Pomegranates are one of the healthier foods you can eat. High in antioxidants, potassium, vitamin C, and a great source of fiber, pomegranates pack a nutritional punch that most foods can’t come close to! For more details on pomegranate nutritional content, visit our Health section.
Eat the fresh arils, juice them, and cook with them, just like any other fruit. They also are used for traditional decorations or centerpieces during the holidays so they are a feast for the eyes, as well!
You see those glistening red jewels inside? They’re called arils, and they’re full of delicious, nutritious sweet-tart juice surrounding a small white crunchy seed. You can eat the whole arils including the fiber-rich seeds, or spit out the seeds if you prefer- it’s your choice! The rind and the white membranes surrounding the arils are bitter and we don’t suggest eating them- although some say even that part of the pomegranate has medicinal value!
There are 3 main methods to get fresh squeezed juice. Juicer Method: Cut the fresh pomegranate in half as you would a grapefruit. We recommend using a hand-press juicer to juice a pomegranate. If you use an electric juicer, take care not to juice the membrane, so that the juice remains sweet. Strain the juice through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Be cautious, as pomegranate juice can stain. Blender Method: Place 1 ½ to 2 cups seeds in a blender; blend until liquefied. Pour through a cheesecloth-lined strainer or sieve. Rolling Method: On a hard surface, press the palm of your hand against a pomegranate and gently roll to break all of the seeds inside (crackling stops when all seeds have broken open). Pierce the rind and squeeze out juice, or poke in a straw and press to release the juice. NOTE: Rolling can be done inside a plastic bag to contain any juice that may leak through the skin.
Cut off the crown, then cut the pomegranate into sections.
Place the sections in a bowl of water, then roll out the arils (juice sacs) with your fingers. Discard everything else.
Strain out the water. Then eat the succulent airls whole, seeds and all.
You could also prepare the pomegranate using the traditional method. Cut the crown end off a pomegranate, removing with it some of the white pith. Lightly score the skin in quarters, from the stem to the crown end. Firmly yet gently break the sections apart, following the score lines. Bend back the skin and gently scoop the seed clusters into a bowl; remove any pith.
Another method is cut the pomegranate in half vertically. With the cut side up, make 4 equally spaced cuts 1 inch long and 1 inch deep. Hold the pomegranate half, cut side down, over a deep bowl and pull the fruit open but not apart, using equal pressure from both hands. Holding the pomegranate half, cut side down, in the palm of one hand, whack the top of the fruit with the back of a large spoon. The seeds will fall out.
In North America, pomegranates have traditionally only been available during late summer to early winter. Recently, some suppliers have begun importing from the Southern Hemisphere during the rest of the year, but most availability is still limited to the traditional season. Some varieties can be available as early as August, while the Wonderful variety, the majority of the commercial harvest, is in season from October through January.
We are non-profit organization looking to help the everyday consumer better use and enjoy pomegranates. POM Council’s activities range from consumer-awareness programs to creating and distributing tools to pomegranate producers. However, the current emphasis of the organization is on developing selected overseas markets with the help of the MAP program, guided by the Foreign Agricultural Service.
The Pomegranate Council does not produce or sell pomegranates or pomegranate products. Visit our contact page for links to Council member companies.
Contact the appropriate local Ag officials to get pertinent advice for the climate, soils, and plant availability in your area.
Since pomegranates have become wildly popular and the trees are also often used as ornamental foliage, any good nursery will probably be able to sell you a tree or point you in the right direction.
Pomegranate trees are very low-maintenance, and can do well in hot, dry climates with little to no care. Water occasionally, being careful not to over-water. Light annual pruning is recommended for better fruit production. Young trees will take about three years to produce fruit. In colder, wetter climates they’ll need more attention and may not do as well, but they’re hardy plants and you’ll probably still get some fruit out of them!
Pomegranates in the store have been picked when ripe, so they are ready to enjoy as soon as you buy them! A good, ripe pomegranate should feel heavy, as if it’s very full of juice (which it is!), and the skin should be firm and taut. The skin color varies from medium red to deep red with a fresh leather-like appearance. Surface abrasions do not affect the quality of the fruit.
While often misspelled as pomegranite or pomagranate, the name pomegranate derives from the Middle French "pomme garnete," literally "seeded apple." It is sometimes referred to as Chinese apple. The pomegranate's botanical name, Punica Granatum, translates as "apple with many seeds."
Whole pomegranates keep well at room temperature and away from sunlight for several days and up to 3 months when refrigerated in plastic bags. Arils (seeds) can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Freeze in single layers on trays and for up to 6 months in airtight containers. Remove only the seeds you plan to use. They often lose their shape when thawed. Juice can be refrigerated for up to 3 days. Freeze up to 6 months.