How To Open and De-Seed A Pomegranate
It’s finally pomegranate season again! Hallelujah!!!
One of my pomegranate-obsessed coworkers and I have been anxiously waiting and watching the stores for their arrival this fall. And…just about jumped for joy when they finally arrived. :) I absolutely love pomegranates! Not only are they ridiculously rich in vitamins and nutrients, but I think the seeds just look like little miraculous, little, sparkling jewels. Lovely!
Of course, these little gems – 840 per fruit, to be exact – literally are “buried” treasure inside of the thick, outer peel. Unfortunately, I still hear so many stories of people trying to de-seed pomegranates and ending up with red-stained everything before they’re done – eeks!! So here’s a quick tutorial on how to peel pomegranates “gimmesomeoven style”. :)
Basically, it’s all about one word: underwater. Everything underwater.
Wash the outside of the pomegranate thoroughly. (Important since the outer skin will eventually be underwater with the pomegranate seeds.)
Then on a plastic cutting board (look out - pomegranate juice will stain wood), hold the pomegranate upright and use a large sharp kitchen knife carefully make a vertical cut down the middle to split it in two. Then carefully make one more vertical cut about 1" down each piece, so that they are ready to be split in two again. Place these pieces in a large bowl, and fill with water so that they are completely submerged.
Then with your hands, begin at the 1" cut and carefully pry each piece in half so that you are now working with four pieces. Now the fun begins!
Using your fingers, carefully begin to separate the seeds from the rind. Once visible seeds have been separated, you will need to continue gently prying the rind apart to reveal more sections of seeds. You'll notice that the seeds quickly sink, and the rind floats. Once all of the seeds have been separated, remove the floating pieces of rind. And then use your fingers to once more brush over all of the seeds that are sitting on the bottom to remove any tiny pieces of rind that are still stuck to individual seeds. Remove this rind.
Then strain out the water, and your seeds are ready to go! They can be eaten immediately, blended and strained to make juice, or frozen. (If you choose to freeze them, just be sure that they are completely dry beforehand!)
Ali’s Tip: Please, please be sure to wear an apron or an old shirt or something splatter-able when de-seeding a pomegranate! Even with the underwater method, occasionally that delicious red juice can spurt out accidentally at any step in the process…or while actually eating them later. :) Also keep an eye on floors or rugs nearby in case any seeds somehow escape and fall to the ground. They’re not exactly carpet (or in the case of my kitchen – white tile) friendly!