How to Peel Pomegranate

I love pomegranate. Last week, I finally got to a good grocery store with beautiful, shiny pomegranates – so I bought 6. I wish I had bought more because I’ve run out. :::pitiful sigh:::

As an avid pomegranate lover, I have perfected the technique to peeling this fruit that frequently leave people covered in splotches and sticky juice. I have read some suggestions like “submerse the entire fruit in water and peel it under water….” Not to be rude, but do you know how much water you need to submerse the pomegranate? And do you know that instead of having little red dots of juice everywhere, you just have soggy pomegranate peel and water splashed everywhere and some red dots of juice anyway! I know. I’ve tried it…. more than once with very poor results. Or I’ve read that you should roll the fruit around until it’s mushy and then poke a hole in the fruit to drink out the juice…. I don’t know about you but that sounds like a lot of work for juice you can buy in an adorable bubbly bottle from POM. Plus, I want to eat the seeds!

So, here is how I do it.

  1. Buy pomegranate that are smooth, shiny, and dense. The denser the fruit, the more likely you are going to get sweet seeds
  2. If this is your first time peeling pomegranate, change into black clothing so you don’t ruin anything. Pomegranate has bright red juice that turns purple and blue when you try to wash it out… and with Shout! it turns into a vibrant neon blue. So, black it is.
  3. Wash the pomegranates
  4. Cut the flowering end of the pomegranate off (I called this the top of the fruit, until I saw a pomegranate tree and apparently it’s the bottom!!). Try to avoid cutting into the seeds
  5. Cut the pomegranate in half, about 1 inch into the entire fruit
  6. Cut at a 90 degree angle another 1 inch cut into the fruit (see pictures below for an accurate image)
  7. Flip the cut side down facing a large bowl and pry the fruit apart. Try to put your hands and the fruit as far into the bowl as you can so that the juice and seeds don’t spray as you separate the quarters of the fruit
  8. Repeat this process with as many pomegranates as you plan on peeling (in the photos, I’m peeling 3 very large pomegranates at once).
  9. Line the quartered pomegranate up on a plastic mat or surface that doesn’t stain
  10. Starting with one quarter, face the seeds into the bowl and break the piece in half. This should expose more of the seeds.
  11. Gently remove the membrane of the fruit and dislodge the seeds into the bowl.
  12. I keep a produce bag open next to me so I can collect the peel and membrane as I peel.
  13. Continue splitting the quarters apart and dislodging the fruit

Personally, I like put the seeds in a huge bowl, and grab a spoon and eat the entire bowl while I watch TV or read a book. I love the tartness and the little bursts of juice. But, in attempt to keep my stash a little longer, I put the seeds in an airtight container and refrigerate the seeds. I sprinkle them (at least 1 cup!) over some Greek yogurt and homemade granola (I’ll post that recipe soon).

Cut the flowering end off

Cut in half about 1 inch into the fruit

Now, the second cut, perpendicular to the first

Pry the quarters apart

Set the quarters on a flat and non-staining surface, set up your bag and bowl and beginning dislodging the seeds

And with a little patience – VOILA!!

Did you know?

I love surprises. I like facts that you wouldn’t expect and recipes that are so easy it’s amazing. So it was no surprise that when I discovered I could make cranberry juice, I was thrilled. I have been making my own tart and lime spiced cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving for years, but it never occurred to me that I could in fact make my own jewel toned tart juice. I adapted this recipe from here (http://www.mytartelette.com/2006/11/mighty-cranberry.html). Instead of sugar, I use clover honey and instead of discarding the cranberries after extracting the ruby juice, I whizz them in a blender with ice cubes and blueberries.

Cranberries, juiced and smoothied

  • 3 to 4 cups of cranberries, picked through (discard any mushy berries and pick out stems)
  • 1 to 2 quarts of water (I used my biggest pot and filled it with cold, filtered water)
  • 1/4 cup of your favorite honey (if you prefer sweeter juices, you dial this up to 1/2 a cup)
  • Handful of blueberries (or any other fruit. Peaches, oranges, banana, apples, are all good options)
  1. Add water to pot and bring to a rolling boil
  2. Add the cranberries and continue to boil until all of the berries have burst and the water has turned a beautiful red.
  3. Remove from heat
  4. Strain the juice and berries through a fine mesh sieve or cheese cloth, do not press on the berries
  5. Stir in honey until dissolved
  6. Allow juice to cool.
  7. JUICE: Put 1/2 cup of leftover berries* and a handful of blueberries and whizz in a blender with a few cubes of ice. Drink!

* You can feel free to discard these if you want, but as a poor as a church mouse law student, I try to maximize the yield for all of my purchases. (You know… so I have some money left over for pretty things). You will have about 2-3 cups of berries (they will be a little mushed) leftover. You can freeze these in 1/2 cup increments to add to any of your smoothies.