Recipe: Pomegranate & Cranberry Relish

pomegranate with seeds

This oh-so-pretty pomegranate and cranberry relish is a nutrient-rich treat.

The recipe is actually a sauce but I felt it ended up more like a relish so that’s what I called it. That said, it’s completely interchangeable.

Pomegranate Power

Have you worked with pomegranates before? Sprinkling a few of the seeds on top of a salad or a bowl of almost anything takes it up a notch or two from a visual point of view.

The juice packs a pretty mean punch too and both the seeds and juice deliver a nice blast of antioxidant power. In fact, one study showed pomegranates may rate better than that red wine or green tea when it comes to antioxidant value. Not only that, but they’re phytoestrogenic so they are a good choice for women going through perimenopause and menopause. 

Pomegranate seeds are naturally sweet and have quite a high sugar content.  I couldn’t find fresh cranberries so I used the dry variety making this quite a ‘sweet’ recipe that should be used sparingly. 

I used water in mine but some people use apple or orange juice. For me, that’s too ‘candied’ and if you’re watching your weight it’s best to stick to the water.

If you still eat refined sugar (and I hope you’re phasing it out – here’s why: 1, 2, 3) you may feel the need for extra sweetener so I’ve suggested a drop of brown rice syrup. While it’s more natural it can still spike blood sugar (encouraging fat storage) so only use a tiny bit. 

I also included a sprinkle of spices to give it that little bit of an edge but that’s entirely up to you.

So without further ado let’s go.

Pomegranate & Cranberry Relish

Pomegranate & Cranberry Relish

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cranberries
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup water

Optional:

  • Brown rice syrup to taste
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Ground ginger

Method:

Prep time: about 5 minutes

  1. Add the cranberries, seeds and water to a saucepan and mix.
  2. Bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer.
  3. Simmer for about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Do a taste test.
  5. Add sweetener and/or herbs if using.
  6. Stand aside to cool to room temperature.
  7. Serve.

What are Pomegranates?

The pomegranate (punica granatum) is the fruit of a shrub that produces a red fruit not dissimilar to an apple in looks and size.

Its skin is thick and not for eating. The magic lies in the seeds within which you can enjoy eating raw or as a juice. They are great over salads and also make a beautiful sauce/relish (as above).

Pomegranate seeds contain quite a lot of sugar – natural unsweetened sugar – so it pays to bear that in mind when adding them to your diet. They’re also full of fibre, antioxidant vitamins and they’re anti-inflammatory making them okay to indulge in if you’re experiencing aches and pains. 

Bonus? Pomegranates have also been found to inhibit breast cancer cells.

Main image with thanks to Pexels

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.