If you've ever tasted pomegranate juice, then you are familiar with the sweet, slightly sour taste of this festive winter fruit. The juice comes from the aril, the delicate juicy case that envelops the seeds. And while there are lots of antioxidant-rich arils packed into each fruit, the pomegranates (tough!) vibrant-red skin can make them hard to reach.
Sure, it's easy to buy the pomegranate seeds themselves fresh or frozen, but it could cost you twice as much compared to buying the whole fruit and taking out the seeds yourself. So how exactly do you seed a whole pomegranate? We've tried a few of the most popular methods, and we're pretty sure we landed on the best one. Read on and find out how you too can unlock the magic of a pomegranate.
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Pros: If you have some aggression and don't mind a mess, then this method may be for you. You don't need a knife; a heavy mallet will crack through the tough exterior of the pomegranate to reveal the juicy arils underneath.
Cons: It's messy and wasteful. Pomegranate juice stains everything from countertops to clothing, and if you've got staining, you've got waste. Arils are fragile and once the juice escapes, you're pretty much left with only the hard crunchy seeds. Plus, with force like this, the arils that don't break will scatter everywhere.
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Pros: Once you get past the tough skin, it's easy to cut a pomegranate in half, and the arils will remain contained.
Cons: The arils inside are clumped together and held tightly inside the fruit by the soft pith that zigzags throughout. A straight cut from end to end isn't as uniform as it would be if you were cutting a grapefruit, for example. As a result, while the arils will stay put, you will end up sacrificing quite a few. And like Method 1, this can get messy.
Pros: With a little finesse, you can cut through the skin from crown to stem and stop short of the precious arils that live just below the surface. Once the cut is made, you can gently twist the pomegranate to break it open and separate the seeds from the pith by hitting the skin gently with the handle of a wooden spoon to loosen the arils. This method preserves the integrity of the arils by keeping them intact.
Cons: While we like how this method maximizes the usable fruit, we still think it's kind of messy. The arils can be tough to contain even over a large bowl and the pith flakes easily and is tedious to separate from the arils themselves.
Pros: Finally, our go-to method for seeding a pomegranate! Fill a large bowl half full of water. Lightly score the fruit into quarters from the crown to stem, cutting just the skin, but not the interior of the fruit. Hold the fruit under water, break it apart and use your hands to gently separate the arils and seeds from the outer skin and white pith. The seeds will sink to the bottom, and the white pith will float to the top. Voilà! This method is clean, and it keeps the arils intact and the busy work to a minimum.
Cons: None. Enjoy your pomegranate!