This Genius Hack Makes Separating Pomegranate Seeds Virtually Mess-Free

Superfood pomegranates are packed with antioxidants and vitamins, and their seeds (called arils) make a delicious, crunchy, and juicy snack whether you're on the go or making a special breakfast at home. While you can always grab a prepared cup of pomegranate seeds from the grocery store, it's a lot less expensive to buy the whole fruit itself. The only problem: It can be a little intimidating to cut a pomegranate and remove its arils without splattering juice on your countertop and clothes. Thankfully, one hack makes this tedious kitchen task easy and mess-free.

Eat This, Not That recommends de-seeding pomegranates by cutting them into quarters and placing them underwater. Start by scoring the pomegranate with a knife, which involves making a shallow incision lengthwise all the way around the fruit, then easily pulling it apart into halves. Cut these sections in half again, then place each quarter in a bowl of water and carefully press the arils away from the fruit, allowing them to sink to the bottom of the bowl. The white membrane of the pomegranate will also detach in the process, but it will float and can therefore be easily removed from the water. Repeat for each quarter, then strain the seeds. For a visual demonstration, a video from Saveur shows you how to de-seed a pomegranate using this same method.

What to do with all those pomegranate seeds

The water hack isn't the only way you can separate pomegranate arils. Another, more cathartic method involves hitting the pomegranate with a wooden spoon. Once you cut the fruit in half, hold each piece seed-side down over a bowl, then smack the top with the flat side of the spoon. The seeds will fall into the bowl, and you can eat them straight away. Today compared the spoon trick with the water hack and found the former to be surprisingly less messy — and a fun option when you're feeling a bit angry.

When you've identified your technique of choice and have plenty of pomegranate arils ready to go, try a few recipes to put those sweet seeds to good use. Pomegranate couscous is the perfect balance of sweet and savory, and it's an easy way to incorporate some extra antioxidants into your lunchtime salad. For something special in the evening, serve up some juicy duck breast with pomegranate sauce, or simply sprinkle a handful of arils into pomegranate guacamole.