• Hungry Pumpkin

Millet with spinach and pomegranate

The pomegranate (Punica granatum) is a fruit from the Lythraceae family. Though at first glance its leathery skin may make it seem unappealing to eat, once opened up it displays its beautiful, juicy red seeds. Though it has been used since the times of ancient Persia and Greece, its use in the western world has really just begun in the past century. As more and more health benefits are discovered for it, its popularity grows.

Once highly regarded for their beauty, this plant originates from the Iranian region and was since spread through Asia and into northern India. In Iranian cuisine, the seeds or juices of this fruit are used to give a distinctive aroma and flavour to a variety of dishes. This tradition lives on still today, with pomegranates now being consumed around the globe.

Though the little seeds can be eaten on their own, they are also excellent additions to salads and desserts as garnishes, or may even be used in combination with a main course. Juicing this fruit is very popular, since this saves the effort of having to open the fruit and extract the fleshy seeds. Grenadine syrup is also named after this plant as it was originally made from this fruit, though today it is mostly made from other berries and even artificial flavours.

Though the seeds are about 85% water, they also contain lots of polyphenols, especially tannins; these give the seeds their slightly bitter taste and strong antioxidant activity. Pomegranate juice is a source of vitamin C, with 100 ml of juice containing 16% of our daily needs for this vitamin. It also possesses a high concentration of vitamins K and B complex (especially folic acid, better known as B9). The white interiors of the seeds are rich in oils and plant sterols.

Today we chose to use these little seeds in our main dish, which not only added some nutritional variety, but also threw in a fun splash of colour!

Recipe, preparation, and cost of the meal

To begin today's lunch, we chopped our onions and lightly browned them in olive oil on the stove. We then added diced carrots, and then the millet after a few more minutes. We kept all this going for a few minutes before adding in the water and allowing it to cook for 15 minutes so that the millet would not be raw. A few minutes before we finished cooking, we threw in some fresh, whole baby spinach leaves and mixed well. When serving the dish, we garnished with pomegranate seeds, which added that pop of colour and a juicy freshness to the dish.

To accompany our main course, we also made a mixed salad of spinach, radicchio, young lettuce, and arugula. We seasoned this with pumpkin oil and added some grated carrots and black cumin seeds.

The price of this tasty meal for 4 came out to 7.79€, which means just under 2€ per person. The spinach was the most expensive thing this time and really brought up the price of the dish. To reduce to cost, we could have used arugula, a cheaper option.

Nutritional value

With this lunch, we consumed 25% of our daily caloric requirement. In doing so, we also got 50% of our daily need for fibre, 38% of our fats, and just under 25% of our protein. We also did quite well with iron, reaching 56% of our daily requirements, as well as magnesium (48%) and potassium (52%). We also managed to consume a massive 120% of our daily requirement for vitamin A with this meal, as well as many other vitamins and minerals. Zinc and selenium were a bit low in this meal, and we lacked vitamins D and B12 as always.

If you have questions about today's lunch or suggestions for future lunches then email them to us at hungry.pumpkin.blog@gmail.com and we will get back to you!

Have a great weekend!

The Hungry Pumpkin Team