The pomegranate (Punica granatum L.) is a fruit-bearing shrub (
It can grow up to 30 feet (9 meters) high, producing fruits that are about 2–5 inches (5–12 cm) in diameter (
Inside the thick-skinned fruit are approximately 600 arils, or edible seeds, which can be enjoyed raw or processed into a juice (
Removing the pomegranate seeds can prove challenging, but knowing the right technique can make the process a breeze.
This article explains how to easily remove pomegranate seeds and offers suggestions for incorporating them into your diet.
2 easy ways to open and seed a pomegranate
There are two simple ways to remove pomegranate seeds — with a spoon or knife.
With a spoon
One popular and easy method for removing pomegranate seeds involves using a wooden spoon.
First, cut the fruit in half around the middle. Then, hold it over a bowl with the seed side facing down.
Firmly hit the pomegranate skin with the back of a wooden spoon until all the seeds have fallen out.
You can fill the bowl halfway with water, so the seeds to sink to the bottom while pieces of the pith float to the top. This makes it easier to separate the seeds.
Rinse and strain the seeds to remove any unwanted pith remnants. Now, the arils are ready to enjoy.
Scoring with a knife
Another equally popular and effective method of retrieving pomegranate seeds is to use a knife to score the fruit.
First, using a paring knife, remove the little stem at the top of the fruit, which is known as the flower.
Then, score the sides by cutting the skin between the ridges from top to bottom. If you can’t feel the ridges, simply make about six evenly spaced cuts around the fruit.
To prevent the juices from escaping, don’t make the cuts too deep.
Next, grip the fruit and place your thumbs at the top where the flower was. Gently pull apart the fruit to separate the sections.
It may be helpful to do this over a bowl so all the loose seeds are caught.
To continue, peel off the white membrane that surrounds each section of seeds.
Lastly, working over a bowl or clean surface, pull the edges of each section back towards you to push the seeds out and into the bowl.
Depending on the ripeness of the fruit and how easily the seeds come out, you may have to gently rub some of the seeds to detach them.
Now, they’re ready to enjoy.
You can remove the tasty pomegranate seeds from the fruit using the wooden spoon or paring knife methods.
Easy ways to add pomegranate to your diet
Pomegranate seeds are delicious and versatile, making them easy additions to a variety of dishes.
Here are some ways you can enjoy pomegranate seeds:
- Toss them into a green or fruit salad.
- Sprinkle some seeds onto your yogurt or oatmeal.
- Add them to smoothies or juices.
- Use pomegranate seeds as a tangy garnish on avocado toast.
- Garnish roasted or grilled meat dishes with the tasty seeds.
- Add them to sangria, cocktails, or mocktails.
- Eat them fresh from the fruit.
Pomegranate seeds are a versatile and flavorful addition to both sweet and savory dishes.
Here are some helpful tips to get the most out of your pomegranate experience:
- Choose a ripe fruit. Not only is it easier to remove the seeds from a ripe fruit, but they taste better too. The fruit should be heavy with a firm skin. Note that small scratches on the skin won’t affect the inside.
- Only eat the seeds. Though the white, pithy part is safe to eat, it’s bitter and most people choose to discard it. The skin is technically edible as well but generally used in extract and powdered forms.
- Freeze the seeds. You can store leftover pomegranate seeds in your freezer for up to 12 months. Simply freeze them on a baking sheet for 2 hours, then collect them in freezer bags (2).
To better enjoy your pomegranate, consider choosing a ripe fruit, eating only the seeds, and freezing leftovers for later use.
The bottom line
Pomegranate is a fruit with delicious, edible seeds.
Hitting the back of a pomegranate that has been cut in half with a wooden spoon or scoring the fruit to separate sections are two simple and effective ways to remove the seeds.
This process is easier when the fruit is ripe.
Once removed, you can enjoy the bright, ruby-red seeds plain or add them to your favorite recipes for a tangy yet sweet, refreshing flavor.