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November 28, 2009

Tarawera Ultra; POM Wonderful Review

Before today’s post, a quick announcement as a favor to a friend:

At this spring’s Western States training camp, I finally had the pleasure of meeting Paul Charteris, a Kiwi ultrarunner whose blog I had followed for quite some time. Paul spends several months per year Stateside, and has a special love of the Sierra Nevada Mountains – and his Western States report is one of the most memorable accounts that I read after this year’s event.

Paul is also a relative newbie race director, and is promoting his 2nd annual Tarawera Ultramarathon in several forums, including the new ad on my sidebar. It looks to be a fantastic event, and I’d love to report that I’m supporting him by entering this March, except for one small detail: the race is in New Zealand.

I don’t have the frequent flier miles to pull off that kind of travel, but if a trip Down Under is on your calendar for the spring, give Paul’s race a serious look.


As we get into the holiday season, the reviews and discussions of cool runner products are going to be more of a two-way street, as I’ll explain more beginning tomorrow. For today, I’m catching up on a long-overdue review from the end of the summer.

All you really need to know about POM Wonderful juice is in this graph:

(Larger version is here on the POM website)

The antioxidant concentration of pomegranate juice is far higher than red wine, green tea, and nearly every other naturally occurring substance you can think of. Antioxidants neutralize harmful free radicals, which protects you from disease, and so on and so on – you’ve heard this all before.

POM Wonderful is 100% Pomegranate Juice with no added sugar, and come in a variety of flavors (either combined with other fruit juices, or solely pomegranate juice). It has a uniquely tart yet sweet taste with a very strong flavor. They’re typically sold in 16-oz bottles that retail for anywhere from 4 to 6 dollars – which is quite a bit more expensive than your run-of-the-mill fruit juices.

The flavor is too strong for some folks to take straight, but I happen to really like it. However, considering the cost, I think it’s better used as a recipe ingredient. I like adding it to fruit smoothies, and can stretch one bottle into 3 or 4 servings. They’d probably make a killer margarita as well, if that’s the kind of smoothie you prefer.

The POM website features a ton of recipes that incorporate pomegranate juice into every meal of the day, as well as appetizers and desserts. My wife used this one for a granita, then tinkered with it a bit by adding some vodka and extra lime juice to give it a little extra punch. She garnished it with some whole pomegranate seeds, and the end result was a very cool frozen dessert.

So aside from the cost, there’s really not much to dislike about POM juice: it’s super healthy, and has a sweet/tart taste and strong flavor that can be utilized in all manner of recipes. If you’re looking for a unique recipe idea, check their site and see what POM Wonderful has to offer.
*Product provided by POM Wonderful
**See other product reviews on product reviews on sidebar at right. If you have a product you'd like reviewed, contact me at


Anne 11/29/09, 6:13 AM  

I've been using their Web site recipes for months now and every one of them has been a winner. I especially love their salad dressings and inventive ways of adding some POM punch to traditional drinks. Glad you like the taste too.

RD Jim 11/29/09, 10:35 AM  

I can't help but believe they could sell it for less if they would bag the fancy bottle. I love the stuff but don't buy it. There are plenty of store branded dark berry juices out there.

Anonymous,  12/1/09, 7:37 AM  

I find it interesting that I've seen several running blogs review this product lately. Is POM searching out runner sites as part of a large-scale promotional strategy? You probably are not at liberty to discuss, but I do find it interesting.

Donald 12/1/09, 9:37 AM  

Anon: It's not really a mystery: someone in the marketing dept at POM is clearly reaching out to several bloggers with audiences in their target demographic. They don't have any say over what we say about it, though, so it's a calculated marketing risk. But that's another reason why the product disclosure requirement for bloggers is a pretty good idea.

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