Pomegranates are one of the most antioxidant-rich fruits out there. And luckily for us, they’re also packed with hundreds of nutritious and delicious seeds that can be easily consumed and incorporated into many different recipes.
This fruit is a native of Persia (modern-day Iran), but has been cultivated in other Middle Eastern countries including Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan, as well as Russia. It also thrives in the drier regions of California and Arizona. Pomegranates have a hard red outer layer and an equally tough inner layer–in fact, only the juice and the seeds are edible.
Pomegranate seeds and juice are utilized in many Mediterranean and Indian dishes, but they have also made their way overseas here to the Americas. Pomegranate juice has become especially popular and well-known for its health benefits and many brands have been quick to introduce it to their line of products.
But since we’re here to talk about seeds, read below to find out why you should eat pomegranate seeds and how you can extract them from this powerful fruit. We’ve also picked out some of the yummiest recipes from our Green Monsters that incorporate them in some kind of way.
It’s known that pomegranates and their seeds are infused with all sorts of beneficial antioxidants, but there are plenty of more nutrients to give them credit for!
- One whole pomegranate, which can contain up to 1,400 seeds, depending on how large it is, accounts for about a 50 percent daily value of vitamin C. It also has high amounts of pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5, which has been known to aid in reducing muscle cramping and prevent insulin resistance.
- Pomegranate seeds are huge in helping to prevent heart disease–they lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
- It is suggested that these seeds have benefits that could relieve depression and osteoporosis.
- They also support the immune system and offer the body tremendous anti-cancer effects.
Now that you know about all the great health benefits pomegranate seeds offer, you’re probably eager to run out and get some. That’s great–but continue reading to learn how to properly store them, and how to seed the fruit so you can enjoy them as much as possible.
Storage and Seeding
It’s self-explanatory–the larger the pomegranate, the juicier it will be and the more seeds it will contain. So when you buy this fruit, look for one that is shiny, firm and free of soft spots or blemishes. Once you purchase your pomegranates, they will be good for up to one week at room temperature, or two weeks in the refrigerator. Seeds can be stored in an air-tight container for up to one week in the refrigerator, or three months in the freezer.
To seed a pomegranate, carefully cut off the protruding end while making sure not to slice any of the seeds inside. Score the outer skin in quarters from top to bottom without cutting through the skin entirely. Next, submerge the fruit in a bowl of cold water for about 5 minutes and break sections of it apart underwater so that the seeds separate from the membrane. Once that’s completed, the seeds will have fallen to the bottom of the bowl so you can drain them and let them dry on paper towels.
After you (patiently) wait for your seeds to dry, you can then try them out in some of these delicious recipes from our Green Monsters!
Pomegranate seeds are a great stand-alone snack–you’ll most likely see them packaged as pomegranate arils, and the arils are the fleshy red substance surrounding each seed. And although that may be the case, the seeds can really add a burst of flavor to many different dishes. Experiment and enjoy!
3. Chickpea, Sweet Potato, Kale, Green Olive, Dried Fruit and Cashew Tagine (uses pomegranate molasses)
Image Source: Ano Lob/Flickr