The regal pomegranate, with its leathery red skin and miniature crown, is a complex fruit. It houses hundreds of arils—small edible seeds encased in a juicy brilliant-red pulp—that are separated into clusters by a bitter cream-color membrane. The seeds are edible with a sweet-tart flavor. Touted for their protective antioxidants, pomegranate seeds are also a very good source of vitamin C and vitamin K, and a good source of dietary fiber and folate. Use the seeds in desserts, salads, and more, and drink the pomegranate juice or use it in dressings or sauces.
How to Buy and Store PomegranatesGet the Persimmon, Blood Orange, and Pomegranate Salad recipe.
Pomegranates are most abundant in the fall through January, making them a festive holiday fruit. Choose heavy fruits with bright, blemish-free skins, and store them in a cool, dark place for up to 1 month or in the refrigerator for up to 2 months. You can also purchase just the pomegranate seeds (arils) to make homemade pomegranate juice easier.
How to Harvest and Juice Pomegranate Seeds
1. Break open the pomegranate
Using a sharp knife, cut the fruit vertically in half. Using your hands, gently break the halves into smaller sections.
Tip: The vivid-red juice can stain, so clean the work surface immediately with warm, soapy water. Also, consider wearing an apron or work shirt since the seeds can be messy.
2. Remove the seeds
Place the pomegranate sections in a bowl of water. Using your fingers, loosen the seeds from each section into the water. The seeds will sink to the bottom. Discard the peel and membrane.
3. Drain and use the seeds
Pour the water and pomegranate seeds through a sieve to catch the seeds. One medium pomegranate yields about 1/2 cup seeds. Eat the seeds out of hand or use them in salads or as a garnish for desserts and beverages.
Tip: You can store the seeds in a covered container in the refrigerator for several days or freeze them in a sealed freezer container for up to 1 year.
Pomegranate Juice Recipe
Pomegranate juice takes just minutes to make once you've seeded the pomegranate. You don't even need a special pomegranate juicer or pomegranate juice press! Place the drained seeds in a blender or food processor, and blend or process until combined into a pulp. Transfer the pulp to a sieve set over a bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press the pulp to release the juice. Taste the juice. If ripe enough, it shouldn't require any sweetener, and you can drink or use the pure pomegranate juice. Use the juice as a beverage or as an ingredient in sauces, salad dressings, juice blends, or cocktails.
Tip: If desired, for a clearer juice, line the sieve with a double layer of cheesecloth.
Our Favorite Pomegranate RecipesGet the recipe for Pomegranate Cheesecake.
After you've finished trying our tips for juicing pomegranates, give a few of our favorite pomegranate recipes a try. Use your homemade pomegranate juice in a smoothie, or save the seeds and toss them into a salad or top a decadent pomegranate cheesecake.