How to Deseed a Pomegranate in Seconds (The Art of Eating Pomegranate Seeds)

by Karen on Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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Every now and then, little things will remind me how incredible nature is.  Take the pomegranate.  Tough, leathery, dull on the outside.  Crack it open and it reveals clusters of jewel-toned red fleshy seeds that are sweet and tart.  When I was little, a house on our block grew pomegranate trees in the front yard.  I would often ride my bike around the block, stop under the tree and steal a couple pomegranates. Unable to wait even the few seconds it would take to turn the corner, I’d brazenly sit under the tree, break the shell open and dig in face first.  All that would be left at the scene of the crime was a pile of skins and masticated seeds (I know, I was kind of a rotten kid).

But I’m not the only one who has been lured into sinful temptation by the pomegranate.  In Greek mythology, Persephone was lured into the Underworld by a pomegranate.  In Christianity, it is often said that the forbidden fruit was the pomegranate in the Garden of Eden.

So why have people all over the world and throughout time been so obsessed with pomegranates?  Well, aside from being tasty, it is has incredible health powers.  It does great things for the heart by preventing bad cholesterol from oxidizing, which causes the artery walls to harden.  It has also been shown to decrease growth of prostate cancer in mice, which suggests similar success for humans.  Not to mention it contains folic acid, fiber, potassium, niacin and vitamins A, E and C.

This week’s muhammara (a roasted red bell pepper and walnut spread that originates from Aleppo, Syria) features pomegranate molasses, but my favorite way to enjoy this fruit is to just eat it in its raw form.  And there are plenty of opportunities to do so now that they’re in season.  However when you open a pomegranate there are all these little chambers of seeds that you need to gingerly pluck off thin membranes– the task can get tedious!  So below is a video showing you an easy way to deseed a pomegranate in just minutes without the painstaking picking.

1.  Cut the pomegranate along its equator.

2.  Over a bowl of water, hold half of the pomegranate cut side down facing your palm and with another hand using a wooden spoon hit the pomegranate.

3.  Keep rotating the pomegranate and smacking it with the spoon until all the seeds have fallen out.

4.  Using a strainer, strain out the white inedible pieces that have fallen, and then strain out the water.  And you have pomegranate seeds!

(Image from here)

{ 13 comments }

tasteofbeirut November 10, 2010 at 7:37 pm

thanks for posting this very useful post!

CornersandMoments November 11, 2010 at 12:21 am

Just found your blog and absolutely loved it…..Keep up the good work. I will travel with you from now onwards or atleast share the journey – just subscribed it in the reader.
Take care

Karen November 11, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Thanks! Glad you are enjoying it!

Natasa Zelcev November 11, 2010 at 3:57 am

I just did it your way.
It was amazing!

Thank you!

briskmamma November 11, 2010 at 9:56 am

This is very interesting post. I have a post on my blog with the same subject (http://briskmamma.blogspot.com/2010/11/pomegranates-in-my-kitchen.html). My parents grow pomegranates in they garden so I am used to having them around since childhood. Although this is interesting way of eating it, I am used to do that differently. Cut the outside along the prime meridian and then pull away pomegranate halves. Use your fingers to remove the seeds 😉

Karen November 11, 2010 at 10:54 pm

Haha prime meridian 🙂 good way of describing it. I couldn’t think of another way to describe the cut, so I figured people know what equator means. Thanks for sharing!

Sues November 11, 2010 at 8:28 pm

I’ve been absolutely obsessed with pomegranates for the last couple years… my kitchen is pretty much stained pink 🙂 I actually just made pork chops with pomegranate tonight… But I never tried cutting it like this! I usually cut each half into quarters and work the seeds out. Will definitely try this next time!

Honestly...WTF November 11, 2010 at 8:33 pm

how did you know I had a pomegranate in my fridge waiting for such a tutorial! i tried it and it worked–i can’t believe how easy it is…stain free fingers and clothes and all! Thank you!! xx

Alarica November 14, 2010 at 5:44 pm

Thanks Karen!!! This totally works and i got the chance to try it over and over again this weekend 🙂 Now i can indulge my pomegranate kick quickly!!

Em November 17, 2010 at 4:16 pm

Love this! I always find myself ruining a shirt whenever I deseed my pomegranates! I found your blog through foodgawker.com. I will now be following you as well. Thank you for the pictures and witty writing.
-Em from Chicago

Karen November 17, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Me too. You’d think by now I’ve learned to wear an apron, but no… Thanks, Em!

Albert Chin December 21, 2012 at 8:57 am

I would not recommend deseeding over a bowl of water. Why? Because the discoloration of the water indicates juice. The juice is very sweet (depending on how sweet your pomegranate is) and great for drinking. I’d deseed over an empty bowl and then separate the juice/seeds at the end. I’ve juiced over a 200 pomegranates this season with this method and the juice is one of the best parts at the end of the process.

Also, I wouldn’t recommend cutting the pomegranate in half. You lose some of the juice that way. Instead, score the pomegranate along the equator and break in half with your hands. You lose none of the juice this way and all of the seeds remain whole.

Andrea August 4, 2013 at 8:33 pm

I just ate one 4 the first time, cut it across w/ a plastic knife and took the red seeds and ate them, the sections pop off real easy. The flesh is bitter, threw it away most of the rind. Real sweet taste not bitter. I wonder about the trees in California, here in Florida most of the trees are lemon trees, in the Miami area.

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