In my fantasy, I would like to make a pomegranate necklace.
To go back in time, to summer camp, and to sit around the arts and crafts table. I'd put on a smock, get a teeny hole puncher, and very carefully pierce a single perfect hole in the center of each pomegranate aril. Then I'd wow my fellow campers, and the arts and crafts leader, and my counselor, and string the arils on a bright, waxy lanyard.
One aril, two arils, three arils. And on and on, until the whole lanyard glistened with fruity, ruby beads.
My friends would go nuts. "Make me one! Make me one!" they'd beg, both consecutively and in unison, and their pleas would be deafening, but also invigorating, and I'd comply, stringing arils faster and faster, with dexterity and grace, until all the necklaces were done. Then I'd stand before my bunkmates, and as they'd lean forward, I'd drape the necklaces over their heads like so many Olympic medals.
Soon, arts and crafts would be over, and as we'd line up to leave -- me beaming, my friends fingering their sparkly jewels -- one girl, let's call her Alice, would squeal: "Let's eat them!"
And just like that, we'd all begin chewing our necklaces, breaking up with laughter, juice dripping onto our shirts as we'd head down to the clear, cool lake.
Recipe for Homemade Granola with pomegranate seeds and yogurt
I just look at pomegranate seeds and feel inspired. So while it would have been perfectly acceptable to eat a giant bowl of them out of hand, I wanted to pair them with something homemade. And so, granola.
For the granola (this recipe yields 5 to 6 cups):
2 cups rolled oats
1-1/2 cups sweetened or unsweetened coconut (I used a combination)
3/4 cup chopped pecans
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
3/4 cup mixed dried fruit (I used golden and regular raisins, cranberries, and blueberries)
Plain nonfat yogurt, pomegranate seeds
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment.
In a large bowl, mix together the oats, coconut, pecans, cinnamon, and cardamom. In a medium bowl or large measuring cup, whisk the oil, honey, and two extracts until very well combined.
Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and stir thoroughly, until all the oats and nuts are evenly moistened.
Spread the granola on the baking sheet in an even layer. Bake for a total of 25 to 28 minutes, stirring at the 10 and the 20 minute marks (this is essential), or until deep golden brown. (Granola will harden as it cools.) Stir in the dried fruit.
Once fully cooled, store in a large ziploc and, if you have one, an airtight tin as well.
For each serving, layer granola with plain nonfat yogurt and fresh pomegranate seeds.