A Dozen Things to do With Pomegranate Seeds

By Sally Cameron on November 04, 2012

Appetizers & Snacks, Breakfast, Holiday Dishes, Thanksgiving, the daniel plan

A friend recently offered me fresh pomegranates off of her overflowing tree. What a gift! Besides being packed with nutritional power (high in vitamins C, B, fiber and minerals), pomegranate seeds are just downright beautiful. Like nature’s edible rubies, pomegranate seeds add sweet-tart flavor and gorgeous color to many dishes. With availability from October through December, now is the time to enjoy pomegranates seeds.

pomegranate seeds | AFoodCentricLife.com

Pomegranates – An Ancient Fruit

Sitting outside on the curb as a kid, I discovered the wonder of pomegranates. The ruby sweet-tart juice 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 back then.

When convenient packages of seeds (called arils) became available I was very excited. People in the grocery store probably thought I was crazy.  Ah well, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve gotten excited in a grocery store. Now it was easy to enjoy the seeds without the mess of opening a pomegranate. But really, they are not hard to open.

How to Open Pomegranates

With deep red to pinkish leathery skin, the apple-shaped pomegranate may look difficult to open but it’s not. The under water method is quite popular and how I handle them.

Directions: Cut a little off the top and bottom, score the vertical ridges on the outside with a paring knife, then break open the pomegranate in a large bowl of water. Next, loosen the sections and free the seeds from the white membrane with your fingers. Discard the membrane and then drain off the seeds. That’s it.

Need a visual? Here’s a link that shows you how to open a pomegranate.

How to Buy Pomegranates

When choosing pomegranates, go for smooth-skinned fruit that feels heavy for it’s size. The heavier it is the more juice it contains.After purchase, pomegranates can last up to a week on the kitchen counter or up to several weeks in the refrigerator. Fresh arils will last a week in the refrigerator, and they even freeze.

Oatmeal with Pomegranate Seeds

(More Than) A Dozen Things to Do With Pomegranate Seeds

  • Sprinkle in salads. Try a tossed green salad with pecans, blue cheese and pear slices or a butter lettuce, orange, avocado and  salad and dress with a light Champagne vinaigrette
  • Try avocado pomegranate guacamole, it is terrific!
  • Brighten oatmeal for breakfast
  • Jazz up plain, vanilla or honey yogurt
  • 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 winter citrus salad
  • 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 for the holidays
  • Add sparkle to low fat ice cream or frozen yogurt for dessert
  • Sprinkle the seeds over sautéed chicken breasts
  • As an appetizer, make goat cheese crostini and sprinkle the arils on top instead of nectarines in this recipe
  • Stir into wild rice or wild and brown rice blends along with chopped chives, parsley and chopped nuts for a beautiful and healthy pilaf-style rice
  • Add a twist to quinoa Tabouleh salad using pomegranate seeds instead of tomatoes
  • Sprinkle on butternut-apple soup or curried butternut carrot soupThe ruby seeds make a beautiful garnish.
  • For a Thanksgiving cranberry-pomegranate relish or salad, use this recipe but add pomegranate seeds.
  • Use them as a brilliant garnish for baby green beans with shallots and pecans for Thanksgiving or any holiday

Pomegranate Salad

Helpful Links

  1. Shut Up & Cook | The Attainable Gourmet - November 4th, 2012

    Adore pomegranate seeds…one of my favorites! They truly do make anything more fun and festive. This is one of my faves: Arugula Goat Cheese Salad with Grilled Shrimp and Pomegranates http://theattainablegourmet.com/15-minute-meals/back-to-reality-arugula-salad-with-grilled-shrimp-pomegranate-and-goat-cheese/

    Happy Sunday!

  2. Sally - November 4th, 2012

    Love this post and these photos Sally. I recently bought a pomegranate, just because. But haven’t quite ventured to open it and partake of those glistening seeds. Thanks for so many ideas!

  3. Mary@SiftingFocus - November 4th, 2012

    Thanks, Sally, for the helpful info on how to remove the seeds from a pomegranate. I had never heard of the water method and now I can’t wait to give it a try. The photos are beautiful – I especially love the first photo. Wish I could reach in and enjoy that pomegranate right now.

  4. Madonna - November 6th, 2012

    I want to try this with the goat cheese and in the salad. Just a spoon of these make everything seem so exotic.

    BTW, I gave your scalloped potatoes a trial run. The technique of cooking them in milk and then placing them in the baking dish makes them cook evenly, the herbs took it over the top. I couldn’t stop eating them. Delicious! Thanks again.

  5. Sally - November 6th, 2012

    Thanks for reporting back Madonna! On the potatoes, to take them up a notch for the holidays, add a layer of sautéed (and drained) wild mushrooms in the center, or even greens like kale, chopped, steamed, drained and layer in the center. I’ve done them for Christmas with chanterelles and it’s fantastic.

  6. Greg Barwis - December 29th, 2012

    Great pomegranate ideas, thanks Sally!

    I made fresh guacamole and included pomegranate seeds and diced mango, served it with freshly-made plantain chips – it was heavenly. I think the original idea may have come from Epicurious for that one, it’s a bit of a blur at this point 🙂

  7. Lynda Larson - January 8th, 2016

    Are the seeds supposed to be as hard as stones?

  8. Sally Cameron - January 9th, 2016

    Hi Lynda. No, pomegranate seeds (arils) should be soft on the outside with a small kind of seed at the center that is also soft and totally edible.

  9. Beth - January 26th, 2017

    I was wondering the same thing. I bought some in cups and there is hardly any taste to them and they are very hard and crunchy. ??

  10. Sally Cameron - January 26th, 2017

    Hi Beth. Hmm, I don’t know why they didn’t have much taste. Like most fruit, sometimes they taste great and are sweet and sometimes not. I think about summer fruit, and same thing. Sometimes you get a sweet peach or nectarine, and sometimes they have little flavor. The pomegranate seed inside is hard and crunchy, yes, but the flesh surrounding the seed should be softer. Wish I had a better answer for you!

  11. Joyce Phillips - September 20th, 2016

    I have bought one pomegranate which I normally love but this one is very sharp and I cannot eat it. I have sprinkled lots of sugar on it but can’t sweeten it enough. Can you stew it and hopefully eat it afterwards.

  12. Sally Cameron - September 24th, 2016

    Hi Joyce, unfortunately I would toss it if it doesn’t taste good. That is the difficult part of buying something like pomegranates. You can tell if they are going to be good. Trying to make it taste good by adding a lot of sugar isn’t a healthy option.

  13. Carolyn - November 30th, 2016

    Very informative ….never had seeds before and I’m 78 !

  14. Mary - December 13th, 2016

    Do you eat the hard seed or just the stuff around it?

  15. Sally Cameron - December 13th, 2016

    Hi Mary. Good question! You eat the whole thing, the whole little ruby jewel that is the pomegranate seed. They are actually called arils. The ruby fruit is tart sweet, and there is sometimes a little crunch from the center. Good for you too! Lots of vitamin C for one thing. Hope this helps.

  16. Beth - January 26th, 2017

    Can you cook them to make seeds softer?

  17. Sally Cameron - January 26th, 2017

    I’ve never really cooked them so i am not sure if that would make a difference. Usually I add them raw to salads or other dishes as a garnish.

  18. Carmen - January 3rd, 2018

    Hmm I bet they’d be good in a sour cream\cream cheese spread. Maybe with a lil Splenda and vanilla(?)

  19. Sally Cameron - January 3rd, 2018

    I’m not sure Carmen, but if you experiment please report back. They are so pretty I prefer to use them on top of things versus mixing them in, but that just me!

  20. Adriana Baggio - November 5th, 2019

    This is not mentioned!!!! I separate the “erils” from the skin and membranes into a bowl. And then eat them with a spoon!!!! Simple and delicious!!!

  21. Rosemary - February 1st, 2020

    Can you freeze them? I’ve got a surplus!

    The arils are great sprinkled on top of lamb tangines.

  22. Sally Cameron - February 12th, 2020

    Yes you can freeze them. And lucky you! After removing the seeds (called arils), scatter them in a flat layer on a rimmed baking sheet that you can fit in your freezer. Freeze, then store them in a bag or glass container. Some people put them in ice cube trays to freeze.

  23. Amber - November 21st, 2020

    I have never had them cooked on a stove top, but have used them baked in bread, and I can say the seeds themselves soften when baked. The baked seeds gave a crunch similar to nuts in bread. I was never into the hardness of the seed at that time (this was about 10 years ago). Before then I had always just eaten the soft flesh/juice from around it and tossed the seeds. If we hadn’t had a tree, I would’ve just bought juice.

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