Is the Pomegranate Worth the Price? {5 Reasons + 3 Recipes to prove that it is!}

Pomegranate with seeds 718x502

Guest Post by Dena Norton

Pomegranates are everywhere lately – food blogs, Pinterest boards, clothing lines and magazine covers.

Pomegranates have been on the scene for a while now (some say since the Garden of Eden), and it doesn’t look like they’re giving up the spotlight any time soon. They hit peak production worldwide in 2013, but some are projecting new records in the coming year.

Pomegranates are definitely popular, but they’re also pricey! My (usually affordable) grocer charges $5.00 for a 5-ounce package of pre-packed seeds! I love the convenience, but $1.00 an ounce? Yikes!

If you’re turned off by the price (or the mess), keep reading!

Here are 5 reasons I believe the pomegranate is worth the money:

1. Whole pomegranates are much cheaper than pre-packed seeds.

A whole fruit costs around $2.50 where I live, and it yields up to 16 ounces of seeds – that’s an 85 percent discount off of pre-packed seed prices! Pomegranates can be purchased in season (fall/winter) and frozen for additional savings in spring/summer.

2. When done right, extracting the seeds isn’t messy.

Don’t believe me? Here are two simple, mess-free methods of extracting the seeds: the water method and the tapping method. I’ve tried both and like the water method best.

3. They taste amazing!

The gorgeous ruby-red color, the burst of refreshing juice when you bite in, the super sweet taste with just a hint of tart. Amazing.

4. They display the beauty of God’s creation!

All of God’s foods are wonderful, but there’s something extra exciting about those that have such a unique appearance, texture and flavor. The process of “unwrapping” these little gifts from our Maker is a perfect opportunity to appreciate (and talk with our kids about) how creative our God is!

5. They’re healthy!

Did you know that pomegranates:

  • have more Vitamin C than blueberries or cherries?
  • have more ellagic acid (antioxidant) than red wine?
  • help protect against heart disease, prostate cancer and breast cancer?

Now, 3 fantastic ways to use pomegranates:

Cranberry Pomegranate yogurt edited

Cranberry-Pomegranate Yogurt

Stir together:  Plain yogurt, honey, pomegranate seeds and chia seeds (optional); then add a generous swirl of our Very Best Cranberry Sauce. Top with additional pomegranate seeds to serve.

Spinach salad withpine nuts pomegranate and feta edited

Spinach Salad with Pine Nuts, Pomegranate Seeds and Feta

Toss baby spinach in a bowl with pomegranate seeds and other favorite salad ingredients. The combination pictured above includes celery, snap peas, red onion, pine nuts, feta cheese, an ounce of sliced steak and pomegranate seeds – all tossed with our homemade Seasame Lemon Vinaigrette.

Pomegranate Cheesecake Tart

No-Bake Pomegranate Cheesecake Tart

The red and green version of this no-bake tart is perfect for Christmas, but the avocado can be omitted from the cream cheese mixture for a non-holiday treat as well. If using avocado, the filling should be made just before serving to preserve the green color.

For the crust, pulse in a food processor until mixture resembles course crumbs: 1 1/3 cups walnuts and 1/3 cup shredded unsweetened coconut. Add 5 tsp raw honey, 4 tsp liquid coconut oil, and 1/8 tsp salt. Press mixture into 8 mini tart molds (or 12 mini muffin molds).

For the filling, blend in Vitamix until smooth: 4 oz cream cheese, 1 small avocado, 3 Tbsp honey, and 1 tsp lemon zest. Pour mixture into tart crusts and top with pomegranate seeds and a sprig of mint.

Does your family eat pomegranates?

If not, I hope you’ll give them a try after reading this! If so, I’d love to hear your favorite pomegranate recipes or your ideas for making it more affordable or less messy. Leave a comment below to share your ideas!

Dena Norton is a registered dietitian who practiced clinically for six years before coming home in 2009 to start a family with her husband, Rick. They currently have two precious children. Recently, Dena published an e-book – Nutrition By The Book – and started Back To The Book Nutrition, an online business that aims to spread the message of enjoying and worshipping God through nutrition and health. Subscribe to her blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter

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Comments

  1. My family recently got one and tried it shortly before Thanksgiving. We all loved the flavor. However, the seeds were very chewy; too chewy to chew up and swallow really. We kept spitting out the tough part which was sort of gross and messy. Was our pomegranate not ripe enough? Is there a way to soften the inside of the seed? I really don’t know much about them but they are pretty and have a nice taste. We just couldn’t get past the texture.

    • The seeds do typically have a very pithy/slightly hard portion that takes some extra chewing. I occasionally get one that I have to spit out, but am usually able to just swallow them (more fiber!). I’m unsure whether the degree of ripeness might have anything to do with it – maybe others will know and can chime in?

  2. The recipe for the tarts looks amazing!! I have some pomegranetes at home and will be trying this recipe next week! :)

  3. Christy says the worse looking they are, the better the taste. I bought some that looked fairly decent on the outside. When I opened them, a lot of the white part was brown & the a lot of the seeds looked grayish. These were bad right?

    • Yes, it sounds like you may have gotten a bad fruit – Here are some markers of a good (ripe) pomegranate:
      1. Smooth (not leathery) skin
      2. Red coloring, possibly with yellow/gold streaks (but not green ones)
      3. Heavy for it’s size when compared to others
      4. Prongs on the “crown” of the fruit pointing inward (not outward)

  4. I just started using pomegranates last year. I buy them when they’re on sale and have been finding all sorts of fun ways to use them. This is one of my favorites Pomagranate and Ginger Chocolate Bark

    • I’m usually not a fruit-with-my-chocolate person, but recently tried something similar with dark chocolate and pomegranate and loved it too. Thanks for sharing, Kristel!

  5. I have an abundance of pomegranate seeds in my freezer (my MIL has a tree) and can’t figure out what to do with it all. I love the juice but don’t like eating the hard part of the seeds. I’ve been putting them into my home-brewed kombucha during the second fermentation; it tastes pretty good!

  6. My 6 year old son LOVES pomegranates! We get them at our local grocery store in the clearance section – the worse looking they are, the better they taste! So we get them at a huge discount (try 4 or 5 in a bag for under $1) and they’re awesome! I use the tap method, stick some in bowls & hand the kids spoons & we’ll eat 2 at a time – I usually tap a couple extra so I can have the seeds for my muesli in the morning and another snack ;) I’ll have to try freezing some for the rest of the year!

    • My kids love them too, Christy. I agree with you about them being tastier (and easier to de-seed) the more ripe they are. I just wish I could find them for that price! ;)

  7. I’m 33 weeks pregnant and have been CRAVING pomegranates!!! I buy a 6 pack of HUGE ones from Costco for $12.99. Yes, they’re expensive, but they are SO good, and they’re only in season for a short time, so I figure, “why not?”. My family LOVES them. I’ve never tried the water method, but I’m going to have to give that a shot. I just pound them out with a wooden spoon and other than a few drops of juice on my kitchen backsplash, it’s no biggie. And then we can just scoop the luscious seeds straight into our mouths! :) I’ll have to try some of your recipes, if I can get the seeds to last more than a few moments around here!

  8. So sorry about that – Here’s a video for the “water method.” I’ll see about getting the link changed in the post as well. Thanks for catching it! :)

  9. I clicked on both video links and they were the same. I’d really like to see the water method but they were both for the tapping method.

  10. Oh my husband is going to love the salad recipe! Thanks for sharing!

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