Pomegranates are delicious snacks that pack a nutritious punch of antioxidants, vitamin c and vitamin K. They have the power reduce the severity of cold’s help with blood coagulation, and some researchers believe they help kill off cancer cells.
Buying a pomegranate
When buying a pomegranate you want to pick a fruit that is very bright in color. Skip the bruised ones; look for one that just seems to be bursting with seeds.
Preparing the pomegranate
Inside your pomegranate are hundreds of juicy arils (seeds) just waiting to be eaten. How do you get them out? That’s a good question because the hard, inedible, outer shell of the pomegranate keeps those arils well protected. And when you do get the pomegranate open you’re probably going to have a big mess if you’re not prepared. So follow these easy steps to prepare your pomegranate.
1. This will be messy, prepare the area by putting paper towels on your cutting surface. The juice from the pomegranate will stain anything from your cutting board to your clothes so be sure to protect your cutting surface and wear older clothes. You will need a large bowl filled ¾ of the way with water.
2. Wash the pomegranate and your hands. Yes I know you’re going to say that since you’re not eating the skin why do you need to wash it? Because the outside of the pomegranate is dirty, it has been handled by many people in the store trying to find just the right pomegranate, and those people have all kinds of germs, you are going to be touching the pomegranate so any germs on the pomegranate will get on your hands and later on the Arils as you remove them from the shell. Is that a good enough reason for you?
3. Use a sharp knife to cut off the top of the pomegranate about a ½ inch below the crown. You should see 4-6 white membranes. Use the knife to score the membrane at each section, cutting to the center of the pomegranate all the way to the bottom. You should end up with four to six individual sections.
4. Removing the arils (seeds) from the membrane can be time consuming. You can do it by hand over the water, separating the seeds from the white membrane and outer shell, throwing the pieces of membrane and shell away. Doing it by hand will take quite awhile, probably about 8 minutes for just one pomegranate.
Many people use a knife to remove the arils by inserting it between the white membrane and the arils, popping them quickly into the bowls. This method will save time but can be trickier and will probably result in more mess when the knife cuts into the arils.
5. Then use a mesh strainer to remove the white membrane which will have floated to the top while the arils went to the bottom. Drain the water.
6. Store your arils up to seven days in the refrigerator inside a plastic container with a lid.