Don’t be intimidated by fresh pomegranates. Use this simple method for removing the seeds!
Have you ever seen a plump, ruby-red pomegranate at the store and thought to yourself…self, I’d really like to have fresh pomegranate seeds, but I just don’t know how!
Well, wonder no more. I’m going to show you how to to pry the snappy seeds bursting with sweet juice out of a pomegranate with minimal muss and fuss. You’ll be done in 10 minutes or less!
Like I mentioned, you’re not really eating a pomegranate, rather, you’re eating the pomegranate’s seeds, which are called arils. The arils are what hold the antioxidant-rich, sweet/tart pomegranate juice, and are great for topping salads, yogurt, cereal, oatmeal, or popping ’em plain and pretending they’re healthy Nerds.
PS did anyone see Kim Kardashian housing Nerds on the last episode of Kim & Kourtney Take New York? Ben and I laughed for days.
Step 1: Pick a pomegranate
Look for a pomegranate that’s large, bright red, and smooth-skinned (the pomegranate in the picture below was a bit more weathered than I typically pick out). It should be heavy for it’s size, plump and not withered whatsoever.
Step 2: Cut the pomegranate in half
Place a very sharp knife to the right or left of the knob on top, and slice straight down. I usually cut the pomegranate on a plastic cutting board, as the pomegranate juice could stain a wooden board.
Step 3: Cut each half in half again
At this point you should have 4 quarters of the pomegranate.
Step 4: Invert one quarter of the pomegranate over a bowl in the kitchen sink, and pop the seeds out with your fingers
I try and get the majority of the seeds out with the peel inverted and facing me (so the seeds are face down in the bowl,) then flip the peel over to get the remainder out. Make sure you are doing this over the sink because pomegranate juice will be squirting out a bit, and it’s easier to contain and clean the juice out of the sink.
Continue with the remaining three pomegranate quarters.
Step 5: Fill the bowl of pomegranate seeds with cold water
You’ll want about 3-4 inches of water above the seeds.
Step 6: Remove any loose peel from the seeds
Give the pomegranate seeds a little swirl with your fingers to let any loose peel float to the top. The seeds will sink to the bottom, allowing you to easily clean the peel out.
Step 7: Drain the seeds and return them to the bowl
Refill the bowl with cold water one more time, clean out any remaining peel, and drain again.
Each pomegranate yields between 3/4 cup and 1 1/2 cups (6-12oz) of pomegranate seeds. Store the seeds in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week, though I doubt they’ll last that long. ;)
Still not convinced? Consider this:
Trader Joe’s sells 6oz packages of fresh pomegranate seeds for $4. They also sell whole pomegranates for $2. If you de-seed the pomegranate yourself you’re getting double the seeds, for half the price!
Now go forth, and eat pomegranates ’til you can eat pomegranates no more! (Which will likely never happen.) ;)
What’s your favorite way to enjoy pomegranate seeds or juice?
Stacey E 01.25.2012
I have never tried these…but I’m going to now!
Oh man! A couple weeks ago I bought my first pomegranate with high hopes of figuring this out. I cut it in half and long story short, it was ALL OVER ME AND MY TAN SWEATER! I got so frustrated I threw the whole thing away. Now I need to go get another and give it a shot again! Thanks for sharing!! :)
Jennie M 01.25.2012
I eat them straight out of a bowl with a spoon, just like cereal. I’ve honestly never cooked with them or put them on salad. Just raw and delicious!
I quarter the Pom then let sit in cold water for 10 min, then take the seeds out. That softens the membranes between the seeds so it’s no problem. FYI, just another option for getting to the wonderful seeds that I love.
Tonight I made the superfood salad you posted a week or two ago. (It was delicious!) That was the first time we have ever had a pomegranate. Then I logged on and saw this. Too bad I didn’t check before I cooked! It will be a quicker process next time…
Oh man, this makes me wish I had grabbed a pomegranate while I was at the grocery store earlier! They’re so delicious! Thanks for sharing your tips!
First time I bought/prepared a pomegranate was a few weeks ago, in order to make your Superfood Salad – I’m hooked!
My first and only time trying to eat a pomegranate was a big mess. But then I found an awesome pin in Pinterest…..
Next time, I’ll be attempting the water trick.
However, I’m struggling finding some pomegranates!
Another vote for doing the process underwater! I just use a big bowl and put it in the sink in case it spills. My favorite way to eat pomegranates on a spinach salad with feta cheese and raspberry vinaigrette.
Michelle (Better with Berries) 01.25.2012
Great tutorial – under water is the only way to do it! Unless you want red stains all over your clothes :-)
I love having pomegranate on oatmeal or yogurt!
Susie @ Foodie fabulista 01.25.2012
Love them in a savory salad with walnuts & a mustard vinaigrette
I also recommend wearing an apron to protect your clothing!
Blog is the New Black 01.25.2012
I love poms! DELISH!
I love them! They’re tasty over Greek yogurt and honey…yuuuummmmmm!
Love this trick, Kristin, and do it pretty much the exact same way! So, so worth the bit of trouble for the savings, but you have to be careful to watch the red splatters on your clothes if any break open :)
These jewels are so tasty mixed into a cup of yogurt!
Pin-worthy! Thanks! There’s a gal at work that will sit with her butter knife & work SO hard to get each seed out… Her fingers are always a lovely color when she’s done eating!
Jen Rothmeyer (EmSun) 01.25.2012
Yum! I hardly ever see pomegranates in the store here (and I tend to eat more local), but if I see one soon I might splurge and have a special treat. :)
Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner 01.25.2012
I also pop the seeds out underwater, and instead of cutting the fruit in quarters, I cut off the top and then score the skin and pull it apart because you lose less seeds that way (when you cut through them you lose the juice). Last winter I ate so many pomegranate seeds that I started getting really bad tummy aches, so this year I had to calm it down! I love eating the seeds by themselves or on top of a salad!
Megan @ Fiterature 01.26.2012
I do it the same as you, Lindsay! But after I score the top, I let is soak in water for about 10 minutes to soften the membrane. Then the seeds almost fall away.
I put pomegranate seeds in smoothies, salads, pasta…you name it!
that’s kinda how i do it too, except i pop the seeds out underwater, as it’s FAR less messy that way.
i was just looking for a pomegranate today for out dinner (quinoa with avocado and shrimp and stuff) but my store didn’t have any. bummer, they are delicious!
Emily @ The Swallow Flies 01.25.2012
Me too! I learned that one the hard way! I have to say, though, the extra couple of dollars for the pre-packaged ones at TJ’s is my preferred method! :)
Iowa Girl Eats 01.25.2012
I tried that once and ended up splashing water all over myself. I’m very uncoordinated. :/ If you put the peel upside down there’s hardly any juice splash!
Kate @ Stripes and Polka Dots 01.25.2012
This is awesome! I just got my first pomegranate a few weeks ago, and I really liked it. Definitely going back for more :)