Pomegranates are a super fruit packed with vitamins C and K, antioxidants, and potassium. You might have very little self-control when it comes to eating them, and we don’t blame you. The deep-crimson seeds, also known as arils, add a sweet and tart bite to pretty parfaits and citrus salads. Problem is, it's hard to remove pomegranate seeds from the pith and peel, but doing it yourself is much cheaper than buying ready-to-eat seeds. When you're at the grocery or the farmer’s market, look for a firm and heavy pomegranate—that means it's at its ripest and sweetest. Here are two methods to seed a pomegranate and extract every single plump aril.
1. Remove pomegranate seeds with a spoon: This method will likely stain your shirt ruby-red, so be sure to grab an apron or wear a bloufit. Cut the fruit into halves, or quarters, hold it cut side down, and strike the back of the peel with a wooden spoon or sturdy spatula. If you tap it gently, the seeds won’t budge. Hit the pomegranate with all your strength. The juice will splatter everywhere, so put the bowl in the sink to make the mess more manageable.
2. Remove pomegranate seeds in water: The second method is a much less messy but takes longer. Cut the pomegranate into halves, or quarters, and submerge it in a bowl filled with cold water. Use your fingers to break the arils away from the membrane. The seeds, because they’re heavy, will sink and the pith will float. Skim the pith away from the surface, or strain, and save the seeds. You don’t need to get rid of every single piece of pitch, but it will make the fruit taste bitter so you should avoid it as much as you can. If you use water, your hands and counters will stay clean, but it’s extremely time-consuming.
Which technique should you use? The verdict: Whacking the fruit with a spoon is better. Although it’s messier, it takes much less time.
Regardless of which method you choose to use, you'll need to store your pomegranate seeds. After removing the seeds, pat them dry and keep them in an airtight container for five days in the fridge, or for three months in the freezer.