What’s the best method of dealing with a pomegranate? Those tricky little pomegranate seeds can be hard to get out! Let me show you how to cut a pomegranate…

Extracting Pomegranate Arils

There are many little kitchen tricks I use on a daily basis that shorten my cooking time and improve my kitchen experience over all. I’ve been meaning to share these with you in separate posts (to make them easy to find) for two… ahem, maybe three years now.

Sorry. Better late than never, I always say.

I realize many of you are kitchen savants and need no additional instruction from me. You just pop by for weekly dinner ideas.

Yet many of you are new to cooking, and when I tell you the preparation time for a recipe is 10 minutes, it takes you 25. Don’t be frustrated with yourself; we all started that way. Hopefully these weekly tips will help speed up your preparation time and relieve little cooking stresses.

I’ll be discussing everything from chopping to dealing with hard-to-handle produce.

Like today!

Let’s talk about how to cut a pomegranate and extract the pomegranate seeds. The actual term for pomegranate seeds is pomegranate arils. So if you want to sound fancy, call them arils.

I’ve seen (and tried) all sorts of methods for opening a pomegranate, from rolling the pomegranate, to beating it with a wooden spoon.

The method of how to cut a pomegranate, that I find to be the best (meaning it yields the most unsquashed/uncut pomegranate seeds, with the fewest splatter stains) is this…

How to Cut a Pomegranate

  1. Cut the pomegranate just through the skin around the entire pomegranate, not all the way to the center. You’ll feel the give when you get through the skin. Cutting all the way to the center just ruins a line of arils.
  2. Repeat in the opposite direction to make 4 equal sections.
  3. Gently pull the sections apart.
  4. One at a time, submerge the pomegranate sections in a deep bowl of water. Rub your thumb over the arils to loosen them.
  5. Scoop off the floating white debris, drain the pomegranate seeds, and dry them on a paper towel.
  6. Store in the refrigerator, in an airtight container, until ready to serve.

Pomegranate Tips and Tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks that I have learned throughout the years to make cooking and baking with pomegranates a little bit easier.

  • Loosening the pomegranate seeds in a bowl of water will help the arils sink to the bottom and the white flesh will float up, making it easy to skim. Submerging the pomegranate sections in water also eliminates red juice splatter on your clothes. (Which is a major one because that juice stains!)
  • The way that you find the best pomegranate is by the color of its skin. The deeper and darker that the red coloring is on the outside, the sweeter the arils will be on the inside. If it is lighter in color, like a pink or salmon color, then the pomegranate is not ripe enough and will result in dry tart fruit. 
  • The seeds on the inside of the juice-filled arils are completely edible and they are actually a great source of antioxidants, punic acid, and insoluble fiber.
  • Eating pomegranates will have your body and skin thanking you because they have been known to carry anti-aging benefits by improving the skin’s texture with a production of collagen and elastin!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is so special about pomegranates?

Pomegranate seeds offer a bright juicy punch of flavor to all sorts of recipes. They make salads and fruit platters look opulent, and lift heavier flavors in rice dishes and creamy pasta recipes. This fruit is high in vitamin c and vitamin A. Pomegranates are also a great source of fiber as well. 

When are they in season?

Pomegranates are in season for a fairly short period of time. The peak of their season is in late fall and throughout the winter months. 

How do I store the seeds?

Pomegranates should be stored in the refrigerator and they can last for three to four weeks in the fridge before deseeding. After extracting the seeds, they can last in the fridge for 1 to 2 weeks. Or you can store them in the freezer in a tightly sealed bag for up to 3 months. 

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