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Deseeding Pomegranates with Less Mess and Stress!

We’ve all heard that deseeding pomegranates can be quite challenging, time-consuming, and super messy. Well, don’t let rumors of a kitchen mess cause you unwarranted stress. With this easy peasy method, not only is deseeding pomegranates a walk in the park, or shall I say a dip in the water, it’s a culinary skill sure to impress all of your guests.

Pomegranate fruit with leaves and half of ripe pomegranate on board
Taste the heart-healthy goodness of pomegranates

While shopping the produce section of your favorite grocer this fall and winter, don’t let the fear of the unknown pomegranate steer your cart in another direction. Just stand up tall, stroll on over and grab that pomegranate off that shelf with confidence, because after reading Deseeding Pomegranates with Less Mess and Stress, you’ve got this! 

Why a Pomegranate You Ask?

Well, let me count the ways.

While many other fruits are wrapping up their season, the pomegranate is just getting started by making its seasonal debut in October lasting through January and longer in western states.

Not only are pomegranates freshly available during winter, but their insoluble fiber, nutrients, and antioxidants will give your health a boost.

Let’s not forget their refreshingly sweet taste making the no mess prep time of deseeding pomegranates very rewarding.

Let’s Get Started

Pomegranate Selection

While standing in front of the fruit display, there’s the question of which pomegranate to choose? Should it feel firm or soft when gently squeezed? Does the pomegranate have a noticeably fragrant smell when ripe? Or my favorite, will it have a hollow sound if I thump it?

When it comes to selecting the perfect pomegranate, it’s all about its rind and weight. The deeper, more vibrant the color the sweeter the pomegranate will be. If it’s dull in appearance, the fruit inside can have a slightly tart taste. Also, the rind should be smooth and free of a broken surface. The next factor to consider is its weight. The heavier the pomegranate the more juice the arils have inside. After purchasing you can store the pomegranate at room temperature for several days or keep it in the refrigerator for up to two months.

Materials Needed for Deseeding Pomegranates:

  • Bowl
  • Water
  • Paring knife
  • Cutting board – Acrylic or non-staining
  • Strainer
  • Fresh pomegranate from your local produce store

The Process of Deseeding Pomegranates:

  • Lay out all of your materials on a counter or hard surface. Fill your bowl half-full with water.
Materials needed for deseeding pomegranates
Materials needed for deseeding pomegranates
  • Take your paring knife and carefully score a complete circle around the top of the pomegranate. By using light pressure while scoring, most if not all of the arils will stay intact which preserves the fruit, the juice, and is much less messy.
Scoring top of the pomegranate on acrylic cutting board
Scoring the top of the pomegranate
  • Gently peel away the top circle to reveal the inside of the fruit. This step is similar to the feel of peeling an orange.
Peeling the top of pomegranate
Gently peel the top of the pomegranate
  • The arils (fruit with seeds) are divided into sections with white vertical vein-like lines, which is the membrane. Using the natural membrane veins within the pomegranate as a guide, take your paring knife to gently score vertically along the outside of the fruit from top to bottom along each vein. Again, by applying light pressure while scoring, the arils should stay intact which means less mess.
Gently scoring along the pomegranate from top to bottom
Gently score along the pomegranate from top to bottom
  • Next, place the pomegranate inside your bowl of water.
Pomegranate and hand in water bowl
Pomegranate in the bowl of water
  • Place your hands inside the bowl of water and gently separate the sections of the pomegranate by pulling each area apart.
An open pomegranate in bowl of water
An open pomegranate in a bowl of water
  • By using your hands inside of the water bowl, gently loosen the arils out of the white membrane into the bowl of water.
Light pressure is key to deseeding pomegranates in a bowl of water with hands.
Light pressure is key to deseeding pomegranates
  • While manipulating the fruit, the seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl while the white membrane floats to the top assisting in separation.
  • Discard the pomegranate skin and use a hand strainer or slotted spoon to skim the floating white membrane off the top of the water to discard as well.
Straining the membrane off the water
Straining the floating membrane off the water
  • Strain or pour the water off of the arils.
Fresh, juicy Pomegranate arils with their seeds
Fresh, juicy Pomegranate arils with their seeds inside

Voila!!! 

You have successfully dissected the not so messy, delicious, healthy pomegranate and can now enjoy its fruit in a variety of ways.

Pomegranate Uses

The arils and their seeds within are both edible and full of healthy antioxidants. Use the arils from the pomegranate to make cocktails, smoothies, or juice. You can also sprinkle them on your favorite yogurt or spiced oatmeal and use them as a garnish to add a splash of color to any dish. Eat them by the handful as a snack or sprinkle them on quinoa or a salad to give it a refreshing crunch.

Delicious Pomegranate Recipes

If you like to relax with a warm cup of tea, you’ll savor Healthy Pomegranate Tea With Mint and Lemon. To add some zing to your salad routine you might like an Incredibly Fresh and Delicious Pomegranate Salad or a Fresh and Flavorful Fall Salad With Pomegranate Vinaigrette. If you’re in need of quenching your thirst after an afternoon of raking leaves, enjoy Fresh Pomegranate Lemonade made with 4 Ingredients Only!

How to Store the Seeds

The seeds stay fresh when kept in the refrigerator for up to a week. I like to freeze the seeds to use later for cocktails and smoothies. To freeze the seeds, lay them flat on a wax paper-lined baking sheet and freeze for an hour or two. Then place the frozen seeds in an airtight container or bag to continue freezing. Keep the pomegranate seeds frozen for up to a year.

Pomegranate Health Benefits

Pomegranates are notoriously healthy due to their high amount of antioxidants. Pomegranate juice contains a higher level of antioxidants than most other fruit juices. Studies suggest that a diet rich in antioxidants can help lower blood pressure and help prevent heart disease. Studies also suggest that their anti-inflammatory effects could help reduce inflammation throughout the body and may reduce the risk for some cancers. Check out the Health Benefits of Pomegranates on our Minnetonka Orchards website for more pomegranate information and nutritional information. For a more scientific explanation on all the amazing health benefits and nutritional information of the Pomegranate, check out Food Applications and Potential Health Benefits of Pomegranate and its Derivatives.

The Next Time

Now that you have mastered the culinary skill of easily deseeding pomegranates, the next time you are preparing a meal or beverage, you can confidently select, deseed and prepare this healthy winter fruit to be the star in a variety of pomegranate recipes.

If you have a favorite way to enjoy pomegranate fruit, please let us know.