You have a grenade or two and you don’t want them to go to waste. Or you have the arils, but it’s too much to wear in a couple of days. Can you freeze pomegranate seeds?
In this article, we’ll talk about when it makes sense to freeze pomegranate seeds and how to do it. I will also explain how to thaw and use the arils.
If that’s what you’re looking for, keep reading.
Can pomegranate seeds be frozen?
For starters, remember that pomegranates last between a month and even two months in the fridge. If yours are still whole, you probably don’t need to consider freezing them.
But let’s say you’ve already cut the pomegranates and removed the seeds from the pith. Seeds don’t retain quality for nearly as long, so freezing them is definitely on the table. Especially if the alternative is the seeds going bad.
The only thing freezing changes in pomegranate seeds is their texture. The fresh arils are quite firm, while the thawed ones are a bit more doughy. Taste-wise, I don’t feel much of a change at all and neither does my wife (who is my taste tester).
If that subtle change in firmness doesn’t bother you, feel free to freeze your pomegranate seeds.
How to freeze pomegranate seeds
Freezing pomegranate seeds is simple and only takes a couple of minutes. Extracting the seeds from the fruit is the most expensive part of the process, and you’ve got that covered.
Before you start, make sure the pomegranate seeds are nice and dry. We don’t need more water above the arils.
Now is the time to freeze the seeds ((UOF)):
- Prepare for pre-freezing. Take a baking sheet and line it with waxed paper or a silicone mat. An uncoated one should also work, but it will be more difficult to remove the frozen seeds.
- Spread the arils in a single layer on that baking sheet.
- prefreeze Place the tray in the freezer and leave it there until the seeds are frozen solid. The University of Florida ((UOF)) suggests leaving them on for no more than 2 hours, but I don’t think the exact period is that important. Nothing bad should happen if the seeds are left in the freezer for 5 hours or even overnight.
- Transfer the frozen seeds to a freezer bag or container. Label the bag if you want.
The pre-freezing process allows the seeds to be frozen individually. Thanks to that, you can take as many frozen seeds as you need without having to thaw everything first.
Those frozen pomegranate seeds must maintain quality for at least one year ((UOF)).
How to thaw pomegranate seeds
When it comes to thawing pomegranate arils, there are a couple of options:
- In the fridge. If you need to fully thaw the seeds, place them in the refrigerator overnight. They should be ready in the morning.
- On the counter. If you need the seeds to thaw quickly, room temperature can help you with that. Spread the arils out in a single layer to speed things up even more. They shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to defrost with a setting like this. Remember to eat all the thawed seeds on the counter as soon as possible.
- Use frozen. For fruit salads, smoothies, and the like, you probably don’t need to thaw the seeds. In a mentioned fruit salad, the arils will thaw 10 to 20 minutes after adding them to the salad.
The thawed pomegranate seeds release a little water. If you want to use them to decorate a cake, thaw and dry them before proceeding.
Uses for thawed arils
Thawed arils are not that different from fresh ones. That means you can use them the same way. Those include:
- Fruit salad
- add to yogurt, oatmeal, etc.
- decorate cakes
- eat as is
- pomegranate juice, cocktails, non-alcoholic cocktails and the like
Thawed pomegranate seeds are a bit more pasty than fresh ones. If your recipe calls for the arils to be super firm, always use fresh pomegranate seeds.