It seems as though pomegranate juice has been all the rage for several years, although it may now be surpassed by the marketing of the benefits of the acai berry. I hope these unique fruits aren’t forgotten any time soon because they’re absolutely delicious and so beneficial to health, as they are full antioxidants and excellent for heart health.
They can be a bit messy, though. Believe me, I’ve been known to squirt this beautiful red juice all over myself and my white kitchen counters and cabinets. Good thing it’s a pretty color…
That’s why I wanted to explain it here, just in case you aren’t exactly sure how to squeeze them for juice or to remove the seeds to simply eat as a snack, in desserts or salads. I kinda had to learn the hard way even though I was raised eating the fruit I just don’t recall ever seeing the behind-the-scenes action of opening one up.
You’ll want to pick a fruit that is nicely rounded and free of any bruising or browning on the outside because you want the inside seeds to look nice and bright like the ones in these photos.
Cut each fruit in half with a very sharp knife. A dull knife will result in all of the squirting of the juice that I was referring to earlier…
Use the back of a wooden spoon to tap not-so-gently onto the back of the pomegranate half. Just keep tapping until you start to hear and see the seeds drop out of the fruit.
At this point, you can also squeeze the half to get the juice out since the seeds and juice can easily be separated by a sieve or strainer.
Press firmly so you get every last bit of juice out.
You might get some of the skins, too, but they are easily visible and can just be pulled out. You don’t want to eat those.
Eventually, you should get a nice plate of pomegranate seeds. These are so beautiful and would be great to add to a salad, atop a cheesecake or even with a chicken or turkey recipe.
One of my favorite ways to use the juice is for a party punch with pomegranate juice, sparkling juice, limes and fresh raspberries. That recipe is available on the Ramadan Recipes App for iPhone as well as in my Summer Ramadan Recipes Cookbook.
I was fortunate enough to grow up eating this fruit despite being raised in Ohio (where it is not native) because it’s part of my Sicilian food heritage and a hugely important food of the Mediterranean. Little did I know until learning more about Islam that it’s actually mentioned in the Qur’an , several times, which is another encouraging reason to eat it.
“It is He Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth green stalks, from which We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date-palm and its spathe come forth clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates, each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when they begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof. Verily! In these things there are signs for people who believe.” (Surah Al-An’am, verse 99)