Prime Time for Pomegranates

Opening pomegranate over bowl
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Pomegranates are simple looking on the outside, and offer an unexpected surprise inside. If you have never opened one, I encourage you to take a look.


A half cup of pomegranate arils – the seed and juice sacs – contains around 70 calories, 16g carbohydrates, 3g fiber, and 1g each of fat and protein. They also contain vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K. Pomegranate is not a significant source of sodium.

  • Buy: Your store might have whole pomegranates, containers of arils, or juice.
    • Look for whole pomegranates that are firm to the touch, and do not have mold or soft spots.
    • If you buy the arils pre-packaged, check the use-by or best-by date before purchasing.
    • For pomegranate juice, look for 100% juice rather than fruit juice cocktail or juice drinks. Some varieties may be a blend of pomegranate and other juices; still look for 100% juice.
  • Price: Price will vary by season and the form of pomegranate you buy. Choose a style that fits your budget.
  • Store:
    • Store whole pomegranates at either room temperature or in the refrigerator. Once peeled, put the arils in a container with a lid and refrigerate.  Eat within 7 days.
    • If buying arils already separated from the pomegranate, keep those refrigerated too.
    • If juice is already refrigerated, keep it refrigerated. For shelf-stable bottles of juice, refrigerate once the bottle is opened.
  • Prepare: Watch our video on peeling apart a pomegranate. It's easier than you might think.
  • Eat: Pomegranate arils are great on their own. Yes, you can eat the seed; it's crunchy.  Also try them added to a salad, pureed in the smoothie, or included in fruit salsa!

Orange and Pomegranate Salad (Serves 8)

Print recipe348.76 KB

1 medium orange
1/4 cup pomegranate arils
5-oz container spring greens, or other lettuce

1. Wash orange. Peel and divide into segments. If desired, cut segments in half.
2. To a large plate or bowl, add lettuce. Top with orange slices and pomegranate arils.
3. Serve with desired dressing.

Nutrition Information per serving (without dressing): 15 calories, 0 total fat, (0g unsaturated fat), 15mg sodium, 4g carbohydrates, 1g dietary fiber, 1g protein



Healthy Eats and Repeat
How much difference is there between canned and frozen foods? How should you cook venison? When is the best time to buy avocados? Get answers to these questions as well as other tips, tutorials and recipes for common kitchen foods and items with University of Illinois Extension Nutrition & Wellness Educator Caitlin Mellendorf’s blog Healthy Eats and Repeat. Build your best life. Trust Extension to help.

Caitlin Mellendorf is an Illinois Extension Nutrition and Wellness Educator serving DeWitt, Macon and Piatt Counties in Central Illinois. She is a Registered Dietitian and her work focuses on helping community members gain the knowledge, skills and tools to live healthier, more nutritious lifestyles. This includes providing programs and answering questions about heart health, diabetes, food safety, food preservation, grocery shopping and cooking. You can reach Caitlin by email at or call 217.877.6042. Check out her nutrition blog Healthy Eats and Repeats for seasonal recipes and of an exploration of common kitchen foods.