Drinks

Pomegranate juice recipe

Pomegranate juice is made by squeezing the fruit's arils, or seeds, and pressing the juice out.

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How to make pomegranate juice

Treat yourself to good health with homemade pomegranate juice. This is one of the best with many health benefits in a glass! This refreshing & delicious goodness is loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that is great for the overall health. It builds immunity, detoxes the body naturally and provides much needed nutrients. Learn to make pomegranate juice at home, with easy steps to cut and deseed.

Pomegranate was originally cultivated near Iran around 4,000 years ago and quickly expanded throughout the Mediterranean and Central and South Asia. Apart from being valued for its immense medicinal properties, pomegranate has been revered to as a sacred fruit since ancient times and has its reference in many religious scriptures.

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References to it include ancient Hindu, Egyptian and Greek mythology, as well as the Bible and Talmud. It is believed that pomegranate is a symbol of prosperity, luck, fertility, regeneration, life and abundance.

This multi-sided fruit has a smooth, leathery skin that can range from brownish yellow to a striking red; inside are little seeds, each covered in a jewel-like red pulp called an aril. All of the arils are clustered together in tightly packed chambers separated by white or yellow membranes.

This ancient, sweet and tart fruit is the original basis for grenadine, a fruity syrup popular in beloved cocktails and mock tails. It remains popular in Mediterranean, Central Asian, and South Asian cuisines.

Most pomegranates come into season in autumn from September to November (although you can find them in stores as late as January). While you can eat their beautiful arils either on their own or sprinkled over salads, cooked entrées, desserts, or a nice bowl of yogurt, pomegranate arils have one more valuable ingredient to offer: pomegranate juice.

Benefits of homemade pomegranate juice

While pomegranate juice does have some health benefits, such as high levels of antioxidants, there are definitely other advantages to making pomegranate juice at home.

To start, it’s fresher. You can use pomegranates bought in season and at their peak, instead of drinking pomegranate juice made from concentrate.

You also get a purer flavor from homemade pomegranate juice. Many bottled fruit juices have added sweeteners or natural or artificial flavors. Pomegranate juices specifically are often blended with other fruits to create fruit juice cocktails, which generally have a sweeter and mellower taste.

Fresh, plain pomegranate juice is a great ingredient to keep on hand for drinking on its own and for cooking—whether it’s for marinades, salad dressings, smoothies, syrups, or adding a dash of color and sweet-tart flavor to baked goods, homemade pomegranate juice is the way to go.

How to pick a pomegranate

It’s pomegranate season! After heading down to your local supermarket or farmer’s market, how do you know which pomegranates are ripe and perfect for juicing?

Pick a pomegranate that feels heavy. Pomegranates that are heavy for their size have more juice.

Ripe pomegranates should have smooth, glossy skins; make sure there’s no soft, bruised spots. Pomegranate skin colors can vary and don’t really dictate ripeness.

Look for flat, angular sides in a ripe pomegranate (it’s the juicy seeds pressing up against the skin). If a pomegranate is perfectly round that means it’s unripe & the arils are not matured yet.

Once you know what key characteristics to look for, you can pick out pomegranates like a pro!

How to cut and deseed a pomegranate

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Before you begin deseeding a pomegranate, keep in mind that pomegranate juice stains. If you don’t want your kitchen to look like the set of a horror movie, be careful of what you’re wearing and the materials you’re using. Plastic cutting boards might get stained, so wooden cutting boards are recommended. Use vinegar or lemon juice to clean your wooden cutting board if things get messy and pink.

Luckily, this deseeding technique should help keep kitchen mess to a minimum. Once you have the technique under your belt, you can use pomegranate arils for all kinds of good cooking.

1. Wash pomegranates under running water. Cut off the crown, the top portion of the pomegranate.

2. Similarly cut down the bottom part of the fruit. This loosens the rind as it looses the strength on both the parts.

3. Remove the top of the pomegranate by cutting a shallow, angled circle around the crown. Wiggle it loose and discard. Make 4 shallow cuts as you see in the picture.

4. Hold 2 of the parts/segments in each hand and gently pull out to separate them. Without messing up, the fruit gets divided to 4 segments/parts. Pomegranates stain the work tops and even the clothes. A few disposable tissues or a kitchen cloth is helpful.

5. Separate each segment.

6. Deseed to a large bowl, they come off easily.

7. Discard all of the yellow and white membranes.

Deseed to a bowl of water – method 2

You can also place the segments in a bowl of water to help with removing the seeds; when disassembling the pomegranate segments under water, the arils sink to the bottom while the membranes float to the top. If there’s too much membrane, just skim the water and discard it before continuing.

With this method, ensure you use clean dechlorinated water as the chlorine can affect the flavor of your pomegranate juice. Also the arils need to be used right away and is not good to store as they discolor and begin to soften in the refrigerator. I really don’t recommend this method.

Once you’ve gotten all the arils from the pomegranate and cleaned them, you’re ready to make fresh, delicious pomegranate juice.

How to make pomegranate juice (Stepwise photos)

If you prefer cold juice, freeze the seeds for some time and then juice them.

In a blender

1. Making pomegranate juice in a blender is surprisingly easy. Add the arils to the blender.

2. Add a pinch of salt and lemon juice if you prefer.

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3. Pulse briefly – 10 to 15 seconds, depending on the strength of your blender. You want to make sure the seeds are still mostly intact but the juice around the seeds is released. Crushing the seeds will make the juice gritty and requires to be filtered in a fine strainer like the one I used below.

Tip: I prefer to crush the seeds as well since they are said to contain medicinal properties. Also the seeds contain nutritional values especially antioxidants, punicic acid, fiber and vitamin E.

4. Once the arils are crushed, pour the blender’s contents through a very fine mesh strainer into a bowl to separate the seeds and pulp from the juice. It is important to use a fine strainer if you do not want the juice to be gritty.

5. Don’t be afraid to press the pulp against the strainer with the back of a spoon or spatula to squeeze out every bit of fresh juice.

6. Because I crushed the seeds pomegranate juice looks frothy. If you want a clear juice, strain it again through a fine strainer or a thin cheese cloth.

Consume pomegranate juice fresh before it begins to oxidize. Adding ice cubes dilutes the juice and reduces the taste & the nutrition values as well.

Pomegranate juice in slow juicer

I use a large piece of ginger as it helps to prevent colds since cold pressed juice is quite cooling to the body. You can skip ginger in summers. I squeeze a large lemon & add a bit of Himalayan salt too into the pitcher.

Pomegranate juice made in a slow juicer is more clear without grits. Once you’ve got your juice on hand, the possibilities are endless. Drink your pomegranate juice immediately as is, store in the refrigerator for later culinary uses, or dilute with seltzer water to stretch the juice further.

No blender? No problem!

You can place the cleaned arils in a disposable plastic Ziploc bag and smash them with a rolling pin. Strain the juice as you would with the blender technique, and you’ve got fresh pomegranate juice; all it took was a little more elbow grease.

Pro tips

Storing pomegranate juice: If you decide to store your pomegranate juice for later, it can last in the refrigerator for 4 to 5 days but remember that there is a loss of nutrients as the juice beings to oxidize. It’s also easy to freeze and is best used within one year if frozen.

Storing pomegranate arils: Store the pomegranate arils in air tight glass container and refrigerate for up to 4 to 5 days. Store the juice in glass jars or bottles for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator.

Rehydrate the fruit: If your pomegranates have been lying for too long on the counter the skin usually loses moisture and turns dry. It is hard to peel them so simply soak the whole fruit in cold water for 25 to 30 minutes before you cut and deseed.

Combinations

There are several fruits you can use in combination with pomegranates to juice, especially if you are using a slow juicer. The most popular one is the apple pomegranate combo.

Since pomegranate juice is high in iron, combining it with fruits high in vitamin C may help the absorption of iron. So we normally use a lemon or or few oranges or apple while juicing pomegranates in a slow juicer.

For more fruit juice recipes, Mango juiceGinger shotOrange juiceApple juiceGrape juiceWatermelon juice

Recipe card

This post is from the Archives. First published in April 2016. Updated and republished in May 2021.

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