Don’t be intimidated. This step-by-step tutorial will show you how to seed a pomegranate easily without getting cracked skin or stains on your clothes!
POM Pomegranates was kind enough to send me over 40 pomegranates to use in developing recipes. My kids love eating the seeds, called “arils”, by themselves. They are an antioxidant power-house and rich in fiber and vitamins. What’s not to love? My family also has a pomegranate tree in our yard, with easy access to fresh pomegranates from October through December. And for this exciting pomegranate opportunity through POM, I think my handy-dandy assistant, the hubby, opened and seeded all 44 pomegranates! Maybe more! He really became an expert at it, and now I’m here to show you the BEST way to open and seed your pomegranate!
Now some people swear that beating a cut pomegranate will allow the arils to easily fall out. This does not work with all pomegranates. And, quite frankly, you can easily bruise and ruin your pomegranate this way.
Also, please do not cut your pomegranate in half, as you would an orange or apple, to remove the arils. It is not only messy (juice will get everywhere), but you will also ruin and waster a lot arils that were sliced up.
For this method, you will need a sharp pairing knife, a cutting board, a large bowl of water and a small mesh strainer. The water helps contain the arils that are popping out when you open the pomegranate, as well as washes off the acidic juice off your hands. If you are peeling many pomegranates, make sure you put some hand lotion on your hand when you are done, as the pomegranates can and do dry your hands and fingers.
Step 1: Remove the crown off the top of the pomegranate. Do not cut too deep or you will cut the precious arils!
Step 2. Using the tip of your knife, point it to the center of the white pith of the pomegranate. Keeping your knife at a 45º angle (my hubby is very exact as he IS an engineer!) cut a circle around the center of the pith. Remove the cone like white center and discard.
Step 3. Repeat Step 2 for the bottom of the pomegranate.
Step 4. Peel the skin off of your pomegranate (optional). I know, I know, most people do not do this step. But by removing the peel, the arils are MUCH easier to remove when you are on Step 8. Step 4 can be skipped if you want, but if you have a thick-skinned pomegranate, this is way to go.
Step 5: Score along the vertical sections you see around your pomegranate. Pomegranates are sectioned off like oranges are, and you want to follow these lines.
Step 6: Over the bowl of water, place your thumbs into the cored out center of one of the ends of your pomegranate. Gently pull the two halves apart. Any loose arils will fall into the pool of water.
Step 7. Remove each scored off section of the pomegranate. Gently remove the thin skins and excess membranes.
Step 8: Push your thumb on the back of each pomegranate section to turn it out. Your thumbs will be resting on the side of the section that the outer skin was peeled off. Gently tap the seeds out and pull them off the membrane wall. If you removed the outer skin of the pomegranate, you will find this step VERY EASY!! Remove all the arils from each pomegranate section.
Step 9: Using your small mesh strainer, remove the floating membrane skins and pith from the water. The seeds will sink to the bottom and the debris will float to the top. When done, use your strainer to remove and drain the pomegranate arils
Step 10: EAT THEM!!! Come on, you earned it!
Pomegranate seeds can be refrigerated and will keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. You can also freeze pomegranate seeds. Place them in one layer on a baking sheet and place in the freezer ’til frozen. Remove and place frozen seeds in a freezer safe container. Frozen pomegranate seeds will keep in the freezer for up to six months. Unopened pomegranates can last up to one month on the counter or two months in the refrigerator.
And what should you do with these pomegranate arils you have sitting in your refrigerator? I have a few suggestions here.
We were determined to find the best way to juice a pomegranate. The Engineer-Hubby and I used several juicing methods to see which one worked best! Read all about it here.