Rosh Hashana is full of traditions, many of them surrounding food. Pomegranates are one of the traditional simanim that are eaten so that our merits should increase like the seeds of a pomegranate. I once heard that some people eat raisins and celery so that they should have a raise in salary! Some of the other simanim, like a sheep’s head, I find a bit harder to chew, but bring on the pomegranates!
Growing up, I remember trying to pick the seeds off the membranes, biting into the juicy seeds, and spitting out the pits. But over the past few years, I began enjoying pomegranates all year round, so I learned to deseed them properly. I also learned to enjoy the crunchy pit and no longer spit them out :)
Deseeding a pomegranate is fairly easy.
1. Cut the pomegranate in half (around it’s center, not from top to bottom) and remove the crowned tip from the top half of the pomegranate.
2. Over a bowl, gently press the skin to loosen the seeds from the membranes.
3. Hold half of the pomegranate open-face-down in the palm of your hand, and with a heavy spoon or mallet, tap the pomegranate. You will see the seeds start to fall out.
4. Continue tapping the pomegranate all around, on all sides, until all the seeds have released.
5. Repeat with remaining half of pomegranate.
Once you’ve deseeded the pomegranate, you’ve got to eat them! Continue down the page for some recipes and ideas!
– Sprinkle pomegranate seeds over ice cream or yogurt
– Add to grains like quinoa, couscous, or sprinkle over oatmeal
– Add to guacamole for extra color and crunch
– Add to smoothies for their antioxidant power and tart taste
– Add seeds to fruit or vegetable salads
– Add to chocolate chip or oatmeal cookies
– Add to salsa and serve over fish
– Add to cranberry sauce
– Make pomegranate jam