Pomegranate juice is high in antioxidants, but can be expensive from the grocery store (and is often times made from concentrate or processed with high temperature pasteurization). Making your own is actually really simple! It does take a bit of time to remove the pomegranate seeds, or arils, and it can be a bit messy, but with a few simple tricks the process is fun and doesn't require any special equipment (like a juicer!). For terminology purposes, the "bud end" in these directions refers to the top of a pomegranate that looks like a little crown sticking up from from fruit. Please note that pomegranate juice stains easily, so we recommend wearing an apron or clothes you don't mind being splattered and gloves if you don't want your hands to be stained pink (although, it's a lovely shade of pink...).
Yield: 8 cups of arils = Appx. 1 pint of juice
- Fresh Pomegranates!
- A large bowl
- Pairing knife
- Blender or food processor
- Fine mesh sieve or other strainer
How to seed a Pomegranate
Using a small knife, carefully score four lines on the fruit, running from bud to stem end. Over a large bowl, place the pomegranate in your hands, bud end pointing towards your wrists with fingers on the exposed pith, and squeeze until the fruit brakes open at one of the scored lines. Repeat until you have four pieces. Using your thumb, gently push the seeds at angle to release them from the pith. If your pomegranate is particularly juicy, you may want to do this while the fruit is submerged in a bowl of cold water (this will keep you from being sprayed with juice if a seed pops). Collect the arils in the bowl and remove any large chunks of pith or skin. Drain, if seeding in water.
How to juice the arils
Fill a blender carafe or the work bowl of a food processor with pomegranate arils. Blend on low 30 seconds to 1 minutes or pulse a few times, just until the arils' volume as lessened considerably, the mixture starts to liquify and is freely flowing through out the carafe. You do not want to puree or blend the contents until smooth. Since arils are essentially like a water balloons with a seed in the middle, the outer skin just needs to break to release the juice.
Place a fine mesh sieve or strainer over a large bowl. Line with a single layer of cheesecloth. Pour in the blended arils. Gather the loose ends of the cloth, twist and squeeze to release the juice. Stop when most of the juice has been squeezed out and the contents are in one solid mass of seeds.
Pour the juice into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to a week. The juice can also be frozen, cooked into jams, jelly, or reduced to make molasses!