Can you freeze pomegranate seeds? The answer is yes, you can freeze pomegranate seeds and fresh pomegranate juice effectively. Because entire pomegranates are typically not good for freezing, you will need to break the pom open and separate the seeds (or arils) before freezing them individually.
Pomegranates offer flavor to a variety of summer delicacies such as jellies and puddings, as well as grenadine, the famous cocktail mixer, in addition to morning cereals, salads, risottos, curried rice, desserts, fruit cups, and more.
- All About Pomegranates or ‘Seeded Apples’
- What Should You Look for When Buying A Pomegranate?
- How Long Will A Pomegranate Keep in The Refrigerator?
- How Do You Freeze Pomegranate Seeds?
- Why Does the Texture of Pomegranate Seeds Change If They Are Kept in The Freezer for Too Long?
- Can I Freeze Pomegranates Whole?
- Is It Quick to Thaw the Seeds?
- How Nutritious Are Pomegranate Seeds?
- The Bottom Line
- What is the best way to freeze pomegranate seeds?
- What happens when you freeze pomegranate seeds?
- Does pomegranate freeze well?
- How long can pomegranate seeds last in the freezer?
- What are the benefits of frozen pomegranate seeds?
- Can you freeze and thaw pomegranate seeds?
- When should you not eat pomegranate seeds?
- Why can’t you eat pomegranate seeds?
- What can I do with a lot of pomegranate seeds?
- How much pomegranate should I eat a day?
All About Pomegranates or ‘Seeded Apples’
Pomegranate (Punica granatum) means seeded apple in medieval Latin, and the pomegranate was known as the apple of Grenada in early English. This Grenada apple may still be found on certain coats of arms and flags dating back to medieval times.
The French word for pomegranate is grenade, which inspired not only the military grenade but also the grenadine mixer.
Pomegranates are normally available in the United States from September through the New Year, with the peak season being October to November. Red pomegranates are the most frequent kind accessible in the United States, while white, pink, and other types may be purchased at farmers markets or specialized shops.
Pomegranates grow on a shrub that may reach 33 feet in height and survive for up to 200 years. Pomegranates, which originated in the Middle East and spread to Northern India, were farmed in the Mediterranean area in ancient times. Pomegranates were brought to the New World by Spanish immigrants.
Pomegranates have long been associated with many civilizations and faiths. Pomegranates were regarded a sign of abundance and ambition by the ancient Egyptians, and they were also employed as a cure for tapeworms! The pomegranate was given the moniker “fruit of the dead” by the Ancient Greeks because they believed it sprung from the blood of Adonis (the god of beauty and passion). Pomegranate seeds were also associated with Persephone, the goddess of the underworld, and her abduction by Hades, the god of the underworld, in Greek mythology.
Pomegranates are still used as fertility symbols in Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism, and they signify resurrection and eternal life in Christianity.
Today, California and Arizona provide the majority of our domestically farmed pomegranates. They are still cultivated throughout the Mediterranean, sections of Africa, the Middle East, and parts of Asia.
Although we often refer to pomegranate seeds as seeds, they are technically known as arils. The aril includes a little white seed that some of us may spit up, surrounded by pink flesh, and is linked to the white membrane or pith. Pomegranate peel and pith may be eaten and have been used for therapeutic reasons, but since they taste bitter, you may want to stick with the seeds!
What Should You Look for When Buying A Pomegranate?
A pomegranate has a thick and firm rind or skin that does not scratch readily before it ripens. As the pomegranate seeds mature and contain the most fluid, they begin to push the pomegranate’s outer skin out of shape, making it seem flattened on the sides. At the same time, the rind’s color deepens to a darker crimson or red-brown. When a pomegranate is left to ripen for a longer period of time, the rind begins to fracture.
Pomegranates do not ripen further after harvested, which is why they are plucked ripe. Although they do not continue to ripen after harvesting, their taste will grow throughout storage.
When purchasing pomegranates, seek for ones with shiny, tight rinds that are devoid of larger flaws or cuts. Choose those that seem heavy for their size if you can pick them up, since the heavier they are, the more juice they will contain.
The seeds of the pomegranate should be rich crimson, juicy, and plump when sliced into. Even if the majority of the seeds are OK, a few may be mushy or discolored, so just remove them. If, on the other hand, all of the seeds have gone to mush or are sticky, the pomegranate is beyond its prime and should be discarded. Any signs of decomposition or an unpleasant odor indicate that it should be discarded.
How Long Will A Pomegranate Keep in The Refrigerator?
Whole pomegranates may be stored in a cold, dark, dry, and well-ventilated area for a few weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to two months. If you have de-seeded the pomegranate, the seeds or fresh squeezed juice will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days.
How Do You Freeze Pomegranate Seeds?
Although the seeds (and fresh juice) may be kept in the refrigerator, freezing not only increases the shelf life of pomegranate, but also helps the seeds retain their taste and color.
If you’re new to extracting pomegranate seeds or intend on doing a lot of them, an apron and plastic gloves may help keep the mess to a minimum while also reducing the chance of staining your clothing and skin. It might also assist to use a plastic cutting board instead of a wooden one to minimize discoloration.
There are other methods for extracting the seeds, but this is probably the most frequent, and all you need is a cutting board, a sharp knife, and a bowl.
To begin, cut a tiny slice off the bottom of the pomegranate with the knife so that it can stand up securely on the cutting board. Then, cut a circular slice from the top of the pomegranate (also known as the flower or crown). A paring knife may be more useful here.
After placing the pomegranate on its cut bottom on the cutting board, use your knife to cut around the rind from top to bottom (as if wedging an orange). If you can see or feel ridges in the pomegranate peel, cut along them. You don’t want to destroy the seeds below if you cut too deeply.
After making your rind incisions, place the pomegranate over a bowl and gently pry it apart with your fingertips to reveal the seeds.
You may either scoop the seeds into the bowl or, if you add water to the bowl, work the pomegranate in the water since the seeds sink while the rind and pith float. Skim off the pith and peel, then strain the remaining water and seeds through a strainer. Allow the seeds to dry completely before freezing. Spread them out on a paper towel on the countertop to accomplish this.
The next step is to prepare a cookie sheet with wax paper in preparation for freezing. Spread the seeds out on the sheet after they have dried. Spread them out evenly because if they freeze while touching, they will get frozen together as a clump. Freeze the baking sheet for no more than two hours before transferring the frozen seeds to a Ziplock bag or airtight container. If you use a container, allow plenty of room at the top; otherwise, let as little air in as possible to avoid freezer burn.
Pomegranate seeds will stay in the freezer for 4 to 6 months at best, but you can probably store them for up to 12 months without losing too much taste or texture.
Why Does the Texture of Pomegranate Seeds Change If They Are Kept in The Freezer for Too Long?
If you discover pomegranate seeds from last year (or, dare I say, the year before that) languishing in the back of the freezer, they will most likely still be edible, but they will have lost more texture and maybe some taste owing to chemical changes that occur while freezing.
Pomegranates, like many other fruits and vegetables, are high in water content. In reality, most fruits and vegetables contain 70% to 90% water, which is kept in the fruit’s stiff cell walls along with other molecules. When pomegranate seeds are frozen, the water inside the cell walls expands and ice crystals develop, causing the cell walls to burst. As a consequence, when the seeds thaw, their texture changes.
Along with ice crystal formation damage, freezer burn or moisture loss from the surface of the pomegranate seeds happens. This frequently adds to taste loss when the surface of the seeds dries off. Unfortunately, no matter how thoroughly you wrap your seeds, freezer burn will occur over time, although its development is reduced in well wrapped items. Packaging the pomegranate seeds as described in the previous section and in freezer-safe packaging can help minimize freezer burn.
Because of the changes in fruit caused by freezing and then thawing, you may sometimes be offered a cold dessert with a fresh fruit topping that has not been entirely thawed. The change in texture is not always as noticeable when fruits are not entirely defrosted.
So, if you do wind up freezing pomegranate seeds for an extended period of time, using them just partially thawed, such as for topping a cold dessert, may help mask texture loss.
Can I Freeze Pomegranates Whole?
Whole pomegranates should not be frozen unless the seeds are used for juicing or smoothies. Pomegranates can be frozen whole since they have a lot of air and moisture within them, but when they thaw, the seeds will be quite mushy and, more importantly, it will be difficult to separate the mushy seeds from them.
Is It Quick to Thaw the Seeds?
When you’re ready to use the seeds, just remove them from the freezer and place them on the counter to thaw. Allow 30 minutes to an hour for them to defrost, depending on how many you need. If you need them right away, place the bag or container in a dish of tepid water to speed up the thawing process.
If you’re going to use them in baked goods or smoothies, you don’t need to defrost them beforehand.
When thawed, the seeds may be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week.
If you opt to freeze a full pomegranate, it should always be thawed in the fridge.
How Nutritious Are Pomegranate Seeds?
A half cup of pomegranate seeds has 72 calories and 16.3 grams of carbohydrates, the majority of which are sugars, as well as 3.5 grams of fiber.
Amount per half cup
Pomegranates are also high in micronutrients. Our half cup portion of seeds contains around 48% of our Daily Value (%DV) of vitamin Cand and 58% of our %DV of vitamin Kin. Other minerals included in seeds include folate, thiamin, copper, and potassium in lower levels.
Pomegranates contain fiber in the little white seeds within the pink flesh, therefore if you spit out the seeds while eating them, your fiber intake will be dramatically decreased.
Pomegranates are an excellent source of antioxidants, with almost three times the antioxidant content of green tea or red wine. Polyphenols, which give the apple its red color, are among the antioxidants.
Polyphenols are known to have anti-inflammatory properties and may aid in the relief of symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Pomegranates may offer some therapeutic promise for these ailments since inflammation has a role in many other disorders such as diabetes, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. Although the study is still in its early stages, some first laboratory results look encouraging.
Pomegranate may be able to inhibit prostate cancer cell growth while increasing prostate cancer cell death rates. The males in the trial drank 8 oz of pomegranate juice daily, and their PSA (prostate-specific antigen) levels, a blood marker for prostate cancer, more than quadrupled over 54 months, rather than the customary 15 months. The shorter the time it takes for PSA levels to rise, the greater the chance of dying from prostate cancer. It is worth emphasizing, however, that the guys who participated in this study ate a healthy diet in general.
Along with prostate cancer, pomegranate may be able to decrease or even destroy breast cancer cells. To present, the early study has been conducted in the laboratory; thus, much more examination, including human studies, will be required to determine if pomegranate may play a beneficial function in the diet of patients suffering from breast cancer.
In a 2015 study, pomegranate juice and dates (both high in antioxidants) were shown to protect against the development of atherosclerosis in laboratory grown artery cells and mice. Pomegranate and dates together reduced oxidative stress in the artery wall by one-third and arterial cholesterol level by 28%.
The researchers found that drinking 4 oz of pomegranate juice daily, combined with three dates (with the ground pits), might help both healthy people and those at high risk of cardiovascular disease.
Pomegranate has also been demonstrated to reduce the likelihood of bad or LDL cholesterol formation in healthy males who received pomegranate juice as a dietary supplement, while other studies in this area has not been as promising.
If you use blood thinners such as Coumadin (warfarin), ACE inhibitors, or other drugs, consult your doctor before taking pomegranate. Because it is high in vitamin K, which the body needs for blood clotting, there is a concern that consuming too much pomegranate can interfere with the effects of blood thinners and other medications, lowering their effectiveness.
Because vitamin K is rich in leafy green vegetables, it should not be avoided entirely; rather, it will be a matter of striking a balance, which may include monitoring the diet for a constant intake of vitamin K, or your doctor may change your prescriptions to take into consideration your dietary choices.
The Bottom Line
Yes, as I said in this piece, pomegranate seeds may be frozen, and if you want to keep them around for longer than their brief season, freezing is the best method to preserve their color and taste.
It takes some effort to properly freeze them, but the benefit is that when you want to nibble on them or make a Shirley Temple, you just take them out of the freezer and defrost them until they are ready to use!
Frozen pomegranate seeds may be used in the same ways as fresh pomegranate seeds, such as juicing, baking, and topping salads and desserts.
I hope you’ve enjoyed learning about these highly symbolic fruits, which have been treasured by many people since ancient times, and that if you’ve yet to attempt freezing pomegranate seeds, the information I’ve given will help you.
What is the best way to freeze pomegranate seeds?
You may freeze pomegranate seeds if they are about to go bad or if you just want to prolong their shelf life. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Freeze the arils in a single layer, then transfer to an airtight container or freezer bag and keep in the freezer for many months.
What happens when you freeze pomegranate seeds?
When pomegranate seeds are frozen, very little changes. The arils soften somewhat, but the taste remains the same or even increases. They’re worth freezing, and I’ll show you how!
Does pomegranate freeze well?
Pomegranates may be frozen.
Pomegranates can be frozen whole, but since they take up a lot of freezer space if frozen whole, I suggest seeding them before freezing.
How long can pomegranate seeds last in the freezer?
However, after the pomegranate seeds are removed from the fruit, they may be stored in the refrigerator for five to seven days. Pomegranate seeds may be frozen for up to a year for long-term preservation.
What are the benefits of frozen pomegranate seeds?
According to a research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, the antioxidants in pomegranates lower the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol. Fresh frozen organic pomegranate arils are high in flavonols, which work as an anti-inflammatory in the body and help alleviate arthritis symptoms.
Can you freeze and thaw pomegranate seeds?
Pomegranate seeds may be frozen!
Pomegranate seeds freeze nicely and are simple to defrost and include into recipes.
When should you not eat pomegranate seeds?
Pomegranate seeds may be eaten. They include beneficial minerals and antioxidants, as well as anti-inflammatory qualities. However, if you have persistent constipation, eating a lot may result in an intestinal obstruction.
Why can’t you eat pomegranate seeds?
Pomegranate seeds are edible. Pomegranate seeds are safe to consume and include a variety of vitamins and minerals. People generally consume the arils, or seeds, of the pomegranate fruit. Although the white meat around these seeds is theoretically edible, it is unpleasant and is often avoided.
What can I do with a lot of pomegranate seeds?
STIR INTO GRAINS — To add color and flavor to cooked rice, quinoa, farro, or other grains, stir in pomegranate seeds. ADD TO FRUIT SALAD – Pomegranate seeds complement other autumn fruits, especially persimmons and pears. Dessert is complete with a sprinkling of honey.
How much pomegranate should I eat a day?
Pomegranate has no established suggested dosage. It is okay to eat the fruit and drink the juice as part of a balanced diet. The following dosages have been used for various conditions: Atherosclerosis: 50 mL juice daily.