Pomegranate is a beautiful fall-season fruit bursting with juicy, tangy flavor. It’s packed with amazing antioxidants, vitamins, fiber, and bright, beautiful color. There is just one problem.
How in the heck do you cut open the thing?
No worries! While cutting a pomegranate might seem perplexing at first, we promise it’s a breeze, and soon you’ll be enjoying fresh, juicy pomegranate arils! Let’s get started with our step-by-step guide.
What part of pomegranate is edible?
When you cut a pomegranate open, you’ll see a white pith surrounding pockets of red “jewels.” Generally, we only eat the pomegranate arils, or the juicy ruby gems that contain the pomegranate seeds.
While the skin of the pomegranate and the white membrane may technically be edible, they are very bitter, and we don’t recommend them. The outer skin also may be toxic in large amounts, so stick to the arils, and you’ll be good!
Yes, pomegranate arils are supposed to be crunchy! The pomegranate juice is around a crunchy pomegranate seed that is perfectly edible, and in fact adds a nice crunch to salads!
How to cut a pomegranate
So how do you crack open a pomegranate to get to the ruby red seeds inside?
- Place the pomegranate on its side on a cutting board. Using a sharp paring knife, slice a small disc off of the base end (the one opposite the crown/stem end). You only need to cut between 1/4″ and 1/2″ until you see the tops of the red arils.
- Look closely at the outside of the pomegranate fruit, and you should see ridges that mark the sections of the fruit. You’ll want to score along those ridges using your sharp knife—just cutting through the peel. Score from the top of the crown all the way down to the cut you just made on the base.
- Can’t find the ridges? No worries, just score along the side of the fruit 4-5 times with even spacing.
- Using your fingers, break apart the segments of the pomegranate. With a little bit of elbow grease, these pieces should separate relatively easily like segments of an orange.
- Use your fingers to remove the seeds from the pomegranate membranes. We recommend doing this over a large bowl of water (or IN the bowl of water, more on that in a sec).
- The seeds will sink in the water, and the white pith will float. Skim off and discard the pith, drain the arils, and enjoy!
How do you de-seed a pomegranate in water?
Pomegranate juice does tend to stain porous work surfaces, clothes, and skin, so if you want to skip pomegranate juice stains, a big mixing bowl of water is your best friend! Starting with step #4 above, finish the remaining steps with the pomegranate and your hands submerged into a bowl of room temperature or warm water. This will stop any of the arils from “popping” and spraying juice at you and your kitchen.
How do you de-seed a pomegranate without water?
You can easily follow the steps above without the use of water, you’ll just have to spend a little more time picking out the pith from your final bowl of arils. We also recommend wearing an apron and covering any surfaces in your kitchen that may stain.
How do you de-seed a pomegranate with a wooden spoon?
Some folks have success just cutting the pomegranate in half around the equator, and then whacking the pomegranate over a bowl with a wooden spoon to release the arils. While this might get out some build-up frustration, we’ve never had much luck getting out the arils this way (and it makes quite the mess).
How many arils will a pomegranate yield?
On average, you’ll get about one cup of arils from a pomegranate. This may vary depending on the size of the pomegranate.
How to store pomegranate seeds
Pomegranate arils can be stored in the fridge for up to five days, but we can’t promise they will last that long because they are so delicious! You can also seed a bunch of pomegranates at once and freeze the arils.
To freeze pomegranate arils, spread them in a single layer on a baking sheet, and stick it in the fridge. Once they are frozen solids, transfer the arils to a freezer bag or container, remove as much air as possible, and stash them in the freezer. Use frozen pomegranate arils within a year.
What can I use pomegranate seeds in?
Pomegranate arils are delicious on their own, but if you want to use them in other ways, here are some of our favorite recipes that call for pomegranate:
- This colorful persimmon, walnuts, and pomegranate salad is perfect for autumn dinners (even Thanksgiving).
- Pomegranate lends a sweet-tart flavor to roasted squash.
- Sweet potato crostini is topped with goat cheese and pomegranate for a produce-heavy appetizer.
- A spinach pomegranate salad is full of color and flavor.
- This Mediterranean blackened salmon is topped with a ruby pomegranate salsa.
- Pomegranate arils add a nice texture to a yogurt parfait.