Juicing Pomegranate - the best 3 ways to make Pomegranate Juice

A pomegranate cut in half that is ready for juicing in a juice press

Juicing Pomegranate can be achieved by using either a press juicer, a slow juicer or a blender. The method you choose will determine how to prepare the pomegranate for juicing.

In this article we provide step-by-step guides for each of the 3 methods of making Pomegranate juice and weigh up their pros and cons.

How to select Pomegranates for juicing

When choosing Pomegranate's lift them up to feel their weight, the heavier the better. The skins should also be quite tight and show no signs of splitting.

They can be stored for a number of weeks in the refridgerator but as always the fresher the better.

Which part of the pomegranate can you juice?

The name Pomegranate comes from the french for 'seeded apple' and the reasoning for this is clearly evident when you cut open the fruit.

There are around 800 tighly packed seeds (named Arils) that are surrounded by the deep red flesh of the fruit. The flesh of the fruit has a subtle flavour with a slight tang to it.

Both the seeds and the flesh are edible. The tough outer skin with inner white rind is not edible and has a bitter flavour.

Pomegranate Arils that have been removed from the fruits pith

Which type of Juicer for Pomegranate Juice?

There are 2 different types of juicer that are suitable for juicing Pomegranate. They are:

  • Pomegranate/citrus press juicers
  • Slow/cold press masticating juicers

Centrifugal juicers are NOT suitable for juicing Pomegranate as they provide a very low juice yield and you will get very little value from the money spent on the fruit.

Using a Citrus/Pomegranate Press Juicer

This method uses a manual (non electrical) citrus press juicer. Note that not all citrus press juicers are powerful enough to juice pomegranates as they require more force to extract the juice then when compared to oranges / graprefruit.

Well designed Pomegranate presses use a cantilever action to enable a larger amount of force to be exerted on the fruit than the amount of force that is applied by the user.

This type of juicer is popular for juicing Pomegranates due to the speed at which the juicing occurs. Using this method there is no need to deseed the pomegrate which can be fiddly and take at least a couple of minutes per fruit.

The quick speed is also helped by the quick cleanup time due to only a couple of easy to remove parts and no fine mesh juicing screen to clean.

The drawback of this method is that because the pith is also squeezed, some juice from the pith is added to the juice from the Arils. This can give a bitter note to the juice.

  1. Cut the fruit in half.
  2. Place your glass or jug underneath the press, ready to collect the juice.
  3. Place one of the halves cut side down onto the stainless steel cone.
  4. Pull the handle of the juicer down to squeeze the juice out of the pomegranate. To make sure you extract all the juice you may need to pull the handle down firmly (but not like the incredible hulk) a few times.

    After the inital pull down, you can rotate the pomegranate half round slightly to ensure the pressing occurs from a slightly different angle.
  5. Lift the handle, remove the skin / pulp and repeat with the other half.

Using a slow/cold press juicer

Both vertical and horizontal slow juicers can be used to juice pomegranate. The downside of this method is that the Pomegranate must be deseeded first which can take a few minutes per pomegranate. If you are juicing 4 or more this can quickly add up.

The benefit of this method is that you are only juicing the sweet Arils and so the juice tends to taste sweeter than when using a citrus press type juicer.

The other benefit is that you tend to get a slightly higher juice yield when using this method as the chewing / squeezing action of the slow juicers do a great job of breaking down the Arils and you should be left with a fairly dry pulp.

  1. Deseed the pomegranate (see instructions below)
  2. Switch on the juicer and feed the Arils into the juicers feed chute
  3. That's it :0). Enjoy your juice.

Juicing pomegranate with a blender

If you don't have either a press juicer or a slow/masticating juicer then you can still make pomegranate juice by using a blender.

Whilst blending is normally quicker than juicing on this occasion blending can take longer than the pomegranete/citrus press method due to the fact that you need to deseed the fruit(s) before you add the Arils to the blender.

The other disadvantage of blending is that the heat generated by the blades of the blender and the aeration of the juice due to the blindingly fast spinning can degrade the quality of the juice and lead to faster oxidation of some of its key nutrients.

As well as this tiny pieces of the hard blended seed can pass through a sieve that can give the juice a grainy texture.

  1. Deseed around 2 pomegranates per glass of juice (see instructions below).
  2. Place the Arils in your blender with half a cup of water and blend for 30 seconds or until you can see the Arils have all been cut open to release their juice.
  3. Place a fine sieve or cheese cloth over a wide mouthed jug or bowl and pour the blended pomegranate through the sieve to seperate the seeds and fiber from the juice.
  4. Use the back of a large spoon or a plastic spatula to push the pulpy mixture against the sieve or cloth to encourage the juice to flow into the bowl. This can take a minute or two. When the pulp stops yielding any more juice you can discard the pulp.
  5. Pour the juice into a cold glass, you can add some ice if that is to your taste.
  6. Store any spare juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Which juicers do we like?

Press

For a household citrus/pomegranate press juicer see the Zulay Professional on Amazon which can be found here or this version if you prefer a beautiful metallic finish (Chrome or Rose Gold or Antique copper).

If you need a commercial use standard that will withstand higher workloads then check out the can-can press

Slow/cold masticating

For a vertical slow juicer the Slowstar is one of the best and can be found here on Amazon.

A great horizontal slow juicer is the Omega J8006HDS which can be found here on Amazon.

Juicing method conclusion

In this article we have seen 3 different ways in which we can make pomegranate juice. Each has its own pros and cons and these are summarised below to help you make your choice.

If you have one of the types of juicers discussed above then the choice between press and slow/masticating juicer will depend on which ranking factors you consider to be the most important from a) time taken to create the juice b) juice quality c) juice yield.

If you are looking to buy a juicer also consider what other fruits and vegetables you may want to blend as the citrus/pomegranate press is limited in its versatility compared to a masticating juicer.

Citrus/pomegranate press Slow/cold press masticating Blender
Speed 1st place- no deseeding required
Quick clean up
2nd place - deseeding - slower cleaning 3rd place - deseeding - pressing through sieve
Juice quality 2nd place - low oxidation, slight bitterness 1st place - low oxidation, sweetest taste 3rd place - high oxidation, grainy texture, diluted by water, sweet taste
Juice yield 2nd place 1st place - dry pulp 3rd place - pulp left in sieve is fairly wet

How to deseed a pomegranate

Deseeding method 1 - score, split and comb

Use a sharp knife to make a score about 1cm deep around the pomegranate. We don't want to cut much deeper than this otherwise the knife will pierce a number of the Arils and release the juice from them prematurely.

Be sure to position your fingers in a safe position whilst cutting.

Repeat this at 90° to the 1st score line. The fruit should now be in 4 clear segments that are still joined together.

Next place your thumbs at the top of the pomegranete on opposite segments and first 2 fingers of each hand at the base and pull the segments away from each other

Take a segment of the pomegranate and place it in a bowl of water and then use your thumbs to gently comb over the arils to dislodge them from the pith. This is done under water to prevent the Arils spraying bright red juice across your kitchen and your clothes which can happen when one bursts as it is removed from the pith.

Wearing an apron or dark clothes will help prevent staining your clothes with pomegranate juice.

Open up the segment to get to the Arils that are more deeply nested into the pith. Then repeat with the other segments.

Once you have completed all the segments there will be some parts of the pith that have broken off and remain in the water or attached to an Aril. Try to filter these out of the water with your hands and discard them. They will make your juice taste bitter.

Now drain the water through a sieve. Your Arils are now ready for juicing.

Deseeding method 2 - cut and bash

Cut the pomegranate in half, turn a half upside down over a bowl and bash it firmly with a large wooden or metal spoon. If some of the Arils remain in the fruit, you may need to tear the half apart slightly to open it up a bit and repeat the bashing.

If you have deseeded more pomegranates then you need for your days juice you can store the Arils in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days before you juice them.

Pomegranate Juice Health benefits

Why is pomegranate so often juiced? Because it provides a great way to obtain the amazing nutritional value from this superfood!

Pomegranate juice has recently been making the headlines as being another one of nature's sources of medicinal benefits. A number of studies have recently been implemented on the healing properties of Pomegranate juice with many more currently being carried out.

The healing benefits of pomegranate have been known in the middle-east and other non-western regions for hundreds of years where the fruit has been used to help treat rheumatism and inflammation. More recent studies have shown pomegranate to have very high levels of cancer fighting anti-oxidants as well as other phytochemicals and minerals that can help reduce the chance of heart disease and circulatory problems.

Recent studies have found that pomegranates have the potential to help combat some of the most common diseases affecting westerners caused by poor diet and lack of exercise. Professor Hasan Mukthar who leading a study at the University of Wisconsin Medical School found that "Our study -- while early -- adds to growing evidence that pomegranates contain very powerful agents against cancer, particularly prostate cancer,". His study showed that prostate tumors in mice shrank when drinking pomegranate juice.

At the University of California, Adel A. Kader, Ph.D., Professor of Postharvest Physiology, Department of Pomology has studied the phytochemical properties of pomegranate and states "our research indicates that the total antioxidant capacity of 100 ml of pomegranate juice is two to three times that .of 100 ml of red wine and of 100 ml of green tea. This is due to the higher polyphenols content of pomegranates."

Pomegranate also contains Vitamin C and the B vitamin Niacin.

Other studies have suggested that pomegranate seeds have significant antimicrobial activities against a number of microbes such as Eschericia Coli and Bacillus subtilis.

As well as its natural whole form, pomegranate is available in other forms. The cocktail ingredient Grenadine (often used to add colour and taste to alcoholic mixtures such as in a 'Tequila Sunrise') is made from pomegranate juice.

Concentrated forms of pomegranate juice are available in some health food shops and this is often sold as 'Pomegranate molasses'.