November is National Pomegranate Month and these glossy, garnet-red orbs are now in season at local farmers markets and specialty grocers. Pomegranates are one of nature’s most nutrient dense, antioxidant rich fruits. They are also one of the oldest fruits known to man, and are referred to in ancient texts as symbols of health, fertility, and eternal life.
It’s easy to recognize this fruit by its round shape, tough outer skin, and blossom end that protrudes from the crown. But what lies inside is the true prize. The juicy, translucent seeds are packed with phytochemical compounds that have been clinically linked to heart-healthy benefits including lowered blood pressure and cholesterol. In addition, their potent levels of antioxidant flavonoids and polyphenols are believed to inhibit the growth of certain cancers.
If that’s not reason enough to eat them, consider this: they are delicious! The colorful, crunchy, sweet-tart seeds are wonderful tossed into salads or sprinkled on yogurt, and the juice is both healthful and tasty.
Yet despite all its virtues, extracting the seeds from this fruit can be challenging unless you know the proper way to do it. Follow the simple steps below and you’ll be enjoying the delicious benefits of this powerhouse fruit in no time!
*NOTE: You can store whole pomegranates in a plastic bag in the refrigerator for up to two months.
HOW TO SEED A POMEGRANATE
1. With a sharp paring knife, slice off the crown (blossom end) of the pomegranate, leaving as much of the fruit intact as possible.
2. Examine the cut end, noting the segments of white pith that extend to the outer skin.
- Lightly score each segment with the knife from the crown to stem end, cutting just through the outer skin.
- Hold the fruit firmly and gently break apart the scored segments with your fingers. The seeds will be in dense clusters.
- Separate the seeds from the skin and inner membrane and place them in a bowl. Cover, refrigerate, and enjoy within five days.