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How to eat a pomegranate? Or how else to use?

  • b

This isn't such a fun nostalgic topic, but I was just wondering this because I just ate one & it wasn't pretty. Is there a proper way to eat a pomegranate? Or is it destined to be one of those cut, peel, chow, and spit in private kinda things? Am I supposed to pull everything out in a bowl & then eat it? Am I supposed to eat the seeds?

Otherwise, any recommendations on what to do with pomegranates? They're usually so expensive in the States, but I'm out of the country right now & they're fairly cheap here so I'm taking advantage...

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  1. I love pomegranates. Easiest (but not necessarily the neatest) is just to cut it in half and dig in. Neatest way is to cut off the top part, cut off the bottom part, score the sides in three sides, and pull it apart from the top. Some people rinse the seeds to get rid of the juice of the popped seeds (stains!) and to float out the white bits. Don't eat the white, just eat the red, and chew and swallow the seeds. Crunchy!

    It's a little messy, so I tend to eat them at home when I'm watching television, but pomegranates are incredibly versatile. http://foodiewannabe.blogspot.com Some friends had an "iron chef" cookoff with the pomegranate as the secret ingredient. On of the "chefs" made an incredible pomegranate based dipping sauce for shrimp. I believe it was mostly a juice reduction with sriachi and some other spices.

    The juice can be used on it's own, or can be used as a marinade. I tend not to like the store bought juices (tastes funny to me), and would rather make my own when I have the time.

    2 Replies
    1. re: jamsy

      More precisely, if you cut off the top and the bottom, score the pomegranate skin in sections, top to bottom and sort of carve out the pith in the middle at the top, you can easily lever apart the sections with your fingers - it splits readily - and just eat it section by section, small handfuls of kernels at a time, without making any sort of mess at all.

      1. re: jamsy

        i am interested in what part exactly TO put in the juicer. I put the pits in last week, and oh my gosh the noise was scary, but i drank the little juice that came out. What other parts can i juice and how?

      2. The fastest, cleanest way to get them apart is to score the skin a bunch of times and then toss it in a bowl of water to soak (you'll have to weight it down, since they float) for 5-10 minutes. You can then pull the pith away from the seeds in the bowl of water, which is relatively clean, pour off the water (which will take most of the pith with it, since pith floats and seeds don't). That's not much fun though, and I use that method mainly if I'm going to cook with the seeds.

        I tend to sit down with the pomegranate, a towel, a glass, and a bowl. I spread the towel over my chest and lap and carefully pick the thing apart, throwing the seeds in the glass and the waste in the bowl, and then eat them out of the bowl when I'm done. But that's mainly because I consider pomegranates a diet food - in the hour it takes me to eat one, I haven't eaten anything else.

        In terms of things that aren't just eating them, I make a pomegranate whip cream and pomegranate glaze for cheesecake with them. I also make savoury sauces - goes great on pork tenderloin for example. With the glaze and the sauce, though, I use a bit of fresh pomegranate mixed with pomegranate molasses to get a crisp, but deep flavour without endless reducing. And sometimes I just use the pom juice to make them instead of going to the trouble of seeding and boiling off from a fresh pomegranate.

        1. The drape a bib, half and dig in method has worked for me but I have never eaten a pomegranate in "public" lol..the last post was an eye opener...never thought to score fruit...float...or separate pith-great tip!

          In our electric juicer I pulverize dozens of fresh poms for all sorts of dishes, freezing some in ziplock bags for off season uses.

          Lately, my favorite recipe is pom puree warmed over pears and pineapple with a little nutmeg.

          4 Replies
          1. re: HillJ

            I break it into a bowl of water too. Works great. The little seeds keep well in a Ziploc container or bag. I love them strewn over hot oatmeal.

            1. re: Pat Hammond

              Ditto on the bowl of water method. Also they're great on top of yogurt with a drizzle of honey, on top of ice cream, in salads, juiced for a marinade, etc. I freeze them in 1/2 to 1 cup increments (I have a wonderful friend in San Diego who sent me about 15 humongous poms last year!) and use the arils throughout the year.

              1. re: LindaWhit

                It never occurred to me to freeze the arils. I have frozen the juice. That's a marvelous tip, Linda. Thanks!

                1. re: Pat Hammond

                  You are welcome, Pat! You can use them as-is after defrosting, or juice them. They really don't lose their consistency with freezing/defrosting.

          2. pomegranate seeds are great in salads, especially salads with spicy greens like baby mustards or arugula. Also added to chicken tagines, with grilled fish, over fried eggs, and stirred into thick greek or middle-eastern yogurt with a little honey. And of course in fruit salad - there is a mexican fruit salad(a christmas eve dish, I think) with pomegranate seeds and peanuts sprinkled on top. I also like them added to hummus.

            1. I love them. I got great ones from costco and have been eating half a pom a day. You can use them in everything(rice,yogurt,ice cream,...).

              1. How do you juice a pomegranate? Do you have to have a juicer?

                Licking the juice off my fingers and bowl only gets me so far...

                2 Replies
                1. re: Dizzied

                  Just dump the arils into a food processor and whir away; strain through a sieve.

                  1. re: Dizzied

                    I've been ding a PomFest with a friend for a few years now where we make jelly for gifts. This means that we are juicing many many pounds of the fruit (she has a very lovely producing tree) and it was only this year that we discovered that the easiest way to juice them is to cut in half and use a press-style citrus juicer.

                    We had been carefully peeling, picking, boiling and food milling the seeds....

                    Feeling a little foolish....

                  2. you do not need a juicer, but it is a dirty job. it mostly involves rolling the pomegranate on the counter while applying pressure to break all of the seeds, and then cutting it open and letting it drain. I think there are other methods too, but this is the opne I have used.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ghbrooklyn

                      yes, i've tried this method of rolling the pom around, cutting open and then squeezing and straining, but it's not especially productive. i lose a lot of juice when cutting it open.

                    2. As kids, we sat on the front step with a pomegranate cut in half and a pin each...stick the pin in the fruit and then in the mouth, chew up the little red fruit, pips and all...nowadays I would freak if I saw little kids sticking pins/needles in their mouths but we all did it and lived to tell the tale.

                      1. Goes great in smoothies.

                        1. This is how my Iranian ex-brother-in-law taught me to eat a pomegranate long ago.

                          First, rinse it off. Then gently, press it all over with your thumbs, being careful not to break the skin. Do this until the entire surface feels pulpy. Then, pierce the skin with your incisor, keeping your lips over the opening you are making. The juice will spurt into your mouth like a geyser (okay, a small geyser!)...continue to knead the pomegranate whilst you suck the juice out, until it's all gone (the juice, that is).

                          Alternately, cut as jen describes above, and either eat it out of hand...I've also seen great bowls of scooped out kernels. They add a lovely color and crunch to salads, too.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: LT from LF

                            Hi, if you can ask your ex-brother-in love, if he knows about the pomegranate seeds are good to remove a "tregium " because somebody say it could remove the " tregium" from the eyes......
                            Or if anyone hear about this kind of natural remedies usiong the pomegrante
                            thank you beforehand.... : )

                            1. re: VictorP

                              Sorry...lost touch with him long ago. If I run into any Iranian friends some time soon, I'll ask.

                          2. I have juiced them in the blender and strained the juice out of the seeds with a spoon.

                            1. so, do most people eat the seeds, or do you suck the fruit off each seed and spit it out?

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: mainja

                                The seeds are completely edible. Spitting them out would add even more hours to a labourious process, though I understand some people do it.

                                1. re: Jacquilynne

                                  I usually do the "in a bowl of water" method outlines above now, but when we were young pomegranates were backyard food. That is, we weren't allowed in the house with them. Mom would put us in old clothes, send us outside, and we'd run around chewing mouthfuls of it and spitting out wads of seeds in the garden. Sort of like the way people eat sugar cane: chew and suck out the juice and sugar, then spit out the fibers.

                                  A quick blitz in a food process or blender will juice them properly, but it only works if you don't mind a little bitterness from the seeds. I don't think of it as a problem since I usually make pomegranate syrup and the bitterness actually balances the sugar better.

                              2. I love pomegranates, but my kitchen always looks like a crime scene after working with them. I've found that Trader Joe's often sells containers of fresh pomegranate kernels. This is one case in which I'm happy to pay more for convenience.

                                1. An easy way to separate the arils (seeds) from the pith is to break it into quarters,then wack the skin side with the back of spoon or similar implement. The seeds will fall out. I do this into a bowl of water so they don't break up when they hit, and because the arils sink, while the white pith floats, making them easy to separate.

                                  The arils look like rubies, and look so cool on a plate.

                                  5 Replies
                                  1. re: cteats

                                    I love to learn new words, and you've taught me a new one: arils. I'm glad I finally know what to call these.

                                    1. re: cteats

                                      That's how I do it too. :) And yeah, they are jewel-like.

                                      1. re: cteats

                                        I tried this method and it works fantastic. Much better than scoring then waiting 10 minutes for water to soak into the pomegranate. A video demonstrating how easy it is:


                                        1. re: hanguolaohu

                                          So glad you posted this video. I love pomegranates but never found a way to eat them cleanly. I'm running out tomorrow to buy some!

                                          1. re: hanguolaohu

                                            I've tried this method a few times, but it never really works for me as well as it does in that video. I only get some of the seeds, the seeds are all mixed with the pithy stuff, and they tend to get rather bashed up, as well.

                                        2. We have a large pomegranate tree/bush and the seeds are very good and edible on vanilla ice cream, also we juice them and serve about 1/4 pom juice with 3/4 orange juice very colorful and tasty.

                                          1. This is a fruit that requires some time and patience. Cut the fruit in half first. Now, put the knife aside. The best tool to use from here on in is your fingers. Remove the white flesh to expose the arils (seeds) and pick them off one or two at a time by knudging them with your index finger. Using your finger will not bruise the seeds. They just fall right off. Store them in the fridge (or freezer) and they'll last a while.

                                            Recipe: http://www.pomwonderful.com/recipes/r...

                                            1. Let some white chocolate ice cream soften. "Smoosh" in the pomegranate seeds. Put the ice cream back into the freezer and let it harden. Amazing!

                                              1. I like to roll the fruit on the counter and let the seeds pop. I then make a slit and poor the juice through a strainer. I empty out the remaining seeds and crush them in the strainer and poor over vanilla ice cream.

                                                I have also combined the juice with a drop of balsamic and drop of sugar and reduced and coated it on scallops.

                                                The ice-cream is killer.

                                                1. I haven't had a pom in a long time, but I remember my brother and I being given pomegranates as kids - and then we were plopped in the bathtub to eat them! So I stand by that - just eat them in the bathtub. Or the shower!

                                                  2 Replies
                                                  1. re: dubedo

                                                    Wow! Who knew!?!? I love the pith/aril separation method, I'll have to try it. Thanks so much!! Also, thanks for the TJ's tip - I haven't seen them, but have enjoyed POM even though it tastes different. I'll have to give poms more attention now.

                                                    1. re: dubedo

                                                      LOL. My dad used to always say the only place to eat a pom was in the shower.

                                                    2. I was thrilled to discover Nigella's method--cut in half, hold half cut-side-down over a bowl, whack with wooden spoon till seeds come spilling out.

                                                      I've never tried the water method, though, but I will.

                                                      1. i usually sit down and just score the skin with a knife and peel back, pick out the seeds, and.. well, i do it different every time, and until i find a better way, it takes me an hour to eat a pomegranate. such fun!

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: RiJaAr

                                                          I agree. That's why I don't buy the containers of seeds (arils? I've learned a new word) at Trader Joe's. The real "packaging" is more fun than a plastic container and I can throw it in the compost when I'm done.

                                                        2. We just pulled'em apart and mooshed them through the big-hole chinois first, then poured the goopy juice through the fine one, then froze it. Mrs. O did the bulk of the pulling-apart, wearing an old white "wife-beater" undershirt I'd outgrown. By the time she got done it looked like she'd been doing her wife-beating with a hammer!

                                                          The juice is killer, by the way.

                                                          1. I skin a few at a time (hey, I'm already getting messy) and keep the arils in a bowl in the fridge for snacking.

                                                            I recently tried adding them to guacamole... fantastic!

                                                            1. I like to do this too, a few at a time then keep the seeds in the fridge. For lunch yesterday i had a salad of mixed baby greens with herbs from trader joes, cherry tomatoes cut in half, thnily sliced radish, scallion, olive oil, lemon juiec and salt and papper. I topped this with a cut up slamon burger. Man was this good. My biggest surprise was how well the radish went with the pom

                                                              1. I made a garlicky baba ghonoush yesterday and added pomegranate to it, the seeds added a nice color contrast and gave the dip a tangy zip.

                                                                1. Woof. We ate these off the tree in the backyard growing up and it didn't require anything this convoluted. Just pull down the skin and chew on the pips, spitting them out either on the ground if we were outside or into a bowl if we were inside, just as you would eating seedy melon or sunflower seeds. The pomegranate tree was one of my climbing trees and I would spend hours in it - they have beautiful fiery orange-red flowers. What you really miss out on getting them in the market (aside from the skin being tougher and drier) is the little crown at the top of the fruit that plays so heavily into their symbolism - not that it makes any difference in the taste of them of course.

                                                                  1. In the last six years (old thread!) I've started adding them to couscous, along with chopped pistachios. It goes really well with a recipe for crisp spiced chicken with hummus vinaigrette.

                                                                    1. One can't make a chile en nogada without a pomegranate.

                                                                      1. Pomegranate eating, at our house, involves a quartered pomegranate and a large beach towel. ;o]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]]