When you are given over 40 pomegranates to go to town with, you get to explore everything about this glorious fruit. My husband is an engineer, and a very efficient one, too! He likes to do things the right way, with the least amount of waste. Sometimes it requires a lot more work, sometimes short cuts are involved. So, being the adventurous types that we are, we decided to take on the task of juicing some of our pomegranates, supplied by POM Pomegranates as well as the many we have growing in our trees. But, which way would work best?
I admit that I didn’t really think this one through from the beginning. I borrowed my friend’s Jack LaLane Juicer. Hubs and I were in the market for getting a juicer and we thought we’d give it a test run with our pomegranates. We really thought it work. And it did… at first. We seeded the pomegranate first and then put the ruby-red arils into the juicer. We got a cup of pomegranate juice before we decided to check on the filter. Those tiny pomegranate seeds could get messy and this was a borrowed juicer!
Good thing we did. The filter was clogged. We had take it apart to clean it, and we still had a lot of pomegranate arils we wanted to make into juice. This was NOT going to work. Hubs and I were disappointed. So, the engineer that he is, he went on to Method 2: The Ziploc Bag Method.
Okay, it’s a crude method, but this simple project soon became a real scientific experiment. Hubs poured about half a cup of pomegranate arils into a gallon-sized Ziploc bag, sealed it and squeezed. We did get juice, but we couldn’t get all of the juice. A lot was still stuck to the seed. So, Hubby poured the remaining seeds through a small strainer and used the back of a spoon to squeeze out the remaining juice. This was work and certainly not an efficient use of our time.
How were we going to juice these pomegranates?
Onto Method Three: The Citrus Juicer. We cut a pomegranate in half, and juiced it like we would an orange or a lemon. Not with a handheld reamer, but one with a strainer and bowl. Like the Ziploc Method, we did get juice, but we couldn’t get all the juice out. Some arils hid in their chambers and you couldn’t quite get them out by hand squeezing the pomegranates. I had an electric citrus juicer and tried the pomegranates with that. A bit more success. There was a lot of spray action on the counter, and since pomegranate juice stains, the clean up job was a pain. I got more juice this way, but I still had to press the seeds through a strainer to get every last drop of pomegranate juice.
Obviously there must be another way. I talked with a wonderful salesperson at my local Bed, Bath & Beyond and she told me for pomegrante juicing, you couldn’t use a conventional juicer. Duh, we figured that out pretty quickly. The filters would get ruined if we did. We needed one those $300 bad boys, the ones you squeeze wheat grass to get it’s juice. Even if we did want to buy one, we couldn’t find one available in San Diego. We had to get it online. By now, we were counting down to 2 days until our POM Party and I didn’t have any more time to spend on this experiment. I left it to the Hubs.
We agreed that he would stop by Jamba Juice on the way home and see if they would juice the 15 or so pomegranates we wanted to juice.
“We aren’t allowed to bring in outside produce,” the teenager Jamba Juicer replied.
Luckily, my hubby’s eagle-eyes spotted a sign in the back counter of the store.
“For Sale. Used Juicer. $140″
And yes, he bought it. He was very excited to show me his prize and after 5 minutes of assembling the juicer, he was pouring the lovely pomegranate arils down the juicer.
We finally got our pomegranate juice.
Now POM was wonderful in sending me coupons for 5 free bottles of POM Pomegranate Juice, but since I had almost 40 guests coming over, I needed more juice. Plus I was making Pomegranate Jelly, and using Pomegranate Syrup for many of my recipes. This juicer worked wonderfully and clean up was easy. Lots of pieces to clean, but nothing was clogged.
You do have to seed your pomegranate if you use one of these juicers. We tasted the juice after juicing a few chunks of pomegranate sections, without the outer skin and with most (but not all) of the pith removed. The resulting juice was bitter. We had to seed the pomegranate for a better tasting juice.
Experiment complete. Now for the analysis.
Do I expect you to go out and buy this expensive juicer to juice a pomegranate?
If you are going to juice one or two pomegranates, a simple citrus juicer would suffice, an electric one would work even better. Even the old fashioned juice press. But you do have to press the seeds through a strainer to get the optimal amount of juice out of the arils.
If you have a pomegranate tree or access to a pomegranate tree and every year you want to juice a dozen or more pomegranates…. THEN, I highly recommend you invest in a good juicer.
And even better, just go buy some bottled, easily available POM Pomegranate Juice at your local supermarket!!
For great recipes using pomegranates and pomegranate juice, come visit Family Spice!