Not only are pomegranates delicious, but they’re also a great source of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber.
The seeds make a great snack or can be added to some yogurt for breakfast or added to fresh salads for a sweet kick.
Of course, you want to make sure you’re getting the most from the fruit, so we’re going to run through how to store pomegranates, how long pomegranates last, and how to tell if pomegranate has gone bad.
Pomegranate Storage Instructions
When you buy a pomegranate, it will already be ripe as this is how they’re harvested, so there’s no need to ripen it at home.
If you have a whole pomegranate, the best place to store it is in the fridge. This is because a pomegranate needs to be stored in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.
It doesn’t need to be wrapped, and you should avoid storing a pomegranate in the crisper drawer, where it is usually more humid than the rest of the fridge.
You can leave a pomegranate out at room temperature, though it won’t last as long. If you do this, just ensure it’s not kept in direct sunlight.
If you just have the pomegranate seeds, these need to be refrigerated. Place them in a container – preferably an airtight one – and then keep this in the fridge.
How Long Do Pomegranates Last?
Like apples, pomegranates are one of the longer-lasting fruits.
As with other fruits, the length of time a pomegranate lasts for depends on how you store it.
A whole pomegranate can last in the fridge for up to two months, though this also depends on how long it was left unrefrigerated in the store’s produce section before you bought it.
For best results, consume your pomegranate within a month if you’ve kept it in the fridge.
If you’ve kept your pomegranate on the counter at room temperature, it will last for 1-2 weeks before it goes bad.
Once you’ve removed the seeds and stored them in a container in the fridge, these will also last 1-2 weeks.
These timings can vary, so it’s always best to keep an eye on your pomegranates and look for any signs that they’ve gone bad.
Signs Pomegranate Has Gone Bad
Pomegranates are typically quite heavy when they’re ripe and good to eat, so if a whole one feels particularly light when you pick it up, then that’s a sign it’s going bad.
Likewise, if there are large spots of darkness or softness on the rind of a whole pomegranate, then it’s past its prime and should be thrown out.
If there are smaller spots like this, it could still be OK to use. If this is the case, cut the pomegranate open and take a look.
When looking at the inside of a pomegranate, or just the seeds themselves, mold is a clear sign that it’s gone bad.
The seeds should also be a ruby red color – if they’ve turned brown or black, then the pomegranate is bad and shouldn’t be eaten. If there are only a few brown or black seeds and the rest still have their color, you should be fine to just eat the healthy ones.
However, if the seeds have an off taste when you eat them, you should throw them out as they’ve gone bad.
Can You Freeze Pomegranate?
Pomegranate seeds can last up to a year if stored correctly in the freezer, though they will lose their crunchy texture when thawed.
If you’re storing your pomegranate in the freezer, you’ll need to cut it open and remove the seeds from the pith first.
It’s best to flash-freeze the seeds first. Separate the seeds onto a lined baking tray, then place this tray into the freezer for a few hours until the seeds have frozen.
Empty the frozen seeds into an airtight container or freezer bag, label it, then store this in the fridge for the long term.
Picking The Best Pomegranate
When getting your pomegranates from the store, check a few things to ensure you’re getting the juiciest ones.
First, feel the weight. The heavier a pomegranate, the better, as this means it contains more juice within the seeds. Compare pomegranates in your hands to find the heaviest ones.
Choose a pomegranate with a deep-colored rind. The rinds can vary in shades of red, and the color itself isn’t as important as how deep that color is. The deeper the color, the better. The rind should also be glossy, so keep an eye out for this.
Always check the pomegranate for soft spots. A pomegranate should be hard, so feel for any soft areas.
In Conclusion: How To Store Pomegranate
Generally, the best way to store pomegranates is in the fridge.
A whole pomegranate will stay at its best for around one month in the fridge and doesn’t need to be wrapped.
Pomegranate seeds will last about a week in the fridge and should be kept in a tightly-sealed container.
Try to select the best pomegranates possible from the store to ensure their quality and longevity; check the weight and color.
Be sure to keep an eye out for signs of your pomegranate going bad; mold, dark and soft spots, and an off taste all convey that it’s past its best and should be thrown out.