I've always thought it's a little weird, resolving to eat better and get healthy right as we enter the deepest part of winter. There are so few really fresh vegetables available in January (and February and March, here in Boston anyway), and it seems clear to me that eating more fruit and vegetables and less crap is one of the easiest (and tastiest) ways to get healthy.
And with that, I bring you the pomegranate. I'm sure you've seen it before (at least in a bottle); it's a weird little fruit. You eat the seeds which fill the inside, not the nasty white pith that holds them. And they're blood red, and they stain. Oh, and they're a superfood, with higher levels of antioxidants than tea or red wine!
But about that staining thing. There's no way to get out of taking that initial cut into the fruit, and you're going to get red juice on your cuttingboard, and you have to sort of worry the seeds out of the pith with your fingers, which is a good way to get them to burst and get red juice all over you and your kitchen. So here's a trick I learned from Alton Brown: pick the seeds out underwater. They sink, and the pith floats. Ta-da! (Word to the wise: don't use frigid cold water from your tap if you want to keep your fingers. Lukewarm, please.)
But how do you eat the pomegranate seeds once you have them? You can toss them on a salad, or in cous cous or rice pilaf, use them to garnish a cocktail, or, like me, you can top your yogurt + granola breakfast with the little gems.
Maple Coconut Granolaadapted from Alton Brown
3 cups rolled oats
1 cup slivered almonds
1 1/2 cups other nuts - I used a mix of pecans and cashews
3/4 cup shredded sweet coconut
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (the real stuff, please)
1/4 cup vegetable oil (or other neutral tasting oil)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup raisins (you could add other dried fruit, chopped to raisin size, if you like)
Preheat oven to 250F.
Combine the oats, nuts, coconut, and brown sugar (do this in a large bowl so you can toss it all around. Combine maple syrup, oil, and salt in a measuring cup and add to oat-nut mixture, tossing to distribute syrup evenly. Spread mixture out on a large sheet pan (or two).
Bake at 250 for an hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15-20 minutes so it browns evenly. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then stir in raisins.