Pomegranate seeds are a colorful addition to fruit salads, yogurts, cakes, juices, and even cocktails. You can also eat these delicious seeds on their own.
Although pomegranate seeds only make up 3% of the total weight of the fruit, they are packed with nutrients. Pomegranate arils (another word for the seeds) are low in calories and rich in antioxidants and fiber.
The arils also contain 12-20% seed oil, which is mostly punicic acid, a polyunsaturated fat that can help to reduce inflammation and promote weight loss.
So you’re convinced of the health benefits of pomegranate arils, and you’ve bought a bunch, but now you realize you’re not quite sure how to store them.
Can you freeze pomegranate seeds? How long will they last?
We’ll answer these questions, and then some, below.
Here’s the fast rundown: Pomegranate arils will last 1-2 months in the freezer and only 4-5 days in the refrigerator, so opt for the freezer for extended storage periods. However, your pomegranate arils will change texture once they’ve been thawed, so only freeze seeds you’re planning to use in other recipes, not eat on their own.
Should I Freeze My Pomegranate Arils?
Pomegranate arils will last 1-2 months in the freezer.
But here’s the bad news: after thawing, your pomegranate seeds will be mushier, due to their high water content. Therefore, freezing pomegranate arils is a great option if you use them in smoothies, but not so great if you are planning to eat them as a crunchy snack.
If you want to maintain that crunchy texture, then make sure you keep your arils in the refrigerator. Simply pop them in an airtight container!
Freezing Pomegranate Seeds For Long-Term Storage
If you’ve decided to freeze your pomegranate seeds, here are the instructions:
- Roll the fruit in between your palms several times. This will help to loosen the seeds.
- Score all down the middle of your pomegranate and then tear it into two.
- Squeeze each half over a bowl, and tap the top of the pomegranate with a wooden spoon. If the pomegranate seeds don’t come out at first, don’t fret. Hit the pomegranate harder!
- Dry your pomegranate seeds on a paper towel. It’s important that they’re completely dry, otherwise, they’ll become a mushy mess.
- Lay parchment paper on a baking tray. Spread your pomegranate arils over the paper, then cover with plastic wrap. Flash freeze for 2 hours.
- Now you’ve done the flash freezing step, all the seeds won’t stick together. Transfer the arils to a freezer bag or airtight container, and replace them in the freezer.
- Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or on the countertop for 30 minutes. Or enjoy your pomegranate arils straight out of the freezer as an ice cold snack on a hot day!
How Long You Can Expect Your Frozen Pomegranate Seeds To Last
Unfortunately, pomegranate arils kept in the refrigerator will only last a measly 4-5 days.
Here’s the good news: by freezing your pomegranate seeds, you extend their shelf life to at least 1 year!
Remember to write the date on them, so you don’t accidentally forget about them until they’ve gone bad!
How To Tell If Your Pomegranate Seeds Have Gone Bad
Here are the telltale signs that your pomegranate arils are ready for the trash:
- Mold. This means your pomegranate seeds are in a deep state of decay. If one of your pomegranate seeds has mold on, or you find any mold on the container, chuck the whole batch, as mold will likely have spread throughout all your seeds.
- Brown discoloration. A little of this around the edges is fine if most of the seed is still red. However, if most of the seed is brown, your pomegranate seeds are old.
- Texture change. This is only an issue if your pomegranate arils have been refrigerated – if you’ve frozen the seeds, the texture will change and that’s nothing to worry about.
- Off smell.
- Bad taste. If your pomegranate seeds look and smell fine, you’re safe to try one. If it tastes suspicious, you’re better off chucking all the arils away.
The Summary On Pomegranate Arils
Whether you should or shouldn’t freeze your pomegranate arils is pretty straightforward. If you’ve bought a whole bunch of seeds and you’re not going to finish them up within the next few days, pop them in the freezer and use them in smoothies or desserts.
On the other hand, if you’ve squeezed the arils out of one or two pomegranates, feel free to keep them in an airtight container in your refrigerator. Just be sure to use them up within 5 days!