Padma Lakshmi Just Shared 3 Ways to Make Her Favorite Anti-Inflammatory Snack

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Get creative with this anti-inflammatory pomegranate toast ideas. Peanut butter, goat cheese or avocados? You choose!

<p>Lakshmi: Rob Kim/Getty Images. Recipe: Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh.</p>

Lakshmi: Rob Kim/Getty Images. Recipe: Ted + Chelsea Cavanaugh.

Reviewed by Dietitian Jessica Ball, M.S., RD

Padma Lakshmi is back with not one, not two but three mouthwatering ways to enjoy her favorite anti-inflammatory snack—pomegranate toast. In her latest Instagram post, she jokingly references SZA’s Saturday Night Live debut as she sings “It’s the end of pom season. I don’t need a reason… I need a big boy." While she may not need a reason to dive into these ruby jewels, she has convinced us that we absolutely need to pick up some pomegranates asap. As she sings, Padma walks us through constructing three distinct pom sandwich flavor combos that are as nourishing as they are delicious.

We begin with the classic Peanut Butter & Pomegranate Toast that started it all. There's just something so satisfying about the creamy, nutty peanut butter contrasted with those juicy, crunchy pomegranate arils. Padma's right, “the classic is great.” But alongside its deliciousness, it’s got a lot of anti-inflammatory prowess.

Pomegranate seeds are absolute rockstars of health promotion. The antioxidant content found in pomegranates might help counteract inflammation, reducing the risk of multiple health conditions, like heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes. But the peanut butter doesn’t just play a supporting role, it offers its own nutritional goodies. According to research, this plant-based protein may also exert a favorable effect on inflammation and oxidative stress. Throw in some fiber-rich whole grain bread or gut-healthy sourdough, and this simple snack is an anti-inflammatory triple threat.

Next up is Lakshmi’s Pom Toast 2.0, a vibrant and colorful toast featuring tangy goat cheese, fragrant mint, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and those bright pomegranate seeds. Goat cheese, like many other cheeses, offers a variety of health benefits and may even be easier on the digestive system for those who avoid cow's milk. The drizzle of balsamic vinegar adds a punch of antioxidants from the grape must it's made from. And the fresh mint isn't just there for its fragrant, herbal aroma. Though this might be the pièce de résistance that ties it all together! Mint leaves not only contain a small amount of a variety of essential nutrients like folate, vitamin C and vitamin A. According to studies, they offer further anti-inflammatory benefits as well.

But Padma's final variation is the real wildcard. The base is an avocado and lemon spread, which she, of course, tops with pom seeds. But with the addition of zesty spices like smoky paprika and Kashmiri chili powder, comes the delicious fusion. At first I was skeptical, but one bite of this creamy, crunchy, bright and lively toast had me convinced!

The avocado base provides antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits, while spices like paprika and Kashmiri chili get their inflammation-fighting abilities from compounds like capsaicin. Chili peppers have been utilized for centuries for their flavor, but there’s more to them than making food taste great.

The Bottom Line

No matter which pom toast combo is calling your name, all three versions make for a satisfying snack that delivers big on both flavor and nutrition. The bright pomegranate arils provide vitamin C, potassium, fiber and inflammation-crushing antioxidants. Opting for whole grain bread or sourdough adds even more fiber, protein and even some prebiotics and probiotics from the fermentation process. The real genius of these tasty toasts, though, is just how easy they are to whip up with ingredients that are easy to find. So while pomegranates are still in season, channel your inner Padma and get creative. Grab your toast, your pom seeds and whatever else strikes your fancy, and design your own snack masterpiece.

Read the original article on Eating Well.