Can You Use Whole Pomegranate Seeds In A Smoothie?
Pomegranate is a fruit which originated in the Middle East. Today it is popularly grown in the United States and is often available in grocery stores. Pomegranate juice is also popular due to the health benefits it contains. POM is a well known brand which build their juice company around pomegranate juice.
Adding pomegranate to a smoothie is a good way to get some extra antioxidants and a taste that is different from many other fruits. Pomegranates tastes more bitter and sour than most fruits, which are sweet.
Juicing A Pomegranate
Adding pomegranate juice to a smoothie is simple. Just add it like you would any other liquid ingredient. If you want to juice a pomegranate you can use a juicer. Juicers work by shredding up fruits and vegetables. When the fruits and vegetables and shredded the juice separates from the fiber and other solids. The juice is released while the solid parts of the fruit is filtered.
Juicers are quick, clean and easy to use. Juicers also make juicing things like carrots or beets very easy. However, if you do not juice often, then a juicer might be more of an investment than you are willing to make. If that is the case, you can also hand juice pomegranates.
The best way to hand juice a pomegranate is to deseed the fruit. I’ll give more details on how to do this later on, but what you want to do is remove all the seeds from the fruit shell.
Once you have a bowl of seeds, put the seeds inside a mesh strainer. The kind that you might use to strain water from pasta. Then take a large spoon and just press down onto the seeds with the back of the spoon. This will crush the seeds, releasing the juice. The strainer will keep the seeds and fibers from being released. Do this over a bowl or cup and you end up with pure pomegranate juice.
This hand squeezed juice will be more fresh than the juice available at the store, and will also avoid being pasteurized.
You can then add this juice to a smoothie or drink it by itself.
Deseeding A Pomegranate
Pomegranate seeds are contained in a shell, which is divided into separate compartments. This makes it a bit difficult to remove all the seeds from the pomegranate. Generally you do not want to eat the shell or the dividing walls that keep the seeds in place. Before you add pomegranate seeds to a smoothie, you should deseed the fruit.
There are a few different ways to deseed a pomegranate, but I find the easiest is the “whacking” method. To do this you will want to:
- Cut the pomegranate in half, or into thirds.
- (OPTIONAL) Using your hands stretch open the pomegranate halves. To do this hold the pomegranate opening away from you, and place your palms on the back to the fruit. Grab the edges of the opening of the fruit and pull. All you are doing in this step is stretching out the fruit so that some of the inner fruit walls break open.
- With the fruit facing down into a bowl, whack the back to the fruit with something like a heavier spoon. Here you are hitting the back to the pomegranate hard enough to dislodge and release the seeds from the shell.
Take a look at this video for a demonstration of the whacking method:
Using Whole Pomegranate Seeds In A Smoothie
Adding juice to a smoothie is simple. Pomegranate seeds are a different matter though.
Pomegranate seeds are completely edible and healthy. It is purely a matter of preference if you want to eat the whole seed or just the juice. Personally, I don’t really like the texture of the seed so I usually spit them out and just drink the juice.
In a smoothie you can add seeds whole to your blender. If you have a good blender, the seeds will get blended up and you won’t be able to tell that they are there. If your blender is less powerful you might end up with noticeable pieces of pomegranate seed in your smoothie. If you are concerned about this, try blending the pomegranate seeds on their own for a bit longer than you do the rest of your smoothie ingredients.
One tip is to use pomegranates in thicker smoothies. This way the fiber from the blended seeds will be a lot less noticeable.
Why Add Pomegranate To Your Smoothie
Pomegranates are a low calorie, high in antioxidant fruit. The seeds are filled with fiber. There’s a lot of vitamin C, vitamin K and folate in pomegranates.
The taste is fairly bitter, which makes it different from other sweeter fruit juices. If you find your smoothies are too sweet, try using pomegranate instead of other fruits.
Pomegranate Fruit Smoothie Recipe
Here is a great tasting pomegranate smoothie recipe that you can try out. It’s plenty thick, so using whole pomegranate seeds will be fine. Just make sure you blend them until they are no longer noticeable.
- 1/2 Cup Orange Juice
- 1/2 Cup Pomegranate Seeds
- 1 Cup Frozen Mango Chunks
- 1 Banana
- 1/2 Cup Spinach