All About Pomegranates

  • 01 of 05

    All About Pomegranates

    Whole Pomegranates and Seeds
    Pomegranate With Seeds. Fullerene/Getty Images

    Pomegranates have a short but utterly and completely delightful season. The seeds are sweet, tart, and fun to eat out of hand, plus they're a great addition to salads and other dishes. 

    Pomegranates have come into dietary favor recently for their high antioxidant levels. They are also full of vitamin C and potassium. See more at Pomegranate Nutrition Information.

    Learn more about when to look for pomegranates, how to choose a ripe pomegranate, how to store the pomegranates you buy, and, most...MORE importantly, how to use them!

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  • 02 of 05

    Short but Sweet Pomegranate Season

    Ripe Pomegranate
    Pomegranate on Tree. WIN-Initiative/Getty Images

    Pomegranate trees need plenty of heat to grow and ripen fruit. Most pomegranates grown in the United States come from California and are in season from the end of September through November. Luckily, they store well and are often available through December and even into January some years.

    Live someplace hot? See how to Grow Your Own Pomegranates.

     

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  • 03 of 05

    How to Tell If a Pomegranate Is Ripe

    Basket of Ripe Pomegranates
    Ripe Split Pomegranate. Laurence Mouton/Getty Images

    Look for plump, rounded pomegranates (they dry out as they're stored, and older specimens will have started to shrink a bit) that feel heavy for their size and are free of cuts, slashes, or bruises. While you don't want cuts or soft spots, pomegranates that have naturally occurring splits are fine!

    Pomegranates do not ripen after they're picked, and yet bruise relatively easily when ripe. This means a lot of commercial pomegranates are picked a bit under-ripe. You are much more likely...MORE to find truly ripe, fresh pomegranates at farmers markets, co-ops that get deliveries directly from farmers, and farm stands.

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  • 04 of 05

    The Best Way to Store Pomegranates

    Storing Pomegranates
    Pomegranates in a Bowl. Greg Huszar/Getty Images

    Pomegranates store beautifully. Keep them on a countertop for up to a week or two or wrapped loosely in plastic and refrigerated for a few weeks or more. You can easily dry pomegranates to use as decoration by simply leaving them in a well-aerated, cool, dry spot for a few weeks.

    The seeds (really arils - flesh-covered seeds) can be kept in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week, and frozen up to a year. Note: defrosted arils are a bit mushy so they work in cooked recipes, but...MORE aren't great to eat out-of-hand.

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  • 05 of 05

    How to Eat and Serve Pomegranates

    Pomegranate Bruschetta
    Pomegranate Bruschetta. Photo © Molly Watson

    The edible part of a pomegranate is its arils (flesh-covered seeds). Separating the 800 arils that average in each pomegranate from the peel and internal white membrane is a bit of a task, but not a complicated one:

    Each pomegranate yields about 3/4 cup of arils or 1/2 juice.

    The seeds are delicious all on their own, sprinkled into drinks (festive!), added to salads (so pretty!), or used to make jellies and other treats​: