Updated: Feb 13
Every year when the cooler weather hits, I get a little sad that berry season has come to an end. I just love being able to add sweet juicy pops of goodness to my morning granola or my salads. Of course fall comes with it's own fruit treasures. There's not much that compares to a fresh crisp apple right off the tree. Or the underrated pears that complement cheese platters like no other. And lets not forget the citrus fruits. Oranges, grapefruit and clementine's galore. Love them all. But I always seem to forget about the fact that it's also Pomegranate time! I always get surprised and excited when I come across the big cardboard bins at my local grocers overflowing with them this time of year. These amazing red fruits are filled with pockets of juicy ruby red tear drop shaped seeds called arils. They are my berries of the winter.
Pomegranates add tart flavorful pops of goodness to any plate. Pair it with anything from your morning oatmeal to your favorite hummus dish or even soup! Juice it, combine it, or eat it straight. Pomegranates are high in fiber, vitamins and minerals and are rich in antioxidants. A great healthy addition to your fruit repertoire.
Some people are a bit intimidated by them as the seed extraction seems messy and complicated. However, I am here to tell you that there is a super quick and easy way to open and enjoy these fruits in mere seconds.... well maybe a couple of minutes when you add it all up. But really, it's faster than peeling an orange. All you need is a sharp knife and a wooden spoon (or something you can use to tap the outside with).
Start by making a shallow incision all the way around the middle. You want to cut deep enough to slice through the skin, but not cut through the seeds. Once you have gone all the way around you can use your fingers to gently split the two sides open and reveal the ruby red treasures inside.
This is where the fun happens. Get a bowl and hold one pomegranate half face down in your palm. Take your wooden spoon (or flat tapping tool) and start tapping (or smashing as I like to call it) the outside of the fruit. Start off gently as to try not to splatter any juice around. But you will have to play around and see if you need to adjust your force until the seeds start plopping out. I do find it helps to loosen the sides a bit before the smash session begins. You'll see that once the seeds start falling out, the easier it gets. Continue to tap the outside of the pomegranate until you have loosened all the seeds.
Once you've finished taping all the pomegranate arils out, you may need to pick out a few bits of the white inner flesh that may have also come loose during the tapping but that's it. Easy-peasy. No big mess with very little effort. Now you can get yourself a spoon and munch away! I know I will. Enjoy!
Want some recipe ideas for your Pomegranate obsession? Try my favorite Hummus with Artichoke and Pomegranate.