Did you get your hands on the best pomegranates ever ? Then you may want to hand onto them, because not every batch is a delicious batch. But how do you store pomegranate seeds for a long period ? Can you freeze them ?
Well, it turns out the freezer is everyone’s best friend when it comes to long term storage. In fact, there’s so many things you can freeze to have when it’s out of season, you might need a whole separate freezer case.
Back on topic though, let’s see if you can freeze pomegranate seeds and if they’re any good once frozen. After all, this will matter a lot if you’re planning on doing anything except a smoothie.
Can pomegranates be frozen ?
Yes, you can freeze pomegranate seeds very easily. The best way to do so is to freeze them individually by placing them on a lined sheet pan, and letting them sit in the freezer for about an hour. This way they won’t clump together and you can take out as many as you want.
Once they’re frozen, transfer them to a freezer-safe container or a Ziploc bag, remove as much air as you can, and store for up to 12 months.
You can freeze the seeds together if you’re in a hurry, but this way you’ll get clumps. The bigger problem is when you thaw them. The one in the middle will be still frozen by the time the outside is done, and this will just take longer.
Are they as good frozen as they are fresh ?
In terms of taste yes, frozen pomegranates are just as tasty thawed as they are fresh. The longer you leave them in the freezer, the more prone they are to freezer burn, which won’t be all that tasty.
And it’s a good idea to make sure your container is airtight. If it’s not, they may get that freezer flavor no one likes.
In terms of texture, thawed pomegranates will be soft, which is irrelevant if you’re making a smoothie or juicing them. But if you’re planning on using them as decoration, they may be a little too soft.
Think of them like little corn kernels. When fresh and raw, they’re firm and ready to burst. When frozen and then thawed, their structure will be a little saggy and they won’t have the same snap.
You can try using thawed pomegranate seeds as decoration though, see how much they could affect the presentation. We don’t think it would be a big deal for most people, but for some it could ruin everything.
Read also: Is Pomegranate A Citrus Fruit ?
Can you freeze whole pomegranates ?
Yes, you can freeze whole pomegranates but we think it’s a bad idea. For the same reason it’s a bad idea to freeze the seeds in clumps. By the time the outer part is done thawing and is ready to eat, the inside is still full of ice.
This means the outside of the fruit is going to stay wet and mushy for several more hours. And then, when it’s finally done, you will need to open the fruit.
It’s no fun when it’s fresh, imagine when it’s thawed. The risk of stains and weird splits that spill seeds everywhere is much higher with a thawed, full pomegranate.
We really recommend you take the time to freeze the seeds separately, it will save you a lot of hassle.
Do you have to wash pomegranate seeds ?
No, they’re already clean. Pomegranates are clean on the inside. If you were to wash the seeds, you’d expose them to water, and produce more moisture in the freezing container and/or freezer.
Why ? Because no matter how well you think you’ve drained the seeds, patted them dry with a paper towel and hopes for the best, there’s always some water somewhere.
This leads to more ice crystals on your seeds, and a generally mushy experience. The only reason you would ever have to wash pomegranate seeds is if you somehow dropped all of them on the floor, or your hands were very dirty and contaminated the seeds.
If you want to be really sure everything’s clean, wash the outer pomegranate and your hands.
Other ways to store pomegranates
Of course, there are several ways to store pomegranates, not just freezing them. It depends on what you’re planning to do with them, but you can store then for short term or for much later. Here’s a few ideas you can try, both for seeds and for whole pomegranates.
In the fridge
If you’ve got some pomegranates and want to keep them safe in the fridge, they can last for up to 2 months. We recommend keeping the fruits in the veggie crisper, though their outer skin should keep them safe in any part of the fridge.
If you’re storing just the seeds, make sure you use an airtight container or very well closed plastic bag. These can last up to a week in the fridge, possibly two weeks but it might be pushing it.
The reason they last longer is because they’re still exposed to air (even if less air), and there is no outer skin to keep them safe from oxidation.
On the counter
You can also keep pomegranates on the counter if you like. This will only work if you’re planning on eating the fruit within a week or so, because it won’t last longer at room temperature.
And if you’ve got leftover seeds and have no idea what to do with them just yet, you can keep the on the counter for up to 24 hours tops. Make sure they’re covered with a paper towel at least, otherwise they’ll dry out really quickly.
Read Also:Pomegranate Substitute
How to open a pomegranate with zero mess
So how do you open a pomegranate ? After all, if you’re looking to freeze the seeds then you need to get to them. There is one way we know of, that involved very little mess but is maybe not the best if you want to freeze the seeds. And then we’ll give you another option, better for freezing but it takes longer.
To start off, you need to cut only skin-deep into the pomegranate flesh a pentagon. That should be on the mustache part of the fruit. Pull it apart and you should see the seed compartments. Then you need to place shallow cuts between those compartments, so you can then pull apart each big piece.
The first option is to open the fruit in a bowl of water. This way the membranes and the albedo keeping the seeds will float to the top, and the seeds will sink.
When you’re done you’ll just have to strain the seeds and remove any stray albedo. The downside is that freezing the seeds after keeping them in water will produce more ice crystals. If you’re not concerned with that, you can freeze them after patting them dry.
And the second option is to carefully pick out the seeds. You can turn the membrane inside out whenever possible to make things easier. If you were to use the more popular method – spank the fruit with a wooden spoon to spit all the seeds out – you’d get seeds everywhere. Some of them would also burst and you’d get pomegranate stains everywhere.
Even if it takes longer, removing them by hand is a better idea if you’re going to freeze the seeds. Put on your favorite show and have at it !