If you’ve been keeping your eyes peeled at the market lately, chances are you’ve come across a crop of perfectly pink and plump pomegranates at one time or another.
Pomegranates have been grown and cultivated in many parts of the world since ancient times, but have only gained popularity here in the US over the past couple of years, notably for the high levels of antioxidants found in their jewel-toned arils, or seeds.
I know you’ve heard about pomegranates before, but maybe you’re wondering – what the heck do I do with ‘em?!
Well it’s the aforementioned seeds you’re after, where one of the most potent sources of antioxidants lie in waiting – pomegranate juice. Higher in free-radical-killing, and skin-smoothing benefits than both red wine and green tea, pomegranate juice is as delicious as it packed with vitamins and minerals. Plus it’s kind of fun to make at home!
Start by purchasing pomegranates that are smooth-skinned and heavy for their size. For each large pomegranate, you can expect to extract about 1 cup of juice.
Wash and dry the pomegranate, then cut into the blossom-end about one inch. Use your fingers to crack the pomegranate in half, which will reduce the amount of juice lost vs cutting the whole thing down the center. Repeat the cutting and cracking process on both halves to make four quarters.
Next, use your fingers to pry the juice-filled seeds from the quarters, letting them land in a bowl filled with cold water. I recommend doing this deep in the recesses of your sink, by the way, to cut down on juice splattered around the kitchen!
Once all the seeds have been removed, scoop out any white pith that may have fallen into the bowl from the pomegranate, which will rise to the top of the water, then rinse and strain the seeds a couple of times.
At this point you can add the sweet seeds to your morning yogurt, toss into lunchtime salads, pop as-is, or continue on with the juice-making process.
Which is where we head to next! Transfer the seeds to a blender, then pulse and blend until a pulp is formed.
Strain the seeds into a bowl through a fine-mesh strainer, then use a spatula to press and scrape every last drop out of the pulp
A few minutes later – voila! – fresh pomegranate juice! Some may find the juice a tad too tart to sip as is, so add a sprinkle of sugar if it tastes good. Me? I like it straight up. Sweet and perfectly tart!
Refreshing, and ultra-healthy, too!