Making The Most Of Your Pomegranate

Enjoy pomegranate this winter by following these tips.
Enjoy pomegranate this winter by following these tips.

As December draws near, it’s time to start thinking about winter produce. Pomegranate is a delicious seasonal treat in the colder months: sweet, tart and rich with nutrients like vitamin C and fiber. The fruit can be a convenient snack, served in cooking or baking, or make a great smoothie or cocktail ingredient. Follow the tips below to enjoy pomegranate with minimal hassle.

Choose the right pomegranate
The color of a pomegranate’s skin may vary from yellow to purple, though most are red or pink. However, the color does not indicate whether the fruit is ripe. Focus instead on finding a pomegranate that feels heavy and has a firm, hard skin. Keep in mind that larger pomegranates have more juice.

Open the pomegranate with care
Many are put off by fresh pomegranate because it can be a bit tricky to open the fruit properly and remove the seeds. Trying to cut them out with a knife tends to result in many damaged seeds and stained clothes. Here’s how to remove them with ease:

  • First, set the pomegranate on your cutting board and slice off the ends.
  • Give the fruit a good roll back and forth to soften up the skin, and then cut it in half.
  • Hold one half over a bowl. Squeeze as you tap firmly on the back with a wooden spoon, and the seeds (also called arils) will fall out. Repeat with the other half.
Fresh Pomegranate and Avocado Salad
Fresh Pomegranate and Avocado Salad

Bon Appetit recommends filling the bowl with water. That way the seeds will sink while any stray pith and membrane float, making it a simple matter to retrieve the tasty part.

Juicing
To prepare pomegranate juice, begin by pulping the seeds using either a blender or food processor. Place the pulp in a sieve over a bowl and press it down with the back of a spoon. If you’d prefer your juice to be clearer, Better Homes and Gardens suggests lining the sieve with a couple layers of cheesecloth. You can either chill the juice for drinking on its own (no sweetener should be necessary) or use it as an ingredient in cocktails, sauces or a juice blend.

Store properly
If you are not planning to use your pomegranate right away you have a few options. The whole pomegranate will keep about a week at room temperature or two with refrigeration. On the other hand, you can remove the seeds, seal them in a container and keep them in the freezer for as long as three months.


 

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