Why Martha Stewart 'Beats The Hell' Out Of Her Pomegranates

Fruit is fun. And because many plants produce fruits intending to spread their seeds, they've evolved into myriad colorful, enticing, fragrant, and often oddly-shaped forms, each with their own unique tastes and textures. The pitaya, for example, looks like it's about to hatch into a mythological creature, and has edible black seeds scattered throughout its scoopable flesh. Rambutans are hairy on the outside and smooth inside,  and ackee — part of Jamaica's national dish – actually has toxic seeds (per Parade). 

While these sweet fruits are popular overseas, they can be difficult to find in the United States. But one of the more unique fruits you'll find in a typical American produce section from October to January (per FoodPrint.), is the pomegranate. The New York Times reports that they likely came from modern-day Iran, and were once called "Chinese apples," with the name coming from the Latin pomum granatum for a seeded apple and also the origin of "grenade," FoodPrint. notes. The succulent seeds of the pomegranate are what make this fruit notoriously messy to work with in the kitchen. Leave it to Martha Stewart to educate us on how to prepare this storied food.

Preparing pomegranates

In a viral TikTok video, Martha Stewart begins by calling her viewers out. "There's a reason you don't buy pomegranates. You don't know how to extract the seeds," she says. Thank you Martha, we now feel seen. So how does she get at those juicy morsels? Stewart begins by slicing off the very top and bottom of the fruit with a paring knife and then scoring the very outside of the skin. She breaks the pomegranate into segments and uses a wooden spoon over a bowl to "beat the hell out of" each section before shamelessly chowing down. Alternatively, Healthline suggests halving the fruit and putting in water to help loosen the arils. But where's the fun in that?

It's worth the effort, too. The edible portion of the pomegranate that surrounds the seeds are actually called arils, Healthline writes, and despite their juiciness, they're high in fiber and antioxidants as well as vitamin C, folate, potassium, and other nutrients that make them a healthy addition to any meal, even dessert. Healthline adds that they may boost heart, brain, digestive, and urinary health, fight cancer and microbes, and reduce inflammation. Fun fact: Pomegranates are possible aphrodisiacs, too (per PBS).

Aril-ly good food

Martha Stewart, established pomegranate stan, mixes up her trademark frozen Martha-Rita using white tequila, triple sec, lime, and pomegranate juice then serves it in gigantic goblets like the queen she is. Her green salad with pomegranate features the seeds and pomegranate molasses over tender greens, and she's even got quick pomegranate relish to stand in for traditional Thanksgiving cranberry sauce. But she's also undaunted by ambitious recipes like pomegranate roast chicken, which truly takes this unique fruit to the next level. No wonder she had to come up with a hack to maintain a steady supply of arils! 

Healthline suggests festooning your yogurt, smoothies, and even avocado toast with pomegranate seeds. Since they're available during the colder months in the U.S., try pomegranates with autumnal beets and tangy chèvre. Make use of pomegranate's social media-worthy looks with easy pomegranate cranberry baked brie appetizer at your next gathering, and follow up with The Zahav lamb shoulder, inspired by the region of the pomegranate's origin. The only thing left to do is get a pomegranate and experience it for yourself.