It can feel intimidating, but once you know how to cut a pomegranate, you’ll never go back. Some links in this article are affiliate links that may earn me a commission if you purchase through them.
Raise your hand if you’ve never bought a pomegranate at the store. It’s ok. Don’t be shy; you aren’t alone.
For a long time, I never bought pomegranates either, no matter how much I love pomegranate juice and pomegranate arils (shhh that’s the name of the seeds).
Once I started buying pomegranates, I had to figure out how to cut a pomegranate. It isn’t completely straightforward.
The seeds inside are what you want to eat, but those little suckers aren’t so easy to get out without making a huge mess.
Those of you who have bought pomegranates before, did you end up with that lovely purple juice – that staining, lovely purple juice – all over your kitchen? And yourself?
That’s when I set out to find a quick and easy way to cut a pomegranate that wouldn’t end up making a mess.
Guess what! I found it! And I’m sharing the secret of how to cut a pomegranate (properly) with you.
It’s easier to show you than tell you, so take a peek.
Pomegranates? They’re super cheap at the grocery store right now. Juice? Ugh, don’t get me started. There is so much I can do with the arils now that I know how to cut a pomegranate.
How to Cut a Pomegranate
First, slice off the very top of the pomegranate to expose the interior. Make a shallow cut so you don’t lose too many seeds.
Use a sharp knife to carefully cut into the skin to quarter the pomegranate. You want four evenish pieces but don’t cut into the seeds.
Use your hands to separate the pomegranate into four distinct sections.
To avoid making a mess, fill a bowl with water, and submerge each pomegranate section as you remove the seeds.
With the section under water, gently loosen pomegranate arils by running your thumb across them. As you encounter the white membrane, remove this to expose more arils.
Continue this process until just the husk remains. Repeat for each section.
Some arils will come off with part of the white membrane attached. Gently remove the membrane, as this is not tasty.
Use a spider skimmer to scoop out the floating white membrane and other particulate from the water. Your arils generally do not float.
Add the arils to a colander to strain out the water, then store them in a tightly sealed container in your fridge.
What is the difference between pomegranate seeds and pomegranate arils?
Pomegranate seeds and pomegranate arils are often used interchangeably, but they are not quite the same thing. The seed is the crunchy actual seed inside the juicy aril.
The aril is the juice filled pocket that holds the seed until it is ready to germinate. People generally think of the aril when they talk about pomegranate seeds.
When you eat pomegranate, you want to enjoy the whole thing, including the crunchy seed inside the aril. While some people suck the juice and discard the rest, don’t waste the nutritional benefits you gain from that seed.
Can you eat white pomegranate seeds?
Yes, white pomegranate seeds are edible. They often look more clear than true white and are not the same as the white membrane that holds the seeds in place.
Pomegranate arils are generally red, but you sometimes find a white or clear one inside your pomegranate. It just means that the aril grew differently, and there is nothing wrong with it.
They taste the same, and sometimes they’re a little sweeter than the red arils even.
That said, if you find mushy arils or ones that are brown, those are past their prime, so discard them.
How can you use pomegranate seeds?
There are the obvious solutions like putting them on a salad. They add great flavor and crunch to them.
Like most fruits, you can make it into a sauce or jam – it would be a great addition to your family’s cranberry sauce.
You can also use it to bake into a crisp or pie with complementary fruits – apple pomegranate or cherry pomegranate are amazing. Try it in my homemade apple crisp, and you’ll love it.
And of course there are a ton of sauces you can make with it.
Around here, we serve them two main ways.
The arils get eaten within moments of being placed in a bowl and set on the counter. It’s amazing how fast the wee ones (ok, and me, too) can demolish a bowl of pomegranate seeds.
I will also make juice with the pomegranate seeds. I simply put them in my blender, give it a whirl, then strain the juice through a cheesecloth to catch any bits of the seeds.
Fresh pomegranate juice? It puts anything you can buy to shame.
So why am I making an issue of this now? Why did I choose today to teach you how to cut a pomegranate? Because tomorrow I share the signature pomegranate fizz I made for my cookie swap (remember those brownie batter truffles? And the chewy lemon cookies?) last weekend, and of course it uses pomegranate!
What are your favorite kitchen tips?
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