Packed with antioxidants, vitamins, potassium, folic acid and iron, many consider pomegranates to be a superfood. Originating in the Middle East, pomegranates came to California with Spanish settlers at the end of the 18th century. The juice encased seeds inside the pomegranate are called arils.
Sprinkle arils over your oatmeal, or granola and yogurt, or add them to a green salad for color and sweet crunch.
Juice the seeds with a blender and strainer, or a juicer and use the juice to flavor jellies, baked goods, smoothies or cocktails. Use arils or juice in a soup, stew, or marinade. Make pomegranate syrup or molasses.
If you’re still undecided, here are a couple effective pomegranate deseeding techniques to try. The white of the rind and membranes are bitter, so if even a small piece gets mixed in with your arils, you’ll taste it.
The Wooden Spoon Whack
Using a good knife, cut through the outer skin of the pomegranate, but not all the way through the fruit, all the way around. Break apart to create two halves. Hold one half cut side down over a large bowl or platter and leave your hand cupped so seeds can fall through your fingers. With your other hand, whack the skin of the pomegranate all over with the back of a wooden spoon. The seeds should fall out of the fruit onto the platter. This is fast, but also can be messy, so be prepared for a little juice splatter.
The Underwater Method
Cut the pomegranate in half as described above. Fill a large bowl with cold water. Hold the pomegranate half underwater and use your thumbs to remove the seeds. The white pith will float to the top and the seeds will sink to the bottom. This method prevents the red juice from splattering all over you and your kitchen counter.
Store your whole pomegranates at room temperature for several months. Cracked pomegranates can be kept at room temperature for about two weeks before they dry out, or can be sealed in a plastic bag in the fridge. Keep removed seeds in an airtight container and enjoy within one week. Seeds can be frozen, but will loose their crunch when thawed.