Pomegranates

pomegranate

Pomegranates have always been one of my favorite fruits. I recall when I was younger, we only had this fruit once or twice a year. Back then, I asked my mom why we couldn’t have this delicious fruit more often, and she told me that they weren’t always available ~ Pomegranates are seasonal (available Sept-Jan) and were less popular back then. However, in recent years, this fruit has become more popular (and available) with the recognition of its nutritional value and health benefits.

This round, pinkish-red fruit has a thick and leathery skin, but is filled with ruby-colored seeds (called arils) that are sweet and tart. The juices of these jewel-like seeds explode in your mouth as you bite into them. I personally love to eat a bowl of these seeds as a snack, but they can also be used in baking, cooking, made into a fruit juice, added to drinks or sprinkled into salads.

Loaded with antioxidants, pomegranates are also full of vitamin C and potassium. The health benefits of this fruit include lowering cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease, preventing cancer (especially prostate and breast) and keeping your teeth healthy.

Pomegranates are a healthy and delicious treat, but removing the seeds could be quite painful and could get quite messy. If you ask the experts, they suggest two different methods of removing the seeds. One method is to remove the seeds by hand underwater, and the other is to knock the seeds out by whacking the pomegranate with a wooden spoon. I’ve tried both methods, and out of the two I prefer the underwater method. Some say the whacking method is quicker (and slightly messier), but I find this method doesn’t always do the trick and I always end up using my hands to peel out the remaining seeds. And more than once I’ve accidentally whacked my own hand…OUCH!

The following is an illustration of my preferred method of removing the seeds from a pomegranate.

Pomegranate de-seed steps

Prepare a cutting board and a knife

Pomegranate de-seed steps

Cut the crown off to expose a small cross-section of the seeds (sorry, I didn’t cut enough off in this photo)

Pomegranate de-seed steps

Make scores around the pomegranate (don’t cut too deep)

Pomegranate de-seed steps

Break apart the pomegranate along the scores

Pomegranate de-seed steps

Fill a bowl with cold water

Pomegranate de-seed steps

Submerge the sections of pomegranate in the water and remove the seeds from the membranes

Pomegranate de-seed steps

After removing all the seeds, swirl the seeds around in the water allowing the membranes to float to the top

Pomegranate de-seed steps

Skim off the membranes and drain the water

The above method is less messy, but I still recommend you do this in the sink as you can still accidentally burst some seeds and stain your kitchen counters.

Whole pomegranates can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks. But, once you de-seed them, the seeds could be kept in an air-tight container for 2 days only.  To keep the seeds longer, you can  freeze the seeds in a zip-lock bag.

Pomegranate

When was the last time you had a pomegranate? Do take one home with you next time you see them in the supermarket!

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