The Trick For Removing Pomegranate Seeds Without A Mess

When you think of the pomegranate, you probably imagine a thick, red-skinned fruit stuffed full of glossy, sweet, and acidic seeds. The pomegranate is brought up historically in the Greek myth of Persephone and Hades, Indian folk tales, and even the Quran and Hebrew Bible. And though it looks and feels ancient, it is still used today to make juice and molasses or decorate the tops of cakes. Having originated in Iran and parts of northern India, the fruit is considered sacred and a sign of luck, notes the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH).

According to National Public Radio, the general market is most familiar with the crimson Wonderful pomegranate variety (a perfect name for a truly wonderful fruit), yet there are several lesser-known varieties such as Parfianka, Golden Globes, and Eversweet which all come in different colors.

Despite their history and flavor diversity, many people actively choose not to buy or eat pomegranates because their seeds are so difficult to remove. But there is more than one way to reach those gem-like kernels. Try out these three methods to see which one works the best for you.

The 3 best ways to remove seeds

The Pomegranate Council lists three different seed removal methods.

The traditional method is to first cut the flowering top off until some of the seeds are visible, then slice the skin (but do not cut deeper) into quarters vertically from top to bottom. Using your hands, separate the quartered sections (via YouTube). The pomegranate should easily split into four pieces, exposing the seeds. But be careful! They could go flying, and you may still have to remove the remaining pith before indulging.

The fanning method is a more labor-intensive approach. You should slice the pomegranate in half vertically, then cut the open side with four equally spaced slices, each about one inch long and one inch deep. Take the pomegranate half and hold it over a bowl — seed side down — and pull the pomegranate open but not apart, before hitting the back of the pomegranate until the seeds fall out (a spoon would work well for this). 

Then there's the no-mess method. If you worry about pomegranate stains, this is going to be the best method for you. Before touching the pomegranate, prepare a bowl of water. Remove the crown and cut the fruit into four sections, then put them into the prepared water. Using your fingers, lightly remove the arils, getting rid of everything else. Strain out the water and then enjoy the arils. This method will keep staining to a minimum and allow the seeds to come away easier!