How to Peel a Pomegranate: A Step-by-Step Guide

Pomegranates are a nutritious fruit, filled with juicy seeds (called arils) that can be enjoyed on their own or in recipes. But a pomegranate’s tough skin can make it difficult to open and peel.

Luckily, there are several simple ways to quickly open and peel a pomegranate. These include:

1. Cut off the crown

Pomegranates are a fall must-have and they’re packed with nutrients like Vitamin C, fiber and potassium. They’re also a lot of fun to look at and they can be used in many recipes. However, peeling a pomegranate can be frustrating and even downright messy!

Fortunately, there are a few easy techniques that will make the process much easier. And best of all, they’re delicious!

First, place the pomegranate on top of your cutting board and locate the crown end. This is the part that looks like a cone with a flower.

Then, cut off about a half inch from the top. This will reveal four to six sections of clustered seeds separated by a white membrane.

Now, score the skin along these sections to help it break apart. Do this by tracing the lines you’ve just made with your knife.

Repeat this step on the other ridges of the fruit to separate it into segments. This will be faster than separating it by hand.

Next, take the sections of pomegranate and place them in a large bowl of water. The water will help the arils (juice sacs) sink to the bottom, while the white membrane will float on top.

You’ll then be able to remove the seeds without breaking them open. Just brush away the seeds with your fingers from the white membrane.

Once all of the seeds are removed, the pomegranate should be ready to eat!

To make sure that your pomegranate is properly prepared, choose a high-quality knife. For the best results, go with a sharp paring knife that’s at least 16-18 degrees angle per side. This will ensure you can get a clean cut without damaging the skin of your fruit.

If you don’t have a knife like this, you can use a kitchen shears. These are usually sold at grocery stores and are very useful for slicing and dicing foods.

2. Score the peel

Pomegranates are a fall and winter favorite for their ruby red fruit, tart flavor, and antioxidant-packed juice. But before you can eat one, you need to know how to peel a pomegranate.

Fortunately, there are some simple tricks you can use to remove the arils without creating a pomegranate seed bomb of a mess. This method will also leave you with an opened pomegranate that you can use as a lovely centerpiece on a fruit or cheese plate.

First, choose a ripe pomegranate that is in season. Simonian says pomegranates are in season from September to January in California, where much of the country’s commercial crop is grown. She recommends a pomegranate that is bright in color and heavy for its size to ensure that it is full of juicy seeds (known as arils).

Once you’ve chosen a pomegranate, it’s time to cut it open. Before you do anything, it’s important to wash the pomegranate well so that there isn’t any bacteria from the skin that could enter the edible portion of the fruit.

Next, take a paring knife and score the skin of the pomegranate along each ridge to the bottom (stem) end. This will make it easier to crack the skin and separate the fruit into sections, which you can pull apart over a bowl of water.

After scoring the skin, carefully peel back each lobe or section. Some pomegranate seeds, or arils, will fall out and a little bit of red juice will spray around the fruit. Some people like to do this over a bowl, but that’s not always the best idea because some seeds will stick to the bottom of the bowl.

If you have trouble, you can also cut the pomegranate open with your hands. Simonian recommends doing this, and then holding the section over a bowl of water to separate the arils from the inedible white pith. Alternatively, you can simply whack the peel with a spoon to separate it from the arils.

3. Peel

Pomegranates are great for adding a sweet and tart flavor to salads or roasted vegetables. They are also a source of fiber and antioxidants. They’re in season from September to November and keep well.

The best pomegranates are bright red or dark red in color and smooth with no squishy sections. They should also have a crown, or blossom end.

It’s also important to select a pomegranate that isn’t bruised or sour. Lighter colored pomegranates may have been picked too early, which means they won’t be fresh.

Once you’ve chosen a pomegranate, peel it to release the arils. These are the sweet and tart seeds that surround the pomegranate’s core.

One of the easiest ways to remove pomegranate seeds is to submerge the fruit in water. This allows you to gently pry the skin away from the seeds while avoiding the mess of juice that usually occurs with a fruit that isn’t peeled.

Alternatively, you can cut the pomegranate in half and use your fingers to separate the seeds from the membranes that hold them. The white membranes will float to the top while the seeds will sink to the bottom. After that, you can scoop them out with a spoon.

The seeds are a source of calcium, potassium and fiber. These nutrients help maintain healthy bones and prevent bone loss. They can also reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

They are an excellent source of Vitamin C and antioxidants. Additionally, they have anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties. They are also an excellent source of dietary fiber and manganese, which can help you stay hydrated.

You can also add the seeds to a recipe as a garnish or as a substitute for raisins in a jam. However, you must remember that pomegranate seeds can stain your food.

4. Remove the seeds

Pomegranates are loaded with antioxidants and make a bright addition to salads, cocktails and desserts. But getting those ruby-red seeds (known botanically as arils) out of them can feel a little tricky.

Luckily, there are several ways to de-seed your pomegranate and get rid of that pesky seedy layer. It may be a bit messy but it’s worth the effort.

The best method for removing a lot of pomegranates at once is to cut them in half and then use your fingers to remove the arils from the skin. It’s a great way to avoid staining your counter and a lot of juice splatter. It’s also an excellent method for people with arthritic hands, since you don’t have to use a special tool.

Another technique that can yield more seeds is to slice the pomegranate into quarters vertically from top to bottom, peeling back the membranes as you go. That’ll help keep the membranes in place, which will make it easier to separate the seeds from the rest of the fruit.

After you’ve separated the pomegranate into sections, fill a bowl with water. Put the sections in the water, and gently lift out the seeds and membranes with your fingers. They’ll sink to the bottom, and you can then skim them off with a spoon or a spatula, and rinse with more water if necessary.

Once all the seeds have been removed, it’s time to strain them out of the water. This will remove any extra bits of membrane, which aren’t inedible but are still a nuisance to eat.

It’s best to do this in a clean sink, with a bowl to catch all that flying juice. If you’re not careful, this can get a little messy.

Lastly, you can take one of the halves and hold it over a bowl of water, cut side down. You can smack the skin with a sturdy spatula or wooden spoon until all the seeds are removed, but don’t be afraid to do this a few times. This can be a bit of a brute force, but it’s a fast and effective way to remove the pomegranate’s seeds.

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