health benefits. Inside you will find many juice filled sacs with tiny seeds in the middle which some people eat and some prefer to spit out like watermelon seeds. These are called arils and according to Jewish tradition, a pomegranate (rimon in Hebrew) has 613 arils, the same number as the number of Mitzvot (commandments) in the Torah. Below are pictures of local pomegranate trees from May and August.
We like to throw bunches of arils in our mouths and eat them like candy, seed and all. Both my 4 and 5.5 year old love them. You can also put them in yogurt, breakfast cereal, ice cream, or salads (see below); or make juice or syrup from them.
Here is a picture of a lady juicing pomegranates in our outdoor city market.
Below are pictures and video showing how to get the arils out. I'm no expert, but this is the basic technique:
Cut off crown, score sides, break open. Gently rub off arils in a bowl of water. Use your hands to rub arils underwater and remove all the white membrane from the water. Drain.
This video is in honor of my mother, whom I love (and who butchered a pomegranate at my home last month). After making this video, I learned another innovation from my friend Hannah. It involves "drilling" into the top at an angle like you might with a tomato. You can see a video of it in her post on Cooking Manager or the demonstration in this YouTube video.
I recently tasted a delicious salad that my Israeli friend, Tzippy, made. The base was baby greens chopped fine like you would herbs, plus chopped red onion, apple, and pomegranate arils. She said you can add whatever fruit you like, like strawberries. It was lightly dressed with olive oil, a little apple juice, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper (optional). Below is a picture of a similar salad I made when I had guests.