Friday, 28 October 2011

Make Your Own Pomegranate Vinegar

Whilst pomegranates are in season take the opportunity to make yourself and your friends some pomegranate vinegar which adds a gorgeous flavour and aroma to many salads.


The vinegar is easy to make, just add a handful of pomegranate seeds to two cups of white wine vinegar. Mix well and store in an airtight pre-sterilised jar for 1-2 weeks to allow the pomegranate flavour to infuse into the vinegar. After 1-2 weeks, strain the vinegar and store in a pre-sterilsed bottle.


Your pomegranate vinegar will keep in a dark cool place for upto 6 months.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Pomegranate

Pomegranates in Cyprus are at the end of October at their best and juiciest. There are said to be ripe when they achieve a shiny colour and a tinny sound when tapped. If rain is due, picking ripe pomegranates is essential as the ripe fruit tends to split open following a downpour.

The taste of a sweet pomegranate is amazing with the health benefits as an added bonus. Packed with antioxidants to protect your heart, pomegranates also lower cholesterol levels in the body, lower blood pressure and are packed full of vitamins and iron.

If you do not like seedy fruit then pomegranate is probably not your type of fruit as it is packed full of seeds. For me the seeds are however very tasty, an enjoyable chew and are said to cleanse the body by the roughage they provide.

Not only can the pomegranate be enjoyed as a snack but it can be added to your muesli, salads, made into jam or jelly, juiced, used in a chutney or for numerous recipes available on the internet.

Once picked pomegranates will stay fresh for up to 2 weeks or 4-6 weeks in stored in the fridge, with the added benefit that stored fruit usually improves in flavour and juiciness.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Eggplant or Aubergine

Eggplant or aubergine is grown widely throughout Cyprus and is 
delicious hot or cold. It can be enjoyed marinated, stuffed, roasted, grilled, fried, in a casserole, or in stews. Sliced eggplant absorbs oil like a sponge, but a good bread crumb or flourr coating will help, and make sure the oil is hot before cooking. Spices that add and complement eggplant flavour include allspice, basil, bay leaves, garlic, chilli powder, oregano, sage, thyme, marjoram, and parsley. It's a natural combined with tomatoes and onions, as in the popular dish ratatouille or moussaka .

Very rich in nutrients and minerals the eggplant can help to reduce cholesterol. When choosing eggplant, look for heavy, firm fruit with unblemished skin. Male eggplants have fewer seeds than the female; they have a rounder, smoother blossom end or base. The blossom end of a female eggplant is generally indented. Store an eggplant in a perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator where it should keep for several days. It may be blanched or steamed then frozen for up to six months.