- Author: Cynthia Kintigh
The pomegranate has moved from a fruit once used primarily as a holiday table decoration to a sought after health food. Rich in antioxidants with a tangy flavor and a deep jewel like color, there's a lot to love about the pomegranate. Except, getting to the fruit. Extracting the edible arils is tricky enough; but take the next step of juicing and you'll quickly realize why commercially prepared pomegranate juice carries a dear price tag.
We have two pomegranate trees in our yard, and this year we have a bumper crop of the seedy beauties. Add to that the grocery bag of pomegranates that usually ends up on our porch from a friend and you've got more arils than most people would care to eat. So last weekend I donned an apron and rubber gloves and set to making juice.
Everyone has their preferred method of extracting the seeds or arils. Most common is scoring the fruit then submerging it in a large bowl of water. Once underwater you can break apart the fruit and separate the seeds from the rind and the pithy membrane. The pith will float to the top of water and the seeds will stay at the bottom of the bowl - making them easy to separate.
The next step is to place the arils in a food mill to separate the seeds from the juice.
Another method, which I only recommend if your final aim is juice rather than arils, is to use an old-fashioned citrus reamer. I happen to have an aging but trusty electric counter top model, so this method is great for me. Simply cut the pomegranates in half and place them on the citrus reamer as you would an orange or grapefruit.
The citrus reamer will separate most of the pith and seeds, releasing part, but not all of the juice. If you're feeling really ambitious, you can put the released seeds and pith through the food mill to extract even more of the juice.
Either method requires a final step of straining the juice through a fine metal strainer. Omit this step and you'll have cloudy juice.
A few hours later, spattered and stained head to toe with pomegranate juice, you'll have your prize -- clear, sparkling, healthy pomegranate juice!