Pomegranates are a hallmark fruit of winter. Originally believed to be from Iran, pomegranates are now cultivated in many places around the world and are found in a kaleidoscope of dishes. Pomegranates have become increasingly popular with their wide array of health benefits and for their splash of color added to any winter meal. The problem? They are not exactly the easiest fruit to break into and enjoy without making a mess and taking up time. There are a numerous tricks and techniques to break into this thick skinned fruit, but nothing as quick, easy, and anger releasing as in the following Instructable!
Step 1: Things You'll Need
- Sharp Kitchen Knife
- Wooden Spoon, preferably with a flat back
- Small Bowl Filled with Cold Water
- Plastic Cutting Board
- Apron (not pictured)
- Strainer/Colander (not pictured)
Step 2: Create a Flat Surface
Most pomegranates have two protruding parts: the crown (the persistent calyx), and occasionally a stem. Most store bought pomegranates have already had the stem removed, leaving only the crown.
With your kitchen knife, cut off the crown taking care to remove as little of the pomegranate as possible. This is important because if you cut into the seeds (arils), not only will you have a juicy mess on your cutting board, but when you get to the whacking step, you'll have some pomegranate juice spray.
Step 3: Halve the Pomegranate
Rinse off any juice that runs from either of the two halves. This is a preventative measure to reduce juice splatter.
Step 4: Loosen the Seeds
Repeat with second half of the pomegranate.
Step 5: Prepare Yourself for a Good Whacking
Step 6: Whack Away!
Steps for Whacking:
1. Place your hand with pomegranate over your bowl of water.
2. Double check that your fingers on the fruit are out of the way.
3. Start by whacking the flat surface on the fruit with the back of the wooden spoon. You want to hit the pomegranate with enough force to jolt the seeds but not hard enough to crack the skin of the fruit.
4. Let any seeds that accumulate in your palm drop into the water.
5. Adjust your grip on the fruit so that you can whack the sides of the pomegranate to remove remaining seeds.
6. Again, allow the seeds accumulated in your palm to drop into the water.
The water allows the good seeds to sink to the bottom of the bowl and get washed. The pomegranate membrane floats. If you have seeds stuck to pieces of membrane, pick them off and they should sink to the bottom, leaving only the membrane floating.
In the end, all of your seeds (arils) will be in your bowl of water, and you can compost the empty shell.
Step 7: Drain Your Seeds
Step 8: Seeds Galore!
Now that removing the seeds has become easier, try tackling a more creative pomegranate dish: dark chocolate pomegranate bark, or pomegranate gelato. My personal favorite: in an autumn salad or on top of butternut squash soup!