Everything you need to know about pomegranate. How to choose the perfect pomegranate, how seed it, how to store it, and more. Pom appetit!
Folks! I just discovered that our childhoods were all LIES. Did you drink Shirley Temples as a kid? You know, ginger ale + grenadine + maraschino cherry? And did you just assume that this was a cherry flavored glass of heaven? Well guess what…it wasn’t cherry flavored! Apparently grenadine is a pomegranate-based simple syrup. I dunno, maybe that’s common knowledge…but it was news to me.
The “pome” in pomegranate comes from the Latin word for apple, and the “granate” from the word for seed. But “granate” may also have come from the Old French word for “grenat”, which describes the deep red color of the fruit. Am I the only one who thinks word history is awesome? Like here’s another one. The term for the scary exploding weapon “grenade” also comes from the French word for pomegranate. Pomegranate, the exploding grenade of sweet, juicy nectar!
How to Pick the Perfect Pomegranate
In the Northern Hemisphere, pomegranates are in their peak season from August to January, while in the Southern Hemisphere it’s just the opposite. Choose a pomegranate that has a deep, vibrant color, and that is a bit lumpy. A lumpy pomegranate is a hint that the seeds inside are becoming perfectly juicy! The unripe fruit will often be lighter and will make a hollow sound when tapped. And as is the case with most fruits, pomegranate should be heavy for its size with few scrapes or bruises.
How to Deseed A Pomegranate
Pomegranate juice is not to be messed with when it comes to its introduction to white clothing. Not even my grandma’s sworn-by Greased Lightning will get this stuff out…but there’s a trick to seeding these guys without taking a permanent toll on your attire. You’ll need a knife, a bowl of water, and, well, a pomegranate.
- Flip the pomegranate so you’re looking at either the crown or the butt. You’ll see that there are 6(ish) distinct ridges running down the fruit. Gently score each of these with a knife (don’t cut all the way through but draw a semi-deep line of sorts with your knife) running from crown to butt along the ridge.
- Over your bowl of water and facing away from you, break the pomegranate in half.
- In the water, break the pomegranate at your score lines to create wedges of sorts. And from there you can work out the seeds, keeping the pieces under water to prevent pomegranate juice explosions.
- The white pulp will float while the seeds will sink. Strain out the pulp and Pom Appetit!
And as a note, you can eat the entire pomegranate seed! The small hard seeds inside the juice are full of fiber (though you can spit them out of you don’t like the texture).
How to Store Pomegranates
- Whole: Store whole pomegranates at room temperature for several days, or place them in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for a few weeks
- Seeded: The seeds should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for a few days, or they can be frozen in a single layer then stored in a freezer-safe container in the freezer. Note, they may lose their shape when thawed.
Our favorite pomegranate recipes
- Pomegranate Holiday Sangria
- Roasted Cranberry Pomegranate Salsa
- Frozen Yogurt Bark with Pomegranate and Dark Chocolate
- Bulgur Salad with Feta and Pomegranate
- Pull Apart Bread with Orange and Pomegranate
Pomegranate Nutrition Information
per 1 cup of pomegranate seeds (174 g)
- Calories: 144
- Carbohydrates: 32 g
- Fiber: 6 g, 28% Daily Value (DV)
- Protein: 2 g
- Fat: 2 g
- 36% DV of Vitamin K: A fat-soluble vitamin that allows for activation of enzymes in the clotting cascade, which is responsible for blood clotting. Also builds bone by modifying osteocalcin so that it may bind calcium, thus building the bone matrix.
- 30% DV of Vitamin C: A water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to fight against potentially damaging free radicals (molecules with unshared electrons that float around wreaking havoc) and an important cofactor in collagen synthesis.
- 16% DV of Folate (Vitamin B9): A water-soluble vitamin that helps make DNA & RNA and metabolize amino acids.
- 12% DV of Potassium: A key mineral and electrolyte involved in countless processes, including healthy nervous system functioning and contraction of the heart and muscles.
- 10% DV of Manganese: A trace element that plays a role in healthy brain and nervous system function.