How to Cut and Juice a Pomegranate
Learn how to cut a pomegranate, de-seed it and make pomegranate juice quickly and easily with this step-by-step guide. Pomegranate makes a delicious and healthy snack with sweet, tart flavors and beautiful colors. Opening a pomegranate and juicing it may seem challenging, but it’s much easier than you think!
Watch video: How to cut and juice a pomegranate
The pomegranate is a grapefruit-sized fruit that grows on a pomegranate tree. It can be red, pink or even pale yellow when ripe and is packed with nutrients. While the peel is inedible, inside there are edible pods called arils that are sweet and juicy!
While pomegranates are available year-round, the peak season for American pomegranates is October and November. To get the freshest-tasting pomegranates, look for ones that are heavy for their size with a bright color and plump, firm skin.
When the fruit is fully ripe, the arils inside will take on a darker, burgundy-like hue. Since pomegranates do not ripen after being picked, you’ll see the skin becoming taut with soft spots as it ages.
Health benefits of pomegranates
Pomegranates have become popular for their health benefits along with dragon fruit and other exotic fruits. The arils have powerful antioxidants including punicic acid and punicalagins, which have anti-inflammatory and disease-fighting properties according to the NIH.
A whole pomegranate (10 oz or 282 grams) contains an average of 233 calories along with significant amounts of Vitamin C, Vitamin K, folate and potassium according to the USDA. Their crunchy seeds also contain beneficial micronutrients and dietary fiber.
How to cut open a pomegranate
Most people slice a pomegranate down the middle and manually pick out the seeds, which is a messy and slow job. The trick below makes it much easier and faster with less waste to boot.
Before you start, grab a cutting board and sharp paring knife. A plastic cutting board is best, as pomegranate juice will stain wood surfaces as well as your clothes (you may want to wear an apron).
Here’s the easiest way to cut a pomegranate quickly:
1. Remove the top: Using a paring knife, cut about 1/2 inch from the top (flower end) so as to remove pith without seeds.
2. Score the skin: If you look closely, you’ll see the pomegranate has 5-6 ribs with flatter areas in between. Using the paring knife, score the skin vertically along the ridges. Make shallow cuts to avoid puncturing the seeds underneath.
3. Pop it open: Place your thumbs into the top and gently pry open the sections, which will open naturally like the petals of a flower.
Keep a cereal bowl nearby for any loose seeds that may come out while cutting a pomegranate.
Seeding a pomegranate
Once you have the pomegranate in sections, there are two main ways to separate the arils/seeds from the pulp:
- Fastest: On a plastic cutting board, place the pomegranate section skin side facing up. Whack the skin with a large wooden spoon several times to knock out the seeds. You may wish to place paper towel underneath to contain any splatter.
- Cleanest: Fill a medium mixing bowl with cold water. Place the pomegranate section in and pry out any seeds with your fingertips. The seeds will be separated from the pith as the seeds will sink and the pith will float, so drain out the pith from water to have seeds leftover.
You can also pick the seeds out from the sections with your fingers, which can actually be very relaxing when you’re in the mood!
How to eat a pomegranate
Can you eat the pomegranate seeds inside the arils? Absolutely yes! While they’re crunchy like grape seeds, they contain beneficial micronutrients as well as dietary fiber.
On its own, a pomegranate makes a healthy snack on the go with sweet, tart flavors. You can also add the arils to fruit salads or as decorations on desserts. Last but not least, you can make deliciously refreshing pomegranate juice!
How to make pomegranate juice
To make pomegranate juice, simply pulse arils in a blender several times to release the juices and strain through a sieve. Blending longer may start to pulverize the seeds, introducing bitterness to the juice.
Note that juicers and higher-end blenders like a Vitamix will separate out the seeds for you. One pomegranate will yield ¼-½ cup (60-120 ml) of juice depending on size and ripeness.
How to Cut and Juice a Pomegranate (+Video)
- 1 large pomegranate
Cutting and Opening the Pomegranate
- Rinse the pomegranate and place it on a work surface with the blossom facing up.
- Using a paring knife, cut a 1 ½ inch circle around the blossom, scoring diagonally into the surface of the skin. Then peel off the circular section with your fingers.
- Feel for the 5-6 vertical ribs of the pomegranate with your fingers. Make shallow cuts along these ribs, just scoring the skin to avoid puncturing the arils inside.
- Working from the top down, use your fingertips to gently pull open the sections of pomegranate like flower petals.
De-seeding the Pomegranate
- Fill a medium bowl with water and add the pomegranate sections. Pop out the arils with your fingers. You’ll notice the arils sink while the peel and pith float.
- Skim off the floating debris with a large spoon and discard. Then drain the arils through a sieve or strainer.
Making Pomegranate Juice
- Add the arils to the blender (1-2 cups at a time is ideal).
- Pulse the blender several times briefly to release the juices. Blending more than that will start pulverizing the seeds, introducing bitter flavors.
- Place a sieve over a small-medium bowl. Pour the contents of the blender through the sieve. To extract as much juice as possible, press the pulp into the sieve with a spoon.
- Working from the top down, use your fingers to gently pull apart the sections of pomegranate like flower petals.
- 1 pomegranate yields approximately 1 cup of edible pods/arils, or ¼ to ½ cup of juice depending on the size.
- Whole pomegranates can be stored 1-2 days on a counter at room temperature, or up to 1-2 weeks in a sealed ziptop bag in the fridge.
- Pomegranate arils can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. You can also freeze pomegranate arils in layers separated by parchment or wax paper in a sealed container for up to 3 months. Note: the texture will deteriorate somewhat.
- Note that pomegranate juices will stain clothes, wood surfaces and even some steel surfaces. Wear an apron if needed!
Please read our nutrition disclaimer.
Editor note: Posted Oct 18, 2018 and updated Oct 23, 2019
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