate chips.
Use the dough to form the crusts in round removable bottom tartlet tins. Place in the fridge for 1 hr or freezer for 30 min to set.
FILLING: Combine the yogurt and honey. Fill the chilled tarts with the honey Greek yogurt, then top with the pomegranate arils. Serve immediately or place in the freezer for 20 min if you want your yogurt firmer. Enjoy!