Pomegranate seeds, known as arils, contain powerful antioxidants and are delicious to eat raw or juice. While juicing pomegranate seeds can be a bit tedious, it’s worth the effort for the nutritious and flavorful juice you’ll get as a reward. Here are step-by-step instructions on the best way to juice pomegranate seeds using an at-home juicer.
Selecting and Preparing Pomegranates
The first step in juicing pomegranate seeds is choosing fresh pomegranates that are ripe and ready for juicing. When selecting pomegranates at the store, look for fruits that:
- Feel heavy for their size, which indicates they will have a high aril count
- Have taut, leathery skin that is bright red in color
- Make a metallic sound when tapped, signaling the arils are full and packed inside
Avoid pomegranates with soft spots, cracks, or browning on the skin, as these are signs the fruit is overripe. Once you have your pomegranates home, you’ll need to prep them before juicing by following these steps:
- Cut off the crown with a paring knife.
- Score the pomegranate along its equator about 1/2 inch deep in several places.
- Submerge the scored pomegranate in a large bowl of cool water.
- Gently break the pomegranate open under the water to free the arils and allow them to sink to the bottom.
- Discard the white pith left floating in the bowl.
Preparing the pomegranates in water helps prevent spurts of juice from staining surfaces and makes it easy to separate the arils from the white pith.
Extracting the Pomegranate Seeds
Once your pomegranates are prepped, it’s time to extract the juicy red arils. Here is the best technique:
- Drain the water from the bowl of prepared pomegranate arils.
- Pick out and discard any bits of pith remaining in the bowl.
- Spread the arils out in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with paper towels.
- Gently roll over the arils with a rolling pin to help release the seeds from their membranes.
- Transfer extracted seeds to a separate bowl, leaving membrane pieces behind.
Extracting the tiny juice-filled seeds from their membranes before juicing helps maximize the amount of flavorful juice you’ll get. Expect the volume of extracted seeds to be about half the volume of the total arils.
Juicing the Pomegranate Seeds
Once you have a bowl of extracted pomegranate seeds, you’re ready to juice them. Follow these steps for best results:
- Pour the pomegranate seeds into your juicer’s feed tube.
- Juice the seeds using a slow juicing speed.
- Pause juicing occasionally to stir up the seeds in the feed tube.
- Continue juicing until you don’t see any more juice coming out.
- Pour the fresh juice into a glass and enjoy immediately.
A slow juicing speed is best to fully crush the tiny seeds without overheating the juice. Expect approximately 1 cup of juice for every 1 pound of seeds. The juice will be a beautiful crimson red color and deliciously tart and sweet.
Juicer Types for Pomegranate Seeds
You can use any of the following juicer types to make fresh pomegranate seed juice:
- Centrifugal juicers: The spinning blade breaks open the seeds, then spins the juice away from the pulp into a separate container.
- Masticating juicers: Use an auger to crush the seeds, then squeeze out the juice through a screen while ejecting the dry pulp.
- Citrus press juicers: Pomegranate seeds can be juiced in a manual citrus press with some added effort.
A masticating juicer may produce a slightly higher juice yield, but any quality juicer will work well for pomegranate seeds. The most important factor is using a slow juicing speed.
Tips for Juicing Pomegranate Seeds
Follow these handy tips for getting the maximum amount of flavorful, antioxidant-rich juice from pomegranate seeds:
- Roll or crush seeds before juicing to release more juice.
- Alternate adding seeds with water to prevent clogging.
- Stir seeds occasionally to redistribute pulp in the feed tube.
- Rinse juicer parts immediately after use to remove stains.
- Drink the juice right after juicing for best flavor and nutrition.
Storing and Using Pomegranate Juice
Here are some of the best ways to use your fresh pomegranate seed juice:
- Drink straight as a tart and tangy beverage
- Mix with lemonade, sparkling water, or vodka for cocktails
- Blend into smoothies for a nutrition and flavor boost
- Drizzle over fruit salads or desserts like panna cotta
- Sweeten with honey or maple syrup and use in a vinaigrette
- Reduce on the stovetop to concentrate the flavor for a glaze or sauce
For best quality and flavor, drink the juice soon after juicing. If storing, transfer to an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Freeze for longer storage up to 3 months.
Nutrition Benefits of Pomegranate Juice
Drinking fresh pomegranate juice offers many nutritional perks. Here are some of the top benefits pomegranate juice provides:
- Antioxidants: Pomegranate juice contains powerful antioxidants like anthocyanins and tannins that help fight free radical damage.
- Vitamin C: A cup provides about 40% of your daily vitamin C needs to support immune function.
- Potassium: The juice is high in potassium, an essential electrolyte for heart, nerve and muscle function.
- Anti-inflammatory: Compounds in pomegranate juice have anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce risk of chronic diseases.
Research also suggests regular pomegranate juice consumption may help lower blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels, and benefit prostate health.
Potential Downsides of Pomegranate Juice
Pomegranate juice is very healthy overall, but there are a couple potential downsides to consider:
- High in sugar: While the sugar in pomegranate juice is natural, it’s still fairly high at about 13 grams per cup.
- Risk of staining: Pomegranate juice can easily stain clothes, countertops and juicer parts.
The juice is also rather acidic, so drinking large amounts may provoke reflux in those with sensitivity. Overall though, the antioxidant-rich juice provides valuable nutrition that outweighs these minor downsides for most people.
Juicing fresh pomegranate seeds maximizes their powerful nutrition and delicious tangy-sweet flavor. While juicing the tiny seeds takes some time and effort, the nutritious juice you get as a reward is well worth it. For best results, carefully prep the pomegranates, fully extract the arils, use a slow juicer speed, and drink the juice promptly after juicing. Add some pomegranate juice to your routine and enjoy all the health and flavor benefits it provides.