Here are 20 things to do with pomegranate seeds. Like nature’s edible rubies, pomegranate arils (commonly called pomegranates seeds) add sweet-tart flavor and gorgeous color to many dishes from breakfast to dessert.
Sitting outside on the curb as a kid, I discovered the wonder of pomegranates. The ruby sweet-tart liquid from the juicy arils ran down my fingers, staining my hands and nails red. And if you weren’t careful, you’d have permanently pink speckled clothes as well. Such a strange but wonderful fruit. Pomegranates seemed pretty exotic then.
Whole or Packaged?
While whole pomegranates are available in fall (October through December), convenient packages of pomegranate seeds are at the grocery store year round. That makes it easy for everyone to enjoy these seeds without the mess of opening a pomegranate. But really, they are not hard to open and the mess is easily contained.
How to Open
With deep red to pinkish tough skin and inner white membranes, the apple-shaped pomegranate may look difficult to open but it’s not. Some people cut them open and whack with a wooden spoon, but that is messy. The best way is the under water method.
Cut a little off the top and bottom with a sharp knife, score the vertical ridges on the outside with the knife, then break open the pomegranate in a large bowl of cold water.
Next, loosen the sections and free the seeds from the white membranes with your fingers. Discard the membranes and then drain off the seeds. Need a visual? Here’s a link that shows you how to open a pomegranate.
How to Buy
When buying pomegranates, go for smooth-skinned fruit that feels heavy for it’s size. The heavier it is the more juice it contains. Don't worry about small scratches. After purchase, pomegranates last up to a week on the kitchen counter or several weeks in the refrigerator.
Fresh or Freeze?
Fresh seeds last a week in the refrigerator and they freeze. To freeze seeds, spread them on a quarter size rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and place in the freezer for a few hours. When they are frozen, scrape them off the tray and into freezer bags or an airtight container. They will keep for weeks in the freezer for a multitude of uses.
20 Things to do With Pomegranate Seeds
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds in salads (one of my favorite ways to use them). Add to a spinach salad with pecans, blue cheese, bacon, and red onion, or an arugula, orange, and avocado salad dressed with a Champagne or red wine vinaigrette.
- Try avocado pomegranate guacamole, it is terrific!
- Brighten oatmeal or porridge for breakfast
- Jazz up Greek yogurt or ice cream
- Make a pomegranate smoothie with milk of choice, protein, pomegranate seeds and pomegranate powder
- Create a yogurt parfait for breakfast with pomegranate seeds, berries and granola
- Peel and slice fresh oranges into segments, sprinkle with the seeds and mint for a beautiful salad or dessert.
- Create a breakfast fruit salad with orange segments, grapefruit segments, bananas, apples, berries, and pomegranate seeds
- Add a festive touch to a glass of Champagne or sparkling wine
- Make pomegranate Shirley Temple for the kids with ginger ale
- Sprinkle the seeds over sautéed chicken breasts
- As an appetizer, make goat cheese crostini and sprinkle the arils on top instead of nectarines
- Stir into wild rice or wild and brown rice blends along with chopped chives, parsley and chopped nuts for a beautiful and healthy pilaf
- Add a twist to quinoa Tabouleh salad using pomegranate seeds instead of tomatoes
- Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on butternut-apple soup or curried butternut carrot soup as a beautiful garnish.
- Make a Thanksgiving cranberry-pomegranate relish
- Use them as a brilliant garnish for baby green beans with shallots and pecans for Thanksgiving or any holiday
- Purchase pomegranate vinegar and make a pomegranate vinaigrette for this spinach and pomegranate salad
- Use them as garnish for dark chocolate pudding or mousse.
- Although I've never tried one, a pomegranate margarita sounds pretty good!
Other Forms of Pomegranate
- Pomegranate powder for smoothies; it's a terrific power add.
- Find pomegranate molasses, also called pomegranate syrup, in many stores, online and at middle eastern markets.
- Fresh pomegranate juice can be quite tart, and the bottled juices are usually high in added sugar. Read labels before buying. And it's better to eat the fruit than drink the juice so you get the fiber.
Part of a Healthy Diet
Packed with health benefits like vitamin C and fiber, pomegranate seeds are downright beautiful as well as delicious. No doubt about it, they are part of a healthy diet, so try these ideas and find your favorite way to add these juicy seeds to your diet.
Heidi Shepherd says
Can you add the arils to pomegranate jelly to make a jam?
Sally Cameron says
Hey Heidi, that's an interesting idea! I don't think it would be exactly like a jam as they were not cooked together, but it could be good in spite of that. Let me know if you try it. Always fun to experiment.