You have a pomegranate or two and don’t want them to go bad. Or you’ve got the arils, but it’s way too much to use in a couple of days. Can you freeze pomegranate seeds?
You can freeze pomegranate seeds (arils) for at least a year. To freeze, spread the seeds in a single layer on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper, and put in the freezer until solid. Then transfer the arils to a freezer bag or container, and return to the freezer.
In this article, we’ll talk about when it makes sense to freeze pomegranate seeds, and how to go about it. I’ll also walk you through defrosting and using the arils, too.
If that’s what you’re looking for, read on.
How Freezing Affects Pomegranate Seeds?
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 have to consider freezing them.
But let’s say you’ve already cut your pomegranates open and removed the seeds from the pith. The seeds don’t retain quality for nearly as long, so freezing them is definitely on the table. Especially if seeds spoiling is the alternative.
The only thing that freezing changes in pomegranate seeds is their texture. Fresh arils are quite firm, while defrosted ones are a bit mushier. When it comes to taste, I don’t feel much 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 takes only a couple of minutes. Extracting the seeds from the fruit is the most time-expensive part of the process, and you already have that covered.
Before you start, make sure your pomegranate seeds are nice and dry. We don’t need any extra water on top of the arils.
Here’s how you freeze pomegranate seeds:
- Prepare for pre-freezing. Grab a baking sheet and line it with wax paper, parchment paper, or a silicone mat. One without any lining should also work, but it’ll be more challenging to remove the frozen seeds from it.
- Spread the arils in a single layer on that baking sheet.
- Pre-freeze. Put the tray in the freezer and leave it there until the seeds freeze solid. The University of Florida suggests leaving them for no longer than 2 hours, but I don’t think the exact period is that big of a deal. Nothing bad should happen if the seeds sit in the freezer for 5 hours or overnight.
- Transfer the frozen seeds to a freezer bag or container. Label the bag if you like.
The pre-freezing process allows the seeds to freeze individually. Thanks to that, you can grab as many frozen seeds as you need without having to thaw the whole thing first.
Those frozen pomegranate seeds should keep quality for at least a year.
How To Thaw Pomegranate Seeds
When it comes to defrosting pomegranate arils, there are a couple of options:
- In the fridge. If you need to thoroughly defrost the seeds, put transfer them in the refrigerator in the evening. They should ready in the morning.
- On the counter. If you need the seeds defrosted fast, room temperature can help you with that. Spread the arils in a single layer to speed things up even further. They shouldn’t take more than 30 minutes to thaw with such a setup. Please remember that you should eat all the seeds thawed on the counter as soon as possible.
- Use frozen. For fruit salads, smoothies, and the like, you probably don’t need to defrost the seeds. In a mentioned fruit salad, the arils will defrost within 10 to 20 minutes of adding them to the salad.
Thawed pomegranate seeds release some water. If you want to use them to decorate a cake, defrost them and pat them dry before proceeding.
Uses for Thawed Arils
Thawed arils aren’t that different from fresh ones. That means you can use them in the same ways. Those include:
- fruit salads
- adding to yogurts, oatmeal, and so on
- decorating cakes
- eating as-is
- pomegranate juice, cocktails, mocktails, and the like
Thawed pomegranate seeds are a bit mushier than fresh ones. If your recipe requires the arils to be super firm, always use fresh pomegranate seeds.