Sunday, January 16, 2011

No Mess Way to Eat a Pomegranate

Although Pomegranates have been written about since the book of Exodus, they did not cross my radar screen until I read about it in elementary school by way of Persephone in Greek Mythology. A fruit where the point was to open it and eat the seeds? This went against all convention.
Why did I not know about this fruit?
Photo Source: Food Matters
My mom put it off as long as she could but I would not relent until we went out and bought one. These were not the days of the easy to clean granite countertops but instead butcher block oak or tile with grout lines and my mom was cringing about the whole mess. The counter top, the clothes, a disaster but I thought these things were so cool! My mom? Not so much.

Since then the coolness wore off as the mess became my problem and my counter tops were either the vary stainable formica or now also wood.  I would limit myself to buying the seed kernels or juice already packaged. Since learning about raw, I know I have been missing out on both flavor and nutrients with the pre-packaged goods and that's the whole point, right?

So if the word pomegranate conjures up images like this in your mind:
( don't worry: this is not MY technique) photo source
Think again! 
Because I have learned the mess free trick to pomegranates!

Now if  you are wondering what all the fuss is about, let me just say pomegranates are classified as a super fruit meaning their health benefits range from lowering your incidence of high blood pressure and cancer to being a natural viagra.  I am being brief here because there are oodles of pages on the net like this one with tons of information.

My goal is to show you how easy it can be to open them yourself.

One of the first tricks I tried for getting the seeds out "without a mess" involved cutting open a pomegranate and smacking it over a bowl with the back of a spoon. 
Let me just say......  

photo source                                           
Have you ever watched CSI as they investigate blood spatter?  Because that's exactly what you and your clothes and kitchen will look like. Talk about mess!  Trust me. Skip this one!

Here is My No Mess Approach To Eating Pomegranates:

First find a nice heavy pomegranate that's not too soft. 
(To be honest I let this one sit too long so it wasn't the best.)
Notice that I placed it directly on the counter. 
I'm that confident that there will be no mess!

With the crown facing up, take a knife and score around the top.
 You are not cutting through just scoring or "scalping" if you will.

  As you cut lift up a little and then peel off top. No cut seeds, no mess.

In the center is the core of the crown, remove that with the knife.

Now you can see the outline of the seed chambers. 
You are going to score the outside where the rind part is in between the seed chambers.

Now get yourself a bowl of water big enough to put the pomegranate in and work with your hands 
with the water deep enough to cover the pomegranate.
( This is important or you will stain your clothes.)

Once in the bowl, pull apart along those scored lines. It will just break. 
Work the seeds gently out removing the membranes as you go.
The membrane pieces will float and the seeds will sink.

Skim off the membrane pieces and then strain out the seeds.
Pick through to get any mushy ones out and any remaining pieces of membrane.

There you have it! Pomegranate Seeds.  
And not a drop of stain on my counter!
BTW: One pomegranate yields about 1 1/2 cups of seeds.

This may seem like a fuss but it really isn't. It goes much faster once you know what to do.

To Make Juice:

Several Options here:

1.  Take the seeds and pulse in blender and then strain through sieve or cheese cloth to get the juice.

2.  Using a whole Pomegranate, cut around the middle and juice using a citrus press, just like an orange. Best to not use an electric juicer.  

Commercial Style Citrus Press
Jupiter Large Commercial Juice Press, Black

 3.  A  good old fashioned citrus reamer, again with a whole pomegranate cut in half.

You may still need to strain the juice with these press methods.

Next up:

My new favorite Pom juice blend and a Fabulous Pomegranate, Blood Orange and Fennel salad.

Now hurry and go get some pomegranates,
the season is almost over!


Berry Blue Toes said...

THANK YOU for posting this - I love pomegranates but, hate, hate, hate, the mess they make in my kitchen. No more!!

Jodi ~Getting Raw said...

Glad I could help! It's kind of liberating isn't it?

Wendy Campbell said...

THANK YOU!!!!!!!!

Jodi~GettingRaw said...

You are welcome, Wendy! Now enjoy that pomegranate!! ;-)

Lisa is Raw on $10 a Day (or less!) said...

I discovered pomegranates when I was a kid and loved them, especially the color ... my efforts at getting at the seeds were always pretty messy! Love this idea! Thanks!

Jodi~GettingRaw said...

They have a certain allure don't they? Thanks for stopping by Lisa!

Treesa said...

I smiled my way through this post because the technique you share is the way I was taught to open pomegranates growing up. But the technique you suggest to avoid is a technique I learned a year or so ago that I LOVE and find way easier. lol. :)

aryan said...

Just cut it once with ur knife, sections peel out easy , the seeds are sweet, take ur time.


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