Pomegranates--your tips for juicing (without a juicer) and recipe ideas
We were given quite a few freshly picked pomegranates (and lemons and grapefruits) and I need to use these babies up soon. A lot of the recipes I've come across call for pom juice, instead of just the seeds, so I'm interested in juicing a few.
Any tips? Cook's Illustrated recommends rolling the pomegranate and cutting the stem off and juicing it this way but I wonder if that actually extracts most of the juice. Any pom juice experts out there? I don't have a juicer so I'd have to do this manually.
Also if you have any ideas on how to use them in recipes (alone or along with grapefruit and lemons...), please share! Looking for inspiration. I made an avocado, pomegranate salsa the other day that my hubby gobbled up. I may make that again since he was literally licking the bowl.
I don't have it but can easily pick up some pomegranate molasses since I see that in a lot of recipes, too.
I've mainly used the seeds as garnish, and I've used the juice (which I bought) in many drinks and as a vinaigrette acid (which was delicious on both green and fruit salad) and it occurs to me that you can give the fruit a roll, dump the seeds into a fine-mesh colander, and crush away.
Mmm...I love pomegranate. I eat the seeds along with berries in cereal for breakfast just about every morning. One of our family Thanksgiving tradition is a cranberry jello mold with pomegranates and pecans. It's so good. Pomegranate seeds are great on an arugula salad w/blue cheese. Hmmm...that's all my ideas for now.
I am no expert, but got several poms in my CSA box last week. Made a pork loin roast and decided i wanted to include some juice in the marinade. I took a quarter pomegranate and literally squeezed it by hand: held it in my hand, held a strainer in the other hand, and squeezed. Using a quarter pom made it easier to do by hand (my hands are small and it was a large pomegranate). Got a surprisingly substantial amount of juice. Afterwards, I was able to pick some seeds that hadn't been broken and put them into the marinade, to add color and visual appeal.
I wasn't following a recipe on the marinade, but I believe it had garlic, a bit of habanero infused olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper, some wine, pomegranate juice...
Pomegranate seeds and grapefruit pieces would be lovely in a spinach salad...
I'd start with a plastic bag covering my entire torso and clean kitchen gloves :) but that's just me. With room temp, very ripe pomms you should not have too much trouble extracting the juice. Just place a strainer over a large bowl so the seeds (which you can use for other things) and the juice are separate from the start. I usually cut the pomms into large quarters and squeeze away.
To get the seeds out.
Cut the fruit in half. submerge the two halves in a bowl of water and use your hands to gently nudge the arils (seeds) out from the pulp. the seeds will sink and the pulp will float. After removing the bits of pulp, strain out the water. You now have seeds that are ready to use.
I love the big new POM poms. Here is the best way:
Cut a slice off the top and bottom; try to just remove the red/white. Cut the poms skin from top to bottom about an inch and a half apart. This makes segments like an orange. Try not to cut all the way through.
Put the pom in a large bowl full of water. Separate the segments. Gently pluck out all the arils letting them fall to the bottom of the bowl. Then remove all the floating skin/pith and discard. Remove any bits of pith still clinging to the arils. Drain.
Now you can either store these in a paper towel lined bowl in the fridge to eat equal parts daily with grapenuts and milk, or you can put them in a blender and puree then strain to make juice. You can also reduce the juice to make pom molasses or make real grenadine.
re: Becca Porter
I love the idea of this method but wonder if it dilutes any of the intense taste? I used to rinse roasted red peppers, for example, as I peeled them as it made the job easier, but then realized I was rinsing off lots of the most flavorful juices. I realize that the seeds are mostly intact but when you slice through the fruit, you are opening some of them. Since i'm usually freezing I combine the stray juices with the seeds.
Wow, thanks for all the creative tips! You guys make deseeding a pomegranate sound so easy. I'll have to try some of these methods, like submerging it a bowl of water. I actually grew up with a pomegranate tree (in TX), which still bears fruit, and you would think I would know better but we typically just resigned ourselves to getting messy. And, I've never juiced one!
I think I'll try deseeding it in the water and perhaps crushing the seeds with fine mesh strainer and see how that goes.
May experiment with the blender idea, too...once my blender arrives. We just moved and most of our appliances haven't arrived.
Great recipe ideas, too. Would have never thought about adding seeds to oatmeal, which we make this several times a week.
the seeds/arials freezer really well. So if you want to use them later on in the year, use some of the fruits to "harvest".
High quality pomegranate juice is widely available now so I don't use my harvest to juice. But every once in a while I juice them just like I juice citrus...in my hand held orange colored citrus press. cut them in eights and press away. the juice freezes well too. And homemade pomegranate molasses is so much better than bought and very easy to make and it lasts forever. Paula Wolfert's Eastern Med Cooking has a really easy recipe.
There are so many ways to use this beautiful fruit.Aforementioned Wolfert cookbook has a lot of recipes. google away...
I cut them in half (or quarters if large) And then I squeeze them in a citrus press. I will NEVER do them in a blender again after I found this.
I can juice a pomegranate in 1 minute. Versus the half hour of picking out arils, blending it, and then straining out the juice from the seeds? Bleh.