Shake Your Pom Poms

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It’s pomegranate season!


Pomegranates are one of my favorite fruits, but they sure are a pain to cut and prepare.  Almost as bad as cantaloupes!  The biggest issue with the lovely pom is the mess created by remove the arils.  But out of all the pomegranate cutting techniques that I’ve tried, this is definitely the best.  In fact, I was so confident that I wouldn’t get sprayed, I even wore a white shirt when photographing this tutorial!


Step 1:  Gather your supplies – the pomegranate, a sharp knife, and a bowl filled with enough water that you can fully submerge the fruit.  Baby monitor not required.



Step 2:  Remove the crown.  Then make slices along the white webbing.  You don’t have the cut all the way through – just through the thick skin.



Step 3:  Place the fruit in water.  This will keep the juice from spraying everywhere as you remove the arils.  Break the sections apart.


Step 4:  Use your fingers to gently loosen the arils.  The white stuff will float to the top and the arils wills ink to the bottom.




Step 5:  Skim away the white gunk and dump the water and arils into a colander.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.


Step 6:  Try not to eat all the arils at once!  So far, I am failing at this.  Winking smile 


Arils vreally taste great on almost anything – even potatoes – but I especially like to put them in oatmeal or with yogurt and granola.


What’s your most-hated fruit or vegetable to cut and prepare?  Poms are so complicated and time-consuming, but seasonally special and thus worth it.  As mentioned, I think cantaloupes are a pain but I also really dread butternut squash – so hard to slice!



  • Victoria (District Chocoholic) November 6, 2012, 3:31 pm

    Try microwaving a butternut squash for 90-120 seconds before cutting it. It helps.

  • Cara @ I Don't Believe in Diets November 6, 2012, 3:31 pm

    is it bad that I get so annoyed with cutting them that I just buy them pre seeded from costco? my budget hates me sometimes.

  • Natalie @ Free Range Human November 6, 2012, 3:32 pm

    I love poms, but they are definitely a pain. I’ll have to try this technique. Other than those, I’d have to say butternut squash. They are so hard to cut through and I hate having to scoop out the guts!

  • AlisonJ November 6, 2012, 3:35 pm

    Mango – by the time I finish cutting it, I have like 1/4 cup of mushy, chopped mango. That’s one fruit I am willing to buy pre-cut!

    • Melissa November 6, 2012, 3:47 pm

      So true!

  • Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) November 6, 2012, 3:37 pm

    I still make a huge mess when opening them under water and have a hard time getting rid of all of the white stuff. I think this year I’m going to break down and buy the convenience tubs so I don’t have to bother! =)

  • Nicole November 6, 2012, 3:40 pm

    I am soooo glad you posted this! I love everything pom and bought a few this weekend to try and seed myself instead of paying a ton for them pre-seeded…it was a complete fail. I ended up with red juice all over my white shirt…awesome.

  • stephanie*s November 6, 2012, 3:42 pm

    Spaghetti Squash. I cant even come close. I make my husband do it, and he even struggles. Its sad because I love spaghetti squash 🙁

    • Sunny November 6, 2012, 4:48 pm

      Cook it first and then cut it.

      I stab it several times, put it in the microwave for 6 minutes, let sit in there about 5 minutes, flip over and repeat. Then (using hot mitts), remove from microwave, cut open (it should be really easy), scoop out the guts, and pull away the spaghetti part. If it’s not totally cooked through, I just put the halves back in the micro for some more minutes until they are cooked.

  • Jessie @ Graze With Me November 6, 2012, 3:43 pm

    I just opened a pomegranate today. My 14 month old had fun eating it with me for breakfast.
    Oh, just a heads up, they’re called arils – not arials. Mommy brain?

  • Stephanie November 6, 2012, 3:44 pm

    Just so you know, I believe the seeds are called “arils” not “aerials.”

  • Dana November 6, 2012, 3:46 pm

    While a pomegranate aerial would be really cool (a fruit doing a dance in the air – awesome!), I think you’re eating pomegranate arils. 🙂

  • Alison November 6, 2012, 3:48 pm

    They sure are good! But the seeds are “arils”, not “aerials” 🙂 just FYI! (Former spelling bee champ)

  • Laura November 6, 2012, 3:52 pm

    I hate peeling butternut squash!

  • Lindsay November 6, 2012, 3:55 pm

    Squash and beets!! Hate cutting squash – always afraid I will lose a finger. And I HATE peeling beets. Even after roasting and cooling, I always struggle with this…

  • Rachael November 6, 2012, 3:56 pm

    FYI, pomegranate seeds are called ‘arils’ not ‘aerials’

  • Dee November 6, 2012, 3:58 pm

    Fresh brussel sprouts are the worst to prepare!!

  • Erin November 6, 2012, 4:00 pm

    Mine is mango also. I end up with a tiny amount of fruit when I am done. Also, butternut squash. Not only is it hard to cut, but why do I end up feeling like I have superglue on my fingers afterwards? Its like the skin produces some kind of weird sap. Or maybe I am just crazy?

  • Beks November 6, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Beets. Love to eat them, but I hate preparing them. And Pineapple! Wretched! But oh-so tasty.

  • Ali November 6, 2012, 4:01 pm

    Love your blog and I hate to be this person, but it’s “arils”, not “aerials” (which I believe are a kind of cartwheel?). Love them on oatmeal with molasses. Mm.

  • Johanna B November 6, 2012, 4:02 pm

    No contest winter squash.

  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed November 6, 2012, 4:05 pm

    I love making jalapeno poppers, but I HATE cutting and cleaning the peppers, such a pain!

  • Mandy November 6, 2012, 4:09 pm

    Pumpkin, like butternut squash is very difficult to to cut, so I buy the canned variety. Also turnips! I buy those already prepared from the hot-bar at our local co-op. I used to hate cutting grapefruit because I cut away the fruit from the hard to chew pieces inside, but have gotten good at it now!

  • Alett November 6, 2012, 4:12 pm


    Butternut squash

    spaghetti squash

  • Carrie @ The Cook's Palette November 6, 2012, 4:27 pm

    I can’t seem to cut jalapenos without somehow touching my face and ending up with awful burning and pain. Even after washing my hands! I make the husband do it now. Perhaps I need to invest in some gloves for the task.

  • Carrie @ Fitness and Frozen Grapes November 6, 2012, 4:38 pm

    Thanks for the tutorial, Caitlin. During my past few trips to the grocery store, I thought about buying a pomegranate, but I had no idea how to cut it. Now I know! 🙂

  • Ashley @ My Food 'N' Fitness Diaries November 6, 2012, 4:47 pm

    Great tips! I hate cutting butternut squash too… Or most squash for that matter! Good thing it’s worth it!

  • Kelly @foodiefresh November 6, 2012, 4:53 pm

    Cool! I didn’t know the water trick, but I’ll definitely be using it from here on out. I hate shelling beans. 🙁 I’d rather pay someone to do it for me.

  • Katie D. November 6, 2012, 4:54 pm

    I have 2 poms on my counter and I’m trying to gear myself up to cut them!

    I hate messing around with mango – ugh! Or watermelon. It isn’t hard but I get sticky juice on everything, all over the counters, dripping onto the cabinet doors and on the floor.

  • Maura November 6, 2012, 5:02 pm

    I’ve been thinking about poms all day thanks to the amazing dinner I had last night : grilled bass with black rice, curried cauliflower and persimmon-pomegranate salsa. Amazeballs!

  • Emilie @ Hungry Delights November 6, 2012, 5:06 pm

    It is actually really easy to get seeds out if you just cut the pom in half turn it down on your chopping board and wack the back with a spoon. They just fall out.

  • Nicole November 6, 2012, 5:15 pm

    This is totally unrelated to your post, but I thought you might enjoy this article if you haven’t already seen it:

  • Marney November 6, 2012, 5:15 pm

    Every time I try eating poms I hate the little seeds inside the red part… how do you deal with that?

  • Cynthia November 6, 2012, 5:35 pm

    I hate using water to seed poms! I googled it and saw that Martha Stewart and others have a way where you don’t have to use water and you can let out some anger by beating the seeds out! Haven’t tried it yet, but as soon as I see a pom in my grocery store it and several of its friends will be at my home being beat by a wooden spoon!

    • Anne Weber-Falk November 6, 2012, 7:23 pm

      This really does work! So easy too.

      • Helena November 6, 2012, 11:44 pm

        Totally works! I got that from Nigella! 🙂 Just cut it in half and whack the back with a wooden spoon. Easy and cathartic, lol.

  • Caroline November 6, 2012, 6:04 pm

    I LOVE pomegranates and so wish they were easier to deseed. For Christmas last year I got a little tool that makes deseeding really easy! I posted about it here:

  • Nikki November 6, 2012, 6:33 pm

    Did you forget that you already wrote this post last year? 😀 Almost exactly a year ago! I remember because I used your tutorial before.

    • Caitlin November 6, 2012, 9:43 pm

      I always have new readers and it’s one of my favorite kitchen tricks 🙂 thanks for reading for so long.

      • Nikki November 6, 2012, 10:00 pm

        Well I always come back and check the tutorial because I lose my confidence and check back to make sure I’m doing it correctly! That’s the only reason I noticed haha I have read for years:)

  • Stephanie C November 6, 2012, 6:45 pm

    I LOVE butternut squash. For soups, to put in pasta (with kale.. mm). However we have a bad history. While trying to peel, I was getting frustrated and not as attentive. I sliced my finger with a serrated peeler. It took up until a few months ago for me to have feeling in my finger tip… and I did it last fall. I realized later mayybbee i should’ve gotten stitches.

  • Anne Weber-Falk November 6, 2012, 7:23 pm

    I dread cutting up mangos. I have tried cutting them the way the “experts” tell me to but it is so slippery and I come so close to cutting myself. I keep trying though because YUM! I like them so much.

  • BroccoliHut November 6, 2012, 7:49 pm

    Yay for pomegranate season! I remember when I first fell in love with them in college–my dorm room kitchen was a complete mess, but those arils were sure tasty.
    I really hate preparing anything with lots of layers, like fresh artichokes, leeks, or fennel. Grit loves to hide in there!

  • Christine @ BookishlyB November 6, 2012, 8:00 pm

    Thanks for this! A student just brought me one and it’s sitting on my counter because I’m not quite sure what to do with it. And now I know.

  • Kelli November 6, 2012, 8:14 pm

    love love love pom season! my kitchen usually looks like i murdered someone though. cant wait to try this technique!

  • Sarah Anne November 6, 2012, 8:21 pm

    I’m pretty sure that I might be the only person that does NOT like pomegranates. I used to suck the juice off the arils when I was a kid and spit the seeds. I just don’t understand the appeal to eating the seeds like that. Yuck. I don’t even relly love the juice but I do drink it occasionally. Just can’t get on that wagon. I actively avoid salads and the like with the arils.

    I hate cutting/peeling any type of hard winter squash. Mangoes (like others mentioned) are easy for me, but maybe its a cost/benefit thing for me. I have never met a mango (or avocado) that I didn’t want to marry. Hah.

    Y..but i HATE Peeling oranges. I rarely eat them because I’m too damned lazy and hate getting my fingers messy with the pith/oils. Shucking corn ranks up there too! Also? Washing greens. Lol

    • Clizia November 7, 2012, 7:59 am

      Sarah Anne, you are not alone! I can’t stand pomegranate 😀

  • LindaS November 6, 2012, 8:51 pm

    Pomegranate looks really good. The one veggie I hate is the rutabaga turnip. Trying to peel that is a real pain.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More November 6, 2012, 8:55 pm

    I think the only time I’ve had pomegranates is in yogurt; I’ve never tried to prepare them myself.

  • Kristy November 6, 2012, 9:49 pm

    I didn’t know how bitter pomegranates could be until I threw it in my juicer. What a waste. It was terrible. I really want to try this method. Thanks!

  • Maria November 6, 2012, 9:59 pm

    Mangoes for sure. I got a mango cutter, but even then, it’s a pain to get it all off the rind and the skin!

  • Katie November 6, 2012, 10:12 pm

    I love pom’s but I have never bought one myself.

    I am with you on the butternut squash! Also hate cutting watermelon.

  • Melissa November 7, 2012, 12:41 am

    Oh, I think pomegranates are way worse than canteloupes! That was me and my daughter on Sunday, hands in water, plucking away at our little pom. My kids absolutely LOVE them (and I like them, too), so I suck it up and deal with them. 🙂

  • hilary November 7, 2012, 7:38 am

    poms are absolutely the most difficult, but i love them oh so much!! i love this post because maybe now it won’t be so difficult now that I know how to do it. I love the dish of water idea. never thought of that!!! have a fabulous day!

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin November 7, 2012, 8:00 am

    I hate peeling/cutting squash! It takes forever, and I almost always end up slicing a finger or bruising my hand. 😛

  • lisa November 7, 2012, 9:24 am

    I dont get these! do u eat the seed? isnt that a pain to spit it out with each bite?

    • Caitlin November 7, 2012, 11:58 am

      yes you eat the seed!

  • Rachel November 7, 2012, 11:49 am

    Great tutorial! I never buy pomegranates because they are such a pain to eat but this technique should help a lot!
    Next to pomegranates, grapefruit is another fruit I hate to prepare. I love them but cutting them annoys me.

  • char eats greens November 7, 2012, 12:31 pm

    Just putting this out there, but I’m a pomegranate FREAK! Like, my husband and I are obsessed with them (we actually finished out last one last night, which means an emergency trip to the grocery store today clearly 😉 ). I like to think that I have it down to an art on how to cut it, but this only works if you actually like picking out the seeds to eat. I’ve done the water method before, but I honestly love eating the individual seeds…even if it takes a good half an hour 🙂

  • Amy November 7, 2012, 10:35 pm

    Pomegranates are tough- I’ve tried this method and it works but it’s still a pain. I didn’t realize you could buy pre-seeded?? Might be worth the investment. Also mangoes, mangoes are the devil fruit to cut up. But oh so delicious!

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