Pomegranates are a nutritious fruit loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. While you can eat pomegranates fresh by deseeding them, many people prefer to juice them to get all the goodness in a convenient, tasty beverage. But can you use a regular juicer to juice pomegranate seeds?
Challenges of Juicing Pomegranate Seeds
Pomegranate seeds, also known as arils, are surrounded by a tough skin and pulp. This makes it difficult to break them open and extract the juice using a typical juicer. Here are some of the main challenges with juicing pomegranate seeds in a regular juicer:
- Hard outer skin – The skin encapsulating the seeds is durable and challenging to break through with a juicer.
- Risk of clogging – The skins and pulp can get lodged in the juicer’s mesh filter, impeding the flow of juice.
- Low juice yield – A significant amount of the juice remains trapped in the skin and pulp, reducing the final juice output.
- Seedy texture – Some bits of seed can make it into the juice, creating a gritty, pulpy consistency.
Due to these hurdles, most juicers are not well-suited for juicing whole pomegranate seeds. You’ll get the best results by separating the arils from the skin and pulp first before juicing.
How to Juice Pomegranate Seeds
While challenging, it is possible to juice pomegranate seeds in some heavy-duty juicers. Here are some tips for getting the most juice out of pomegranate seeds:
Prep the pomegranates
Start by deseeding the pomegranates. Cut the fruit in half and submerge the halves in a bowl of water. Use your fingers to gently break apart the membranes and extract the red juice-filled seeds. The seeds will sink to the bottom while the membrane pieces float to the top to be discarded.
Choose the right juicer
|Type of Juicer
|Best For Pomegranate Seeds?
|No – the hard seeds cannot be effectively processed
|Yes – these can break down hard foods like seeds
|Triturating twin gear juicers
|Yes – the twin gears are most efficient for hard seeds
Masticating and triturating juicers provide the most juice from pomegranate seeds. Their augers or twin gears are powerful enough to grind the seeds and push the juice through the mesh filter.
Add seeds gradually
Don’t dump all the seeds in the juicer at once. Add them gradually in small batches, giving the juicer time to crush them fully before adding more. This prevents the filter from getting clogged.
Alternate with softer produce
For best results, alternate adding pomegranate seeds with softer fruits and veggies like apples, celery, or cucumber. The juices from the softer produce help to flush out the pomegranate pulp from the auger and filter screen.
Strain the juice
After all the seeds have been processed, pour the juice through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to catch any remaining bits of pulp or skin. This helps create a smoother textured juice.
Follow these tips when juicing pomegranate seeds:
- Wash seeds thoroughly to remove dirt and chemical residues.
- Juice seeds soon after deseeding pomegranates to maximize freshness.
- Mix the seeds with spinach, kale, apples or carrots for a more balanced, nutritious juice.
- Drink the juice right away or store in an airtight container in the fridge up to 3 days.
- Consider leaving some of the white pith on the seeds as it contains beneficial nutrients.
- Save excess seeds in an airtight bag in the freezer up to 6 months.
Health Benefits of Pomegranate Juice
Drinking fresh pomegranate juice made from juicing the seeds offers many valuable health benefits:
Packed with Antioxidants
Pomegranates contain powerful antioxidants like anthocyanins and ellagic acid. These help neutralize free radicals that can damage cells and contribute to chronic diseases.
The antioxidants in pomegranates can help reduce inflammation throughout the body. This offers protection against inflammatory disorders like arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, and neurodegenerative diseases.
Boosts Heart Health
Studies show pomegranate juice helps decrease cholesterol, blood pressure, and plaque in the arteries. It improves blood flow and reduces the risk of atherosclerosis.
May Inhibit Cancer Growth
Lab research indicates that compounds in pomegranate juice like ellagitannins and punicic acid may help slow the growth and spread of prostate, lung, and breast cancers.
Supports Brain Function
The polyphenols in pomegranates are neuroprotective, enhancing memory and improving cognitive performance. They also guard against Alzheimer’s disease.
Protects Against Infection
Pomegranates have natural antiviral and antibacterial properties. The juice enhances levels of infection-fighting white blood cells and antibodies.
|Per 1 Cup (248g) Pomegranate Juice
While it takes a little extra effort, you can make fresh, nutrient-rich pomegranate juice at home using a heavy-duty juicer. For best results, thoroughly prep the seeds, use a masticating juicer, alternate adding seeds with soft produce, and strain the finished juice. Drinking the antioxidant-packed juice offers many potential wellness benefits. Just be sure to consume it promptly to get the most out of the natural vitamins.