Friday, November 19, 2010


Another great fall fruit is the gorgeous but often daunting pomegranate.  I admit, for years I didn't know how to open a pomegranate successfully, and I've made my fair share of red juicy messes trying to get to those delicious seeds of tasty joy. 

It wasn't until a few weeks ago as Mike and I were perusing the produce section of our local Raley's, that we noticed a little pamphlet near the box of pomegranates.  What shear excitement I felt upon opening such pamphlet to find proper cutting instructions.  My days of mopping up what looked like a deadly encounter with a knife would now be efficient and stain-free.  No longer would that pomegranate laugh heartily at me and my desperate attempts to get its seeds!

So without further ado, here is the "correct" way to open a pomegranate:

1.  Cut off the top of the pomegranate about a 1/2 inch below the crown using a sharp pairing knife
2.  Once the top is off, you'll see the pomegranate is naturally split into 4 to 6 sections.  Score the skin at each section.

Cutting off the top and scoring the sections

3.  Separate the pomegranate at each score.  Think of peeling apart the sections on an orange.
4.  Loosen the seeds (AKA arils) over a bowl of water using your fingers.

Removing the seeds without the mess

5.  Use a spoon or your fingers to scoop out any white membrane pieces that have fallen into the bowl.
6.  Pour the bowl of water through a strainer.
7.  Keep the arils in a Tupperware in the fridge and enjoy!

So what do you then do with those plump little babies?  Lots!  Here are some of my favorite ways:

  • Over salads
  • Mixed in a bowl of oatmeal or other hot cereal
  • Stirred into yogurt
  • Baked in muffins and cookies
  • Dried in the dehydrator, then added to trail mixes and homemade granola
  • Added to chutney
  • Added to whole grains ~ rice, quinoa and amaranth
  • Mixed with guacamole
  • Baked in an apple pie
  • Added to a fruit salsa
  • Stirred into melted chocolate then frozen (think chocolate covered raisins)

Pomegranates contains lots of vitamins, potassium, folic acid and iron. Plus, they’re packed with powerful antioxidants known as polyphenols.  And for those of you who choose to eat seasonally, pomegranates are available from October through January, so enjoy them while you can!

Thank you dear pomegranate for teaching me to unlock your secrets, for showing me how to open you without making a bloody mess!

Pomegranates from a local farmer

What's your favorite way to use pomegranate arils?


  1. ooh thanks! never thought of emptying them in a bowl of water. excellent.