10 Things to do with a Pomegranate

pomegranate seeds

10 Things to do with a Pomegranate ~  pomegranate recipes, tips, and tricks, to making the most of this beautiful and healthy fall fruit!

10 Things to do with a Pomegranate —  a guide to nature’s most beautiful, and most confounding, fruit

It’s pomegranate season, and you’ve probably already spotted them in your supermarket, I know I have. But just a few short years ago I wouldn’t have touched them with a ten foot pole. I didn’t have a clue how to use them, much less how to open one up. And even if I got one open, what’s the deal with the seeds…how to you get them out,…and do you spit the pits? Swallow them? Pomegranates can cause a lot of confusion.

10 things to do with a pomegranate

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, first you need to know how to choose one from that daunting pile in the produce section.

There are a few basic rules for picking the right pomegranate

Since poms don’t continue to ripen after being picked, what you see is what you get, so it’s important to choose wisely.

  • Look for a large fruit, because large fruit will have more pulp (arils)
  • Don’t just look, pick them up, a  fresh juicy pomegranate will feel heavy for its size
  • Find one with a bright color, because that indicates good quality
  • And finally, a smooth shiny skin tells you it’s fresh

Pomegranate

Most pomegranates will have deep ruby red arils, or seeds, but some are pale pink, or even white.

There isn’t any way to tell this from the outside, so it will be a surprise when you open it up. No need to worry, the paler colors taste just as good, and if anything, they’re a little sweeter.

How to remove the seeds from a pomegranate

Ok, so you’ve chosen your pomegranate, now what? You need to get those little seeds out! There are several ways to do it but one is by far the best:

  • Cut your pomegranate in half, and if it is very big, you can even separate it into quarters.
  • Over a bowl in your sink, hold the pomegranate, skin side up, in one hand, and whack it with a wooden spoon with your other hand. The seeds will miraculously fall into the bowl.

You can keep the seeds in an airtight container for several days in the refrigerator. Use them for snacking, or topping yogurt, oatmeal, ice cream, or hummus!

Jeweled Hummus ~ 50 Ways to Hack Your Hummus ~ theviewfromgreatisland.com

Are pomegranates healthy?

Pomegranates are super healthy and fall under the super food category

  • they’re loaded with antioxidants called punicalagins, which protect cells from damage by free radicals
  • The seeds are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals
  • Pomegranate is anti-inflammatory
  • They may help fight prostate and breast cancers
  • They may help lower blood pressure, and help arthritis sufferers

Pomegranates originated in the Middle East

But they’ve quickly spread all around the world. They grow in California, and also in Arizona. In our last house we had the luxury of a neighbor’s tree that hung way over into our driveway. We had pomegranates right up until Christmas. During those years I came to know and love this unusual fruit.

Pomegranate season

The season in America goes from September through November, but pomegranates are hardy, and store well, so you’ll find them in stores way past November.

Now, with imports from Israel, Turkey, Lebanon, Greece and Mexico, you can find pomegranates in many stores year round.



Here are ten of my favorite ways to use pomegranates

Oven roasted Brussels sprouts with pomegranate molasses and pomegranate seeds

I love to jazz up roasted Brussels sprouts by sprinkling them with pomegranate seeds

They’ll sparkle like little jewels and maybe even tempt those Brussels sprout haters in your life to give them a try! When you’re pressed for time and trying to fill a holiday table, this Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pomegranate is a great recipe to have on hand.

Wait until the last minute before serving to sprinkle pomegranate seeds on your finished dish.

 


 

A striking new combination from Yotam Ottolengi's new cookbook Plenty More

Mix them with heirloom tomatoes

This Tomato and Pomegranate Salad is an  little unusual, but trust me, the flavors mingle beautifully. This is an example of a dish where pomegranates play a starring roll. I particularly love the colors in this salad, the pink arils were a pleasant surprise!

 


 

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Use the juice and arils with grilled chicken

I love these Pomegranate and Lime Chicken Thighs, the recipe uses both the seeds and the juice of the pomegranate so the unique sweet tart flavor really comes through. The lime and the pomegranate colors are gorgeous!

 


 

Homemade Gum Drops with sugar coating

Make candy!

Fresh pomegranate juice can be used to make all natural Homemade Gumdrops.  You can use fresh juice or bottled and the process is easy. This is a fun project to do with kids.

 


 

Citrus Salad with Pomegranate and Pistachio

Pair pomegranate with winter citrus

An easy Citrus Salad with Pomegrante and Pistachio is a great choice for a fall or winter salad course. The colors of the citrus along with the garnet colored seeds is really festive.

 


 

Make pomegranate sorbet

A simple and healthy  Pomegranate Sorbet can be made with pomegranate juice and some sugar to sweeten it up a bit. You don’t even need an ice cream maker for this recipe.

 


 

Make your own homemade pomegranate molasses

One of my favorite condiments in the world is Pomegranate Molasses. You can buy it in the grocery store, usually in the International aisle, but it’s simple to make yourself. You boil down pomegranate juice until it becomes a thick syrup. Voila — you have the best secret weapon ever for sauces, marinades, salad dressings, and tons more…use your imagination!

This pomegranate wine sauce goes with my Mini Koftas, which are little Middle Eastern meat kabobs. The sauce will blow your mind. No exaggeration. I copied it from a restaurant dish and I’m so glad I nailed it.

 


 

grilled shrimp with pomegranate salsa is so healthy, and practically zero calories :)

Make a fresh salsa to go with fish and seafood

Pomegranate salsa is a versatile little idea, I served it with Grilled Shrimp with Pomegranate Salsa but I can think of a million ways to use it. Pomegranate salsa is a clever way to bring some sunshine to a midwinter meal.

 


 

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Make Persian Jeweled Rice

This beautiful Middle Eastern inspired rice pilaf is probably one of my favorite dishes that uses pomegranate seeds. They really do look like little jewels on top of this classic Middle Eastern pilaf. I think it’s made for the holidays, and will make any vegetarians or vegans at your table very happy.

 


 

Autumnal Harvest Salad with Pomegranate Molasses Dressing

Feature them in a Harvest Salad with Pomegranate Allspice Dressing

Pomegranates are used in both the salad and the dressing in this recipe. They brighten a seasonal salad and make it holiday worthy. The combination of pomegranate and allspice is a wonderful discovery, too.


 

Pomegranates are a beautiful food, they’ve inspired writers, artists, and cooks, for centuries. I hope I’ve inspired you to dive into that pile in the produce section!

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47 Comments

    Leave a Reply

  • Reply
    Rika Viljoen
    March 1, 2022 at 1:35 pm

    We moved to a house where I have the luxury of a fig tree, a peach tree and a pomegrante tree! I had my last one when I was a kid and my grandparents were still alive….now I am a granny myself! I am so glad that I came across your page!

  • Reply
    Mary LaFond
    January 3, 2021 at 1:48 pm

    Hi, I’ve ground up Pom seeds to strain and make juice for jelly. There is a lot of debris left in the strainer. Has anyone ever used this leftover seed debris for anything like a chutney or some kind of relish???? Seems like a waste to toss it.

  • Reply
    Jeanne Losurdo
    December 5, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    I just opened my first pom… I’m 70 y/o. I really liked the flavor BUT the small seed in the center of each one was quite hard, which I did not find enjoyable. Is this how they are normally consumed?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 5, 2020 at 2:49 pm

      Yes, the little pits in the center are hard, I usually spit them out, but a lot of people just eat them. You might enjoy pomegranate juice more.

  • Reply
    Cheryl L Armstrong
    December 3, 2020 at 6:09 pm

    I have only had store bought juice 1 time, but due to liver and diabetes diseases, I am not aloud to have sugar!! I for some reason bought 1 pomegranate before I left 3 weeks ago on vaca, which I got home and realized it was looking dry. Tonight I watched a video on how to prepare and eat, he said to follow the seams of six, just cutting enough, break apart in water and the seeds float to the bottom and the pulp to the top…yep! I now was looking up what they are good for for my health, and found you. Question? Do you put together any foods with the poms for ones with diet restrictions like myself? Sugar Free most for sweets, but like to get from food sources. Thanks, and I like just eating off the spoon…yummy!

  • Reply
    Michelle
    January 11, 2020 at 10:32 am

    I have 2 cups of very ripe seeds from Christmas. Can I make them into a syrup for cocktails? Can I also try to make a molasses by putting the seeds in a pot with sugar, boiling and straining? Or how about adding vinegar and sugar? I don’t want to waste them!

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 11, 2020 at 11:10 am

      The seeds would make a nice syrup, but for the molasses you really need the full on juice.

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