Pomegranate Primer: Your Guide to Cutting, De-Seeding and Eating

Pomegranate Primer: Your Guide to Cutting, De-Seeding and Eating

Sweet, tangy pomegranate seeds (also called “arils”) are among the prettiest foods you can find: they glisten like little rubies. But that’s not the only way in which they resemble a hidden treasure: learning how to cut a pomegranate can be tricky, so it can seem like a massive effort to get to those little jewels!

Fear not: we’ve come to the rescue with your guide to all things pomegranate. From selecting to de-seeding to recipe suggestions for enjoying your pomegranate, this guide is well worth bookmarking for future reference.

When to Buy

Pomegranates are in season from late September through February.

Choosing A Pomegranate

Which pomegranate should you pick? Choose a pomegranate that looks deep in color and feels heavy. While some discolorations along the rind are fine, do feel them: any soft or mushy spots might mean that part of the fruit is rotten.

How to Cut a Pomegranate

Try both of these methods and see which one works better for you. Personally, I prefer the first method, as it is far cleaner.

Method 1: The Hand Method

Step 1:

Assemble your mise en place. Grab a cutting board and a large bowl. Fill the bowl a few inches deep with cold water.

Step 2:

Give the pomegranate a quick roll on the countertop, using your hands. This loosens the fruit from the walls just a little bit.

Step 3:

Slice off the top and the bottom of the fruit; this will make each portion easier to cut and extract later.

Step 4:

Feel around your pomegranate. Chances are, you’ll feel little ridges along the skin, as if there are various spines located at intervals of the fruit. Make slow, gentle cuts along these ridges, as they will be the easiest spots to pull the fruit apart.

Step 5:

Working above your bowl of water, pull apart the sections that you’ve scored. Be careful; this can be the moment where juice sprays.

Tip: To keep any spraying from occurring in an unwanted area, I actually put my bowl of water in the sink.

Step 6:

Using your fingers, pull out the arils, dropping them into the water below. White bits clinging to the fruit will float to the surface.

Tip: If you really want to keep things clean, you can actually submerge the fruit while you use your fingers to remove it from the walls.

Step 7:

Strain the arils; pick out any white bits that you see. Place in a bowl; your arils are ready to eat or use in a recipe. If you aren’t going to be using them right away, store them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

Method 2: The Spoon Method

Step 1:

Assemble your mise en place. Grab a cutting board and a large bowl. Fill the bowl a few inches deep with cold water.

Step 2:

Give the pomegranate a quick roll on the countertop, using your hands. This loosens the fruit from the walls just a little bit.

Step 3:

Slice the fruit in half, horizontally (so that the little “bud” is on the top). Pull away the edges, as if you’re easing the edges of the skin away from the fruit.

Step 4:

Working with one half at a time, align the fruit so that it is facing the bowl of water. Hold in one hand, and bang on top of the fruit with a wooden spoon to shake out the fruit.

Step 5:

Strain the arils; pick out any white bits that you see. Place in a bowl; your arils are ready to eat or use in a recipe. If you aren’t going to be using them right away, store them in an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

How to Eat a Pomegranate

Now that you’ve cut a pomegranate, how exactly should you eat it? The options are endless.

Snack on the Seeds

Pomegranate seeds are a treat all by themselves. Just grab a few and eat as you would eat berries. Pomegranates have a slightly chewy seed center; it’s totally fine to eat.

Make it into Juice

Put your pomegranate arils in a blender, blend for a few seconds (that’s all it takes!) and then strain the mixture through a mesh strainer.

Tip: If putting pomegranate in a smoothie, I’d probably just put the entire arils and not worry about juicing them first; the seeds won’t be too much of a distraction.

Use them as a Garnish

Add an instant gourmet touch to fresh winter salads with pomegranate arils. Even savory dishes like orange chicken will taste great with a sprinkling of pomegranate seeds on top. We even put them in our game-changing cheese taco shells.

Put ’Em in Baked Goods

Pomegranate seeds taste great in baked goods. For an easy addition, fold a few into muffin, pancake, or quick bread batter. Or, make your next autumn pie look like a bejeweled treasure by putting pomegranate seeds on top.