Posts tagged ‘Pomegranate’

November 23, 2011

The Stain-Free Way to Remove the Seeds of a Pomegranate

Pomegranates, sometimes referred to as “The Jewels of Autumn,” are steeped in tradition and symbolism.  Just looking at its crowned top, beautiful shape and skin and opening it up to see what appear to be hundreds of jewels (the arils) makes you feel like you are opening a treasure from the past.  And in reality you are.  Pomegranates were the first fruit to be cultivated nearly 4,000 years ago.  They have traveled the globe and are an important part of many cultures, religions, ceremonies, history, and art.

I have a childhood connection to pomegranates.  Our neighbor had a tree and would allow us to pick and eat many of his pomegranates.  It is probably the first fruit I ever enjoyed freshly harvested. I had no idea that in addition to enjoying its beautiful color and taste, I was also eating a nutritious super food.

Pomegranates are rich in antioxidants, have been shown to lower cholesterol, and contain not one but three types of polyphenols (which help prevent cancer and heart disease).  They also have vitamin C, potassium, and fiber (when you eat the crunchy part of the seed).  The high nutritional value has led to the selling of pomegranate juice in most grocery stores.

Buying the juice can be more appealing than buying a raw pomegranate, because obtaining the arils of this royal fruit is actually a bit overwhelming.  One wrong move and you or your kitchen wall will get squirted with its permanent dye.  Here is a method I use that will allow you to stay stain-free and make it safe for your children to help as well:

The Stain-Free Way to Remove the Seeds of a Pomegranate

* Cut off both ends of the pomegranate (with a paper towel underneath to protect the cutting surface from its dye).

* Score the outside, making slice marks just barely through the peel (perhaps 5 or 6 slits). This will help you more easily break it apart in the next step.

* Submerge the pomegranate in a large bowl of water and start breaking the pomegranate apart to gather the arils.  The fruit will drop to the bottom while the white part and the skin will float to the top.  Submerging it in the water will stop any of its staining sprays from reaching you.

* Skim the white part and peel floating on top and discard it.

* Pour the fruit into a strainer and pick out the remaining white bits.

* Place the arils in a dish and serve.   They can be eaten plain (my favorite), or served in salads, drinks, dips, or on top of desserts.