As much as I love eating pomegranates, I avoid buying them because I hate seeding them. I wish it weren't the case, but I'm naturally a very messy person, and prepping pomegranates—an inherently messy task for anyone—is a total disaster for me.
That being said, I know there are several pomegranate seeding hacks online that people swear by, and I figured I might as well give them a try rather than avoiding the fruit entirely. Since they're packed with nutrients like fiber and vitamin C, not to mention totally delicious and in season right now, I'd really prefer to eat them all the time if possible.
So I bit the bullet and finally tried out the tricks I've been avoiding for so long. I tracked down three popular methods from around the web, picked up the most sumptuous poms I could find at the market, fished out an old T-shirt from the bottom of my laundry bin, and braced for the mess. Here's what worked, what kind of worked, and what was basically a hoax.
Method 1: Cut the pomegranate in half and whack it with a wooden spoon.
I kicked off my pomegranate seeding journey with this method because it seemed the easiest. Honestly, it seemed so easy, it sounded too good to be true. And it was! I know the Internet loves a good hack, but everywhere I looked people swore by this trick and it flat out did not work for me.
I cut the pomegranate in half, held it in my hand cut side down over a bowl, and whacked and whacked and whacked for a good minute. This is all that came out.
Despite how few seeds came out, there was juice splattered everywhere. Needless to say, that old T-shirt is a goner! Let this be a friendly reminder that not everything you see on the Internet is true.
Method 2: Score the pomegranate into sections, then whack it.
I figured I'd have better luck with this method. To do it, you start by gently slicing around the top of the pomegranate just deep enough so that you can remove the top of the peel, like this:
After I removed the peel, I sliced it into sections. It looked like this:
I assumed this would be the better method because it loosened the seeds up, unlike the previous method which kept them tightly bound in the rind. When I held it in my hand cut side down over a bowl and whacked it for about a minute, a decent amount came out, but there were still quite a few seeds remaining in the peel. And, again, there was a lot of splatter everywhere. (Thankfully, I was still wearing the T-shirt.) So while it kind of worked, it still wasn't the mind-blowing hack that I was hoping for.
Method 3: Seed the pomegranate by hand in a bowl of warm water.
I really wanted the other methods to be the best, because of how much the Internet seemed to love them, and how much they promised to make my pomegranate seeding life so much easier. But this method—the most old fashioned—turned out to be the only one that got all the seeds out and didn't make any mess.
All you have to do is fill a bowl with warm water, peel the pomegranate, dunk it in and gently remove the seeds. Since it's submerged in water, there's no splatter. And while it may seem like a long process, it actually only took me a minute or two. Plus, the warm water was kind of soothing, unlike the wooden spoon whacking which was kind of putting me on edge. Sure, it may seem like the most boring trick of the bunch, but it's definitely the one that's worth your time.
Use your pomegranate seeds in these recipes.
Parmesan Cauliflower With Chickpeas and Pomegranate
Pomegranate seeds add a bright crunch to this savory salad. Get the recipe here.
Pomegranate Quinoa Yogurt Bowl
This fruity, nutty yogurt bowl makes a great snack or breakfast. Get the recipe here.
Chicken and Pomegranate Quinoa Bowl
Chicken and pomegranate seeds may seem like an unlikely duo, but they taste great together. Get the recipe here.