20 Healthy Ways to Serve Pomegranates

Nutrition Information

Pomegranates Are Delicious and Versatile
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The name 'pomegranate' comes from the French words pom grenate, or 'seeded apple.'  Pomegranates originated from tropical Asia and spread throughout the Mediterranean region and the Middle East. 

The small edible red seeds are called arils. One-half cup of arils has about 72 calories and lots of potassium, plus it's a good source of vitamin C, folate, and fiber. Pomegranate juice is quite high in antioxidants that may help prevent free radical damage to the cells in your body. It's not clear whether or not drinking pomegranate juice or eating the arils will prevent any particular disease, but it's most certainly a healthy way to increase your intake of fresh fruits, so go out and get a pomegranate or two.

Not sure what to do with them. Let me help. Flip through the slideshow to see some of my favorite healthy ways to eat a pomegranate.

Just Eat Them

Close up of pomegranate seeds
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Fresh pomegranates are available in most grocery stores. Look for fruits that are red with a smooth, unbroken covering. Slice or crack open a pomegranate and dig for the delicious gem-like arils tucked in the white pith.

Or, if you prefer, you can follow these steps to release all those beautiful arils.


Pomegranate Relish on Crackers
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Chutney is a flavorful sauce or condiment that can be served with numerous dishes or used to top crackers. 

On Whole Wheat Pancakes

Whole Wheat Pancakes With Pomegranate
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Whole wheat pancakes are a good way to get fiber into your morning breakfast. Top your pancakes with a generous helping of pomegranate arils (and less maple syrup) for sweetness and extra nutrition.

In a Pasta Salad

Gluten Free Meals
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Cold pasta salads are perfect for lunch on a cold day or to serve alongside your favorite healthy sandwich. Start with your favorite pasta salad and add a few pomegranate arils for nutrients and that beautiful red color. 

In a Tropical Fruit Salad

Tropical Fruit Salad With Pomegranate
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Whisk your mind away to a tropical paradise by making and serving a fresh tropical fruit salad. Add pomegranates in place of the berries or along with them. 

With Couscous

Couscous salad with pomegranate seeds
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Couscous is pasta that's typically used like rice. It's not difficult to prepare couscous and it can be combined with other ingredients to fit your mood and meal. Couscous is a good source of B-complex vitamins and minerals, but adding pomegranate arils will boost the nutrition considerably.

As Part of a Green Salad

Green Salad With Pomegranates
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Your next green salad can be a nutritional superstar when you start with a base of raw spinach leaves or arugula and add pomegranates and walnuts. Drizzle a little oil and lemon juice on top and every single part of this salad is a superfood. Another delicious and healthy option is to finish your salad with a vinaigrette.

With Cucumbers

Pomegranates with Cucumbers
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Cucumbers are low in calories, and they contain an excellent assortment of vitamins and minerals. Start with an already delicious cucumber salad and make it pop with a handful of pomegranate arils. 

With Mango Pudding

Mango Dessert With Pomegranates
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Mango is high in vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and C. Top your mango pudding with pomegranate arils for a beautiful and healthy touch.

As an Appetizer

Pomegranates with Soft Cheese and Crackers
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Here's a nice idea for a healthy and delicious appetizer. Start with whole-grain crackers and top them with a few spinach leaves, a soft cheese like feta or goat cheese, and add a few pomegranate arils. 

On a Cheese Plate

Pomegranate With Cheese
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Another option is to include pomegranates with a selection of cheese. I love pomegranate with bleu cheese, but it goes nicely with most any cheese you like. Serve an autumn fruit and cheese tray with pomegranates, apple slices, grapes, and figs.

With Guacamole

Guacamole With Pomegranate
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Here's a cool twist -- add pomegranates to a serving of guacamole. I love guacamole because avocados are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids. Adding pomegranate arils just makes it prettier, tastier and even more nutritious. Make your guacamole even more festive by adding a bit of mango.

With Berries or Other Fruits

Bowl of Berries and Pomegranates
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I already talked about pomegranate in a tropic fruit salad, but they're also delicious when combined with berries and other more 'typical' fruits. It's so simple -- take a beautiful bowl, add fruits and berries, including pomegranate arils. Keep it plain or top with a dab of whipped cream and nuts. 

In a Yogurt Parfait

Yogurt and Pomegranate Pafait
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Yogurt and fruit parfaits are almost as delicious as ice cream parfaits, but so much better for you. They're easy to make too. Start with a tall glass or even a cute clear mason jar and alternate layers of plain Greek yogurt, pomegranate seeds, a drizzle of honey, and granola. Repeat if you're using a tall glass.

Fruit Popsicles

Fruit Popsicles with Pomegranates
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Homemade frozen fruit pops are cool summer treats and so much better for you than regular popsicles that are basically fruit-flavored sugar water. Pomegranates may seem like an odd choice, but they're delicious when added to orange popsicles (or most any tropical-flavored ice pops). If you don't like seeds in your popsicles, try pomegranate popsicles made with pomegranate juice.

With Oatmeal

Wheat Cereal With Pomegranate
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A hot bowl of oatmeal is perfect for a cold winter's morning. And oatmeal is so good for you because it's loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber. Adding fruit, such as pomegranate arils and banana slices, just makes the whole meal that much better. Oh, and my favorite type of oatmeal is steel cut oatmeal -- it has the most delicious flavor and best texture.

With Roasted Squash

Roasted Squash with Pomegranates

Roasted winter squash is easy to prepare, and it's so good for you because it's loaded with fiber, vitamin A and other antioxidants. Add a few pomegranate arils to your roasted squash. Make it extra fancy with a few sauteed greens, some shavings of Parmesan cheese, and a light drizzle of molasses.

In a Smoothie

Glass of red fruit smoothie
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Smoothies are popular, and they can be good for your diet as long as you use real fruits and veggies. The basic fruit smoothie starts with a banana, some liquid, plus other fruits or berries (I love blueberries and pomegranate in mine). Add the arils right to your blender, or if you don't want the seeds in your drink, use pomegranate juice as your liquid.

With Granola

Granola With Pomegranates
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Add pomegranate arils to a bowl of granola (or any whole grain cereal) instead of blueberries or other fruits for a nice change of pace. There are plenty of brands of granola at your local grocery store. But read the labels -- some brands are high in calories from extra fats and sugar (or make homemade granola).

Pomegranate Juice

Pomegranate Juice
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Pomegranate juice can be consumed as a healthy beverage or used in a variety of recipes, including  pomegranate lamb and pomegranate honey roasted game hens. You'll find bottled pomegranate juice in most grocery stores, or you can juice the arils at home.


United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Release 28. "Basic Report: 09286, Pomegranates, raw." Accessed March 18, 2016.  https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2359.

University of Maryland Medical Center. "Pomegranate." Accessed March 18, 2016. http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/pomegranate.

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