Ever wondered how to juice a pomegranate? Or how to eat one? We've got all your answers to pomegranate preparation right here...
So pomegranates are the new big health kick and lots of folks are digging into this fruit for the first time. But have you ever cut open a pomegranate before? It's a mystery in there!
You cut the thick rind and expect to find a luscious edible fruit inside. Instead you encounter a thick white web of pith that surrounds dozens and dozens of little seeds.
Which parts are you supposed to eat? It can be a little bit complexing for a first-time pomegranate eater. But that's fine, because you're in the right spot! We're going to walk you through the most common questions step-by-step with photos the whole way. Before you know it, you'll be a pomegranate fanatic and master of how to prepare this antioxidant rich fruit.
We're going to cover everything about how to prepare a pomegranate including:
All of the steps are in order, so you can follow along as far as you need to. Towards the end we will have covered all of the steps for how to eat a pomegranate and if you're interested in juicing one, reading all the way to the end will cover how to juice a pomegranate from start to finish. Enjoy!
Patrick with his pomegranate...
How do you know if a Pomegranate is ripe? Look for a crimson or ruby color on the skin of the fruit. Check that the crown points are facing inwards towards each other on the top of the Pomegranate. Also squeeze it lightly and check for a slight give. It will feel very firm, but if it has just a touch of softness on the outside rind you'll know it's ready. Also check it's shape. Before ripening it will be round like an apple and after it is fully ripe it will be more "bumpy".
Some folks get stumped just trying to figure out how to open a pomegranate. But it's easy, just grab a sturdy kitchen knife and a cutting board. I'm not very good with kitchen knife names, so I'll have to be vague. We use a knife that is bigger than a steak knife but smaller than a chef knife. It's easy to cut through even though the rind seems firm. We cut ours sideways rather than from crown to bottom.
This is the part where most folks start looking for outside help. What are you supposed to eat? The seeds. But before you can get to them you need to...
...remove the pith. It's a simple process, but a bit time-consuming. Basically pull each seed (also known as an aril) away from the white pith. Seperate the two, piling up the pith on your cutting board and putting the seeds into a bowl. The end result will look like a big pile of pith and a small bowl of seeds.
Here's the pile of leftover white pith. It technically is edible, but it has a bitter taste, so most folks skip on the pith and eat the pomegranate seeds only.
Ahhh. A bowl of Pomegranate goodness. How to eat a pomegranate? It takes a bit of work to get to this step, but it's worth it! Pop each little aril (seed) into your mouth and enjoy... The seeds are soft enough that they can be chewed and eaten or swallowed whole. They have a membrane around them that holds in delicious bits of juice. Every time you bite into one the juice will be released. We prefer to juice our pomegranates instead of eat them straight though. Let's find out how...
We've covered most of the beginning steps for how to juice a pomegranate already. As a quick refresher first check for ripeness, then cut your pomegranate open and start separating the pith from the seeds.
Now you've got the pith and the seeds separated what's next? The next step for how to juice a pomegranate is to pull out your trusty juicer and and add a handful of pomegranate seeds to the feed chute. They'll have a tendency to "bounce up" and out of the feed chute because they are so firm. An easy remedy is to cover the chute with the plunger immediately. Plunge down, add another handful, plunge down, add another handful until you're done!
The de-juiced seeds will automatically be expelled into your pulp bin and the membrane and juice surrounding the seeds will pour into your juice container.
The actual process of how to make pomegranate juice in a juicer is the easy part. It's the prep time that adds up. It will only take a minute or so to juice what took fifteen to twenty minutes to prep! The end result?
Yum! It's a process, but it is sooo worth it! Drink it down and enjoy! This is the most basic recipe for pomegranate juice, we've also got some fun pomegranate spritzer recipes if you want to sass it up a little. Or, we've got a few more tips on how to juice a pomegranate so read on...
How much juice is in a pomegranate? Using a simple centrifugal juicer, we got 150 ml of juice out of one pomegranate. That equals out to just shy of 6 ounces or three-fourths of a cup. So one pomegranate makes enough for a small glass of pomegranate juice. If you're using a stellar juicer or add in some of the pith you'll get a little more.
Pomegranates (in our area) range in price from $2 on sale to $3.99 at times. So, it's still cheaper than a juice bar!
Most folks prefer not to juice the pith of a pomegranate because it tends to be bitter. The entire pomegranate has antioxidants, but the pith has the highest levels, so if you don't mind the taste difference, add a little pith to your juicer as well.
The best way of getting the most out of your pomegranates is to juice them in conjunction with other sweet flavored fruits. If you do this it will be easier to add a lot of the pith without compromising on flavor.
Another option would be to juice the pomegranate seeds then juice the pith separately. Add some of the pith juice to your current juice. Then refrigerate the remaining pith juice and add it to your morning juice the next day. You lose a little enzyme activity but it's still healthy enough to make it a better option than just throwing the pith on your compost pile or (gasp, into the trash can.)
If this sounds like a lot of work, you're right. It is. We think it's worth it, and we snatch up delicious little pomegranates anytime we catch them on sale. But we've also been known to slack at times and hit up an instant store bought Pom Wonderful juice.
You're the judge on whether it's worth it to you to juice from scratch or buy it ready made. There are a lot of great ready-made options on the market and the only major difference is you miss out on some of the fresh juice "enzyme" retention.
If you plan on juicing your own pomegranates regularly, to really do it up right, you'd want to find some pomegranate trees for sale and plant them. That is the most cost effective way of getting pomegranate juice. It's not for everyone though, and a ready made drink of of Pom Wonderful will still get those health benefits into you.
Related Pomegranate Juice Pages:Pomegranate Juice Overview