One of the first cultivated fruits, the pomegranate offers a unique, sweet-sour taste that is ideal for nibbling on alone or incorporating into cooling drinks, vegetable salads, tart stews, soups and desserts.
The pomegranate boasts high levels of antioxidants in the form of polyphenols, tannins and anthocyanins, all designed to help you stay healthy and strong by fighting those free radicals that can cause certain diseases – and premature aging.
But, getting to the heart of the pomegranate and those tiny seeds (called arils), which are the key to those antioxidants, can be a bit frustrating. The arils, which are surrounded by a shiny, tough, white membrane, can be hard to remove — and often quite messy, Working ones way though the ruby juice and seeds can be an act of devotion – an act that might cause one to throw up their hands and give up. But don’t give up on the delicious taste, versatility, and healthfulness of the pomegranate just because you think it is too much work.
It is often suggested to submerge a halved pomegranate in water in order to more easily remove the arils, and more importantly, prevent splatter of the ruby red juices. But, I find this still a bit messy and also a bit cumbersome.
The new Pomegranate Tool is a quick, clean and easy way to remove those sometimes stubborn arils.
Here’s how it works: To start off, roll the pomegranate on the work surface to loosen and soften the fruit. Then remove the crown and cut the fruit in half. Place the halved pomegranate face down in the grid, and cover it with the flexible dome, holding the dome tightly against the bowl.
To remove the seeds, strike the dome firmly, using a heavy spoon. (The arils will be deposited into the bowl beneath.) If any of the membrane breaks free, it can be easily picked out from the bowl of arils.
If desired, rinse the seeds first, and then enjoy.
The three-piece set, which includes the dome, grid and bowl, is easy to clean by hand or in the dishwasher.
Pomegranates are typically available in the fall and early winter. For maximum flavor, look for fruits that are rich in color and are heavy, as they will hold more juice. If, when pressed, powdery cloud puffs emerge from the crown, the fruit is most likely dry. You probably will eat them immediately, but if you must store them, keep them whole in the refrigerator for up to three months. The seeds, when stored in an airtight container in the freezer, can also be kept for three months. Find a Pomegranate Tool to take home, here.
Versatile and Tasty These little gems are great on their own as a snack, tasty when added to yogurt or granola, and a sweet addition on top of ice cream or salads. They add texture, color and a burst of flavor to just about anything you add them to.
Here are a few suggestions on how to enjoy pomegranates:
- Add some pomegranate juice to maple syrup
- Add the arils to squash risotto
- Reduce balsamic vinegar, spike it with a few tablespoons of pomegranate juice and then drizzle over salmon
- Create a sweet salsa with jalapeno, yellow pepper, rice vinegar and the pomegranate arils
- Design a few ‘adult’ beverages including a Pomegranate Caipirinha or Pomegranate Cosmo
- Incorporate the arils and juice into a delicious Pomegranate Yogurt Dip
- Add a bit of acidity to a meat or fowl sauce
Once you’ve started eating them, it’s hard to get out of the pomegranate habit. And, the Pomegranate Tool is a handy way to help you enjoy all the flavor and goodness without the struggle.