Hazelnuts and Pomegranate: Ingredients for Life

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I recently found a great winter salad that has a great point value for Weight Watchers. It’s called a “Rainbow Chopped Salad” and it’s filled with plenty of fruits and vegetables. I learned a couple of things while making it. I learned how not to roast hazelnuts and I think I mastered how to seed a pomegranate.

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I’ll first talk about what not to do when roasting hazelnuts. Do not place shelled hazelnuts in the oven like I did. You are supposed to unshelled them first or buy them already unshelled. After roasting them for about 10-15 minutes, the skin would crack. Wiping them with a kitchen towel would easily remove the skin. I ended up roasting them a little longer than needed and had a heck of a time getting the shells off. I ended up having lots of broken hazelnuts, but that didn’t ruin my salad. Next time I will buy the unshelled hazelnuts. I still like the idea of roasting them myself.

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Pomegranates are a beautiful fruit. I remember eating them as a kid. My mom would give me a quarter of the fruit which I would just bite into. I would suck out the juices of the seeds and then spit them out.

These days you can buy pomegranate seeds, but now that I have seeded one, I will never buy pomegranate seeds and I hope you won’t either.

First, you take a knife and cut around the fruit partway. Once you have a cut, you can use your hands to pry it open. Now rip the halves into further sections.

Fill a deep bowl with water. Take a section of the pomegranate at a time and underwater, carefully using both hands, remove the seeds from the membrane. Doing it underwater avoids stains.

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The seeds will sink and the majority of the membrane will float. I was pleasantly surprised by the abundance of seeds that actually came out of the fruit. It took less than ten minutes.

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You can find the recipe for rainbow chopped salad from epicurious.com. I skipped the Asian pear and blue cheese and used extra virgin olive oil.

I’ve made this salad two weekends in a row now and have had great reviews. It’s definitely a healthy choice especially when surrounded by holiday feasts.

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