Pomegranates showing up at the market is one of the best signs of fall. Well, that and the return of oyster season. From September to January, I usually keep a bowl of pomegranate seeds (arils, technically) in my refrigerator, and I dig into it for a handful whenever the craving strikes.
I like to mix them into yogurt or scatter a scoopful over a salad, and I’ve even spooned a few into Champagne flutes on New Year’s Eve. (Totally delicious, by the way. Though why Champagne doesn’t enjoy the same super food designation as the pomegranate is beyond me.)
Aside from being tasty, pomegranates are also high in antioxidants, potassium and vitamin C, and they’re a great source of fiber. In short, you should be eating them.
Below, you’ll find a few things to keep in mind when selecting and using pomegranates.
How do you eat pomegranates?
When are they ripe?
A ripe pomegranate should feel heavy, which means it’s full of juice. You don’t want to see any depressions or wrinkles in the skin — it should be firm and taut. The outer color can vary from medium red to deep red.
How do you store them?
You can keep whole pomegranates at room temperature, away from sunlight, for a few days; you can also store them up to three months in a plastic bag in the fridge.
The seeds can be refrigerated for up to three days. You can also freeze them in an airtight container. These same guidelines apply to pomegranate juice.
How do you get the seeds out?
There are two common methods for de-seeding a pomegranate, and both are pretty easy.
The first is to slice the pomegranate in half, hold one half seed-side-down over a bowl, and whack the bejeezus out of it with a wooden or silicone spoon. The seeds pop out into the bowl and whatever aggression or stress you may have been feeling vanishes.
The method I prefer — it seems less violent and it’s oddly meditative — is to fill a large bowl with water and then halve or quarter the pomegranate. Submerge the pieces in the water and, using your fingers, push the seeds away. They’ll separate really easily and sink to the bottom while everything else floats to the top. Just skim off the floating pieces, pour the water and seeds through a colander and you’re done.
Saveur has a great video of this technique, which you can see here.
So how do you de-seed your pomegranates? And how do you like to eat them once you do? If you have any favorite tips, tricks or recipes, let us know!