Have you ever purchased pomegranates, but never finished them because they were just so much work? I've found the perfect solution to making them last for months! Learn how to dehydrate pomegranate arils for snacks and crunchy toppings!
I know, pomegranates are those fruit that you love to buy and say you'll use, but you never do, and then you throw them away. They're so much work to get to the actual seeds (they are called arils), and then they are so tiny.
And then what do you even do with the actual seeds?!
Well, I've found the best way to have your pomegranate, eat it, and save it, too!
But a word of warning....get some protective gear going. An apron you don't mind getting stained (though I found Oxiclean really removed the juice stains out of my apron), and put something protective over wooden cutting boards.
How to Dehydrate Pomegranate Arils
Always preheat your dehydrator when you begin to prep your produce, and dehydrate at the appropriate temperatures. Running at 160F doesn’t make things dehydrate faster, it just promotes case hardening, which you don’t want!
If you've even heard of a fraction of the recent produce recalls, you'll realize that it is important to wash ALL of your produce, even if you are going to peel it ahead of time. You're still handling the outside - which will transfer whatever ick there are to the inside through your hands or through the knife. So wash everything!
Cut off the Top of the Pomegranate
Cut a sliver of the top until you've exposed just enough of the arils that you can begin to see where the segments lie.
Segment the Pomegranate
You can see the natural segment lines of the pomegranate, so cut down along those and then gently pull apart the segments, not so much that you break it apart, but that you make it look like a flower.
You'll then want to gently separate the segments and pull out any pulpy bits to expose the pomegranate arils.
READ MORE> Tips for Buying Your First Dehydrator
Tap Out Arils
Flip your pomegranate over a bowl with your hand, and gently tap the skin side with a wooden spoon. You can use some force, but don't pound. The arils will begin falling out without being broken. If you notice that they've stopped, flip it back over and check to see if there is more of the pulpy membrane to pull off and release more sections of arils.
I do this over a bowl with a strainer set in it. I collect the arils in the mesh strainer, and allow the juice you'll get to collect in the bowl. At the end of the session - it's pure pomegranate juice that's good for a tasty drink! (I allowed mine to drain overnight in the fridge before putting them on dehydrator trays to dry. I wanted to make sure they were fully drained.
It's important that you don't squeeze the arils - just allows whatever juice might be happening to drain. I got about a quarter of a cup from my very ripe pomegranate.
Spread Arils on Dehydrator Trays
Line your dehydrator trays with parchment paper so that the juice doesn't stain your mesh tray liners. Spread them out as much as you can. You can use your silicone fruit leather sheets, too, I just preferred not to take the chance with mine and use parchment paper (baking paper).
Dehydrate @ 135F / 65C
Dehydrating time is relative, but you can expect these to take at least 12 hours or so. I allow them to dry for about 9 hours, then remove the parchment from the tray to give them full access to the airflow.
When is Dehydrated Pomegranate Done?
Pomegranate arils will be dry and not sticky. There should be no moisture left inside the membrane.
Condition for a Week
Conditioning dehydrated foods allows you to make sure your fruit and vegetables are truly dry. Keep in an airtight container with room to shake, shake once or twice a day for a week, and check for any condensation. If you see moisture, throw them back into the dehydrate to dry longer.
As a word of caution - if you do see what looks to be mold, toss them.
How to Store Dehydrated Pomegranate
Store in an airtight container for up to six months.
Can you Powder Dehydrated Pomegranate Arils
As much as I love powdering fruits and vegetables, dehydrated pomegranate arils are not good candidates for powdering for most folks. The seeds are still a large bulk of the product, and are hard to grind in small grinders. That much seed also will be bitter compared to the tart, sweet of the flesh. So munch them as fun treats, instead!
Hope you'll subscribe to my Youtube channel where I'll be doing a lot more videos, canning, preparedness and more!
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How to Use Dehydrated Pomegranate Arils
- Sprinkle over a salad
- Use as a topping on chicken salad
- Add as a yogurt topping
- Add to granola for some added texture.
How do you think you might use dehydrated pomegranate?
If this intrigues you to start more of your own dehydrating projects at home, be sure to check out the dehydrating section here on the blog, and subscribe to my newsletter where you'll get more projects delivered to your mailbox each week, plus it will give you exclusive access to my Resource Library This is the place you can download ALL the printables and exclusive content! I'm also posting tutorials on my Youtube channel, and would love for you to join my Dehydrating Tips and Tricks group on Facebook for more immediate help and ideas!