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Pomegranate 101

Everything you need to know about pomegranate. How to choose the perfect pomegranate, how seed it, how to store it, and more. Pom appetit!

Picture of a pomegranate on a white background

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!

Picture of a pomegranate on a white background

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.

  1. 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.
  2. Over your bowl of water and facing away from you, break the pomegranate in half.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).

Close up photo of a pomegranate on a white background

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

Close up photo of a pomegranate on a white background

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.

Hi, I’m Sarah!

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Comments (17)

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  1. Joann Woolley says:

    My kids love pomegranates and I need to get better at preparing them so they can eat something healthy but not really realize they’re choosing something healthy!

    1. Sarah says:

      They’re sort of like nature’s jelly beans! I don’t know why I waited so long to make them a regular part of my diet. So tasty!

  2. Aliza B says:

    When I was growing up we would buy these all the time. My daughter picked one out at the store this week and can’t wait to open it. She always comments on how fun they are to eat. Added bonus that they are so good for you too!

    1. Sarah says:

      Heck yea they are! Thanks for stopping by! If you come by the blog later in the week I’ll have a few pomegranate recipes posted as well! 🙂

  3. Karen Grosz says:

    I love pomegranates, but I do hate to peel so I sometimes buy them as seeds only. Expensive but love the burst of Vitamin C you get when chomping into them.

    1. Sarah says:

      I didn’t know you could buy them pre-seeded, how handy! Because yea, they can be a bit of a pain/mess. The de-seeding under water method has been the best one I’ve come across, but it sounds like you found the truly best method, haha.

  4. Erica says:

    I love pomegranates and I don’t eat them nearly enough. Your pictures look so delicious. I feel like I can eat them right off the screen!

    1. Sarah says:

      For some reason it’s just so easy to forget they even exist until you’re reminded of them. I wish I could send some your way, I have so many leftover!

  5. Michaela Ammirato says:

    Hi there! We LOVE your blog and have nominated you for the Liebster Award 🙂 Read all about the nomination here on our blog, Congrats! You deserve it.

    1. Sarah says:

      Very neat, thanks guys!! 🙂

  6. Lin says:

    how long will they last in a centerpiece?

    1. Sarah says:

      Love the idea, Lin! You can keep it as a centerpiece virtually forever (my grandpa has one that’s 30 years old, hahah). If you want to eventually eat it, I would suggest 1 to 2 weeks if its at room temperature (2 months if in the fridge).

  7. Keith Phipps says:

    I have found a way to get the pomegranate seeds out in under a minute. Just take the pomegranate and score a thin line around the fruit with a sharp knife. Then take your thumbs and brake it open into halves. Next put the cut side down in your hand over an empty bowl and whack the back of the fruit with a heavy wooden spoon and the seeds will fall out. Then do the other half the same way. Then just pick out the white pulp and you are ready to enjoy your fruit. (No water, no splatters)

    1. Sarah says:

      Thanks for the tip, Keith! I’ll have to try that! 😀

  8. John M Krolak says:

    I was wondering if you could tell me the lysine to arginine ratio contained in pomegranates and pomegranate juice.

    1. Sarah says:

      Hi John! Well this is a tough question. I’ve checked a few of my routine sources of nutrition information and I can’t seem to find your answer anywhere! Pomegranate doesn’t pop up in most lysine to arginine ratio comparisons, so perhaps the values aren’t out of the ordinary for fruit? Sorry that I couldn’t be of more help!

  9. rohit aggarwal says:

    thank you for giving me wonderful information