Pomegranate is an autumn fruit and it is possible to find it more ripe at the end of the season. Unlike other fruits, in pomegranate you eat the seeds (or grains), which are succulent and delicious. Choosing the right pomegranate and removing the seeds takes a little more work, but the effort is worth it!
Part 1 of 3: Selecting the Pomegranate
Step 1. Choose a heavy pomegranate
When shopping at a supermarket or fair, choose the heaviest pomegranates to take with you. The weight of the fruit indicates how much juice it has. The lighter pomegranates are not as succulent as the heavier ones.
While you can weigh each pomegranate on a scale, you don't necessarily have to. Just hold a piece of fruit in each hand and keep comparing them until you find the heaviest one
Step 2. Choose a pomegranate whose skin color is very accentuated
The bark varies in shades of red, from a brighter color to brownish or even pink. The bark also needs to be glossy. Although the color does not indicate that the fruit is ripe or that the taste is good, the more intense it is, the better.
Step 3. Examine the format
A pomegranate that is not yet ripe is rounded like an apple. However, the shape changes slightly as the fruit matures and the seeds become larger and full of juice, as they exert an internal pressure against the fruit's skin. A ripe pomegranate has a more square shape as the sides are flatter (not rounded).
Step 4. Squeeze the fruit to see if there are any soft spots
To check that the pomegranate is not bruised, hold the fruit and squeeze it. It should be firm and without any soft spots.
Step 5. Choose a pomegranate with a smooth surface and no cracks
The bark should be soft enough to be scratched. If the fruit looks like this, you know it is ripe. The rind of a green pomegranate is very hard and does not get marked when scratched.
However, if the fruit is overripe, the rind may have gaps as the seeds are filled with juice and expand, causing pressure from the inside out and causing the rind to break. You're more likely to find a pomegranate like this in late fall at an open-air market (rather than a supermarket), which is when it's ripest
Part 2 of 3: Removing the Seeds
Step 1. Dress appropriately
Before removing the seeds, it's a good idea to get an apron or put on an old shirt that could be stained. Pomegranate juice stains clothes, so it's a bad idea to have your favorite piece when removing the seeds!
Step 2. Cut the pomegranate into quarters
The rind of the fruit is hard and you can't really peel it, as the seeds are protected inside an inner membrane. To reach the edible part of the pomegranate, it is necessary to break the fruit. By cutting it into four parts and not in half, it is possible to have more access to the seeds.
Step 3. Fill a bowl with water
Choose a bowl in which the pomegranate cut into quarters can be submerged. A medium-sized container might be deep enough. Leave space inside the bowl for you to place your hands without causing the water to overflow.
Step 4. Place the pomegranate cut into four parts into the bowl of water
Taking the pomegranate seeds into the water is the easiest way, as they are heavier than the membrane that surrounds them. In this way, the seeds sink into the bowl and the membrane floats on the surface.
- Another alternative is to remove the seeds from the top of the bowl and let the beans and membrane fall into the bowl (instead of putting the pomegranate in the water). This way, you can immediately discard the husk after removing all the grains.
- However, removing the seeds in the water reduces the risk of the beans falling onto the countertop and causing stains.
Step 5. Separate the seeds from the pulp
Hold one of the four pieces of pomegranate in the water with one hand and run the thumb of the other hand over the clustered seeds.
Once you've removed all the seeds, you can remove the membrane floating in the water from the bowl with your hands or a small sieve. Remove the seeds from the bottom of the bowl in the same way. Enjoy and eat the fleshy seeds or save them
Part 3 of 3: Saving the Pomegranate
Step 1. Cool it
Put the pomegranate in the fridge instead of on the table or in the fruit bowl to keep it fresh longer. The fruit can last about two months if you put it under refrigeration.
Step 2. Store the pomegranate in a cool, dry place
This way, it can last up to a month or a week if left at room temperature.
Step 3. Store the seeds in the refrigerator
After removing the seeds from the pomegranate, it is possible to store them in the refrigerator for five days. However, don't forget to place them in an airtight container or plastic bag.
Step 4. Freeze them
If you don't plan on eating the seeds in a few days, you can prolong their freshness by storing them in the freezer.
- Make sure the seeds are completely dry before freezing them. Otherwise they will stick together.
- You can also do a quick freeze before putting the seeds in an airtight plastic bag. After all the water has dried, place them in a single layer inside a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Place the pan in the freezer for two hours before storing the seeds in the bag.
- Pomegranate seeds can be stored in the freezer for about a year, and it is best to consume them within this period..