Wonder what you can do with those pomegranates you bought? You can dehydrate pomegranate arils (seeds) for shelf-stable storage. Use these easy step-by-step directions for a food dehydrator or oven to get started!
Have you ever purchased pomegranates, but never finished them because they were just so much work? I've found the perfect solution to preserving pomegranates that you can store on the shelf for a year!
I know, pomegranates are those fruit that you love to buy and say you'll use, but you never do, and then they just sit and taunt you in the produce basket.
And then what do you even do with the actual seeds (also known as pomegranate arils)
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
Pomegranates are a quick and easy dehydrating project once you get past the deseeding phase. But follow the directions below and you'll be drying pomegranates in a jiffy for shelf-stable storage!
- Wooden spoon or spatula
- Dehydrator tray liners
- Canning jar and two-piece lid or other airtight container
STEP 1: Clean Pomegranates
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 is to the inside through your hands or through the knife. So wash everything!
Step 2: 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.
You can also remove the small core at this time, much like hulling a strawberry or coring a tomato.
Step 3: Segment the Pomegranate
You can see the natural segment lines of the pomegranate, so cut down along those ridges 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> Best Food Dehydrators for Preservation
Step 4: Tap Out Arils
Flip your pomegranate over a bowl full of water, 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.
Once you've finished, you can skim off the white membrane from the top of the waterline as it floats.
Alternatively, you can cut the pomegranate in half, gently spread out the pomegranate skin, then complete the tapping steps.
Step 5: 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).
Step 6: Dehydrate @ 135°F / 65°C
Dehydrating time is relative, but you can expect these to take at least 12 hours or so. I allow them to dry for about 8-12 hours.
Step 7: Dryness Test
Pomegranate arils will be dry and not sticky. There should be no moisture left inside the membrane.
Step 8: Condition
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.
Step 9: Store
Store in an airtight container for up to two years.
- Place pomegranate seeds on an oven-proof tray. I recommend placing them on top of a parchment paper-lined cooling rack on the tray. It keeps hot spots from forming on the arils.
- Dry at 170°F (76°C)
- Shake trays or gently stir trays with a spatula once every hour to prevent scorching or sticking.
- Dry for approximately 4-6 hours.
- Allow to cook for 15 minutes or so before conditioning and storage.
How to Make Pomegranate Powder
Anardana, aka dried pomegranate seeds) can be ground to use as a spice that is loved in Persian cooking for rubs or even chutneys served with beef or lamb.
- Use a coffee grinder to pulse until the pomegranate seeds begin to break down, then run for thirty seconds or so.
- Shake the grinder to loosen up clumps and grind again if needed.
- Store in an airtight container for up to a year
How to Use
- Sprinkle over a salad for an added crunch and tang.
- Use as a crunchy texture change in chicken salad instead of using fresh.
- Add as a yogurt topping.
- Add to granola for some added texture.
- Sprinkle on sweet potatoes for a tangy crunchy topping.
- Use in a slow-cooking dark sauce or braising liquid for a more extensive depth of flavor.
How do you think you might use dehydrated pomegranate?
Yes, while most chew on the arils then spit out the inner seed, the whole thing is edible! That's why dehydrating them makes a great preservation method.
Anardana is another name for dried pomegranate arils or seeds. It can also be ground into a powder for a spice seasoning.
Pomegranate peel is edible, though most will dry it to use it in powder form for teas to cosmetics (though most commercial varieties use pomegranate extract more than powder).
Dehydrate Pomegranate Arils
- Parchment paper
- 1 Pomegranate
- Wash well.
- Slice off the top of the pomegranate.
- Segment pomegranate along natural segment lines.
- Tap to release seeds or place under water to release.
- Place arils in single layer on dehydrator sheets. Use parchment if you are concerned about staining. You can remove it after about 8 hours.
- Dry at 135°F / 57°C for 12-+ hours.
- Arils will be hard and there should be no moisture.
- Condition for five days.
- Store in an airtight container.
- Sprinkle over a salad
- Use as a topping on chicken salad
- Add as a yogurt topping
- Add to granola for some added texture.
- Snack on them as is!
Nutritional information is an estimation only. Nutrient information for dehydrated foods is based on fresh. Use ¼ of the servicing size for the same nutrient information. Thus 1 Cup of fresh fruit has the same sugars as ¼ dried.
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can the arils be expressed in a juicer?
Because I've never used a juicer, I don't know how it will handle the seeds, so I can't tell you for sure. You can definitely use a hand juicer to do it, and you can use a blender and then strain it.