Pomegranates are chock full of antioxidants, but extracting the arils (seeds) can be a pain. Before you get to that point, you need to know how to select the best pomegranate in the bin at the grocery store. Here are some helpful tips.
How To Choose A Pomegranate
1. A larger pomegranate typically has juicier seeds (arils). Select a big one.
2. A heavier pomegranate has more juice. Compare like sizes and select the heavier one.
3. Look at the skin. Dry skin signals the fruit is drying out. The skin should be leathery in appearance. Also check that there are no blemishes as a damaged exterior may signal a damaged interior.
4. The color should be deep red. Lighter skinned ones are not as good.
5. Look at the shape. They will never be perfectly round, but any flat spots may signal that the fruit in a particular inner membrane has dried out.
So now you have your perfect fruit, what do you do with it? If you have a knife, you can certainly get the seeds out. However, this is by far the method that yields the most arils in tact, with minimal squirting juice.
How To Open A Pomegranate
1. Score the pomegranate into sixths or quarters and place in a bowl of water.
2. Break open the pomegranates under water to free the arils (seed sacs). The arils will sink to the bottom of the bowl and the membrane will float to the top.
3. Sieve the membrane out. Don’t leave the pomegranate to soak for too long otherwise the membrane will fall to the bottom.
If you accidentally fling some juice on your clothes while opening or eating a pomegranate. Treat it immediately. Here are some suggestions for getting rid of pomegranate stains. Also, a fresh, unrefrigerated pomegranate will last about a week while a refrigerated one could last a few months. Any other pomegranate tips? Please share.
Photo credit: istockphoto/samohin