Removing Pomegranate Seeds & Vegan Gunkan Maki Sushi

Photo by Arjun Kapoor on Unsplash

I love pomegranates. They’re so juicy, sweet-tart, refreshing—an explosion of flavor in your mouth! Pomegranates show up in markets during winter in the Pacific Northwest, and I always grab plenty of them to enjoy.

This year I’ve been getting them by the dozens in my Imperfect Produce box. They’ve been absolutely perfect, maybe a shade smaller in diameter than those in the grocery store, but perfectly ripe, delicious, and a great price. You can order your own and save $10 off your first order by using this link:

Keep reading to learn about pomegranates and a fast and easy way to get all those seeds out with less than a minute’s work! And get a fun recipe for using pomegranate seeds.

About Pomegranates

Pomegranate shrub. Photo from Pix59ay on Pixabay.

Pomegranates grow in warm locations, not Seattle, on shrubs or small trees. This surprised me the first time I ever saw pomegranates growing, on shrubs surrounding a parking lot in Lodi, California. They have a rich history, ranging from Iranian mythology for making soldiers invincible, immortality in ancient Chinese culture, and fertility in ancient Egypt. Pomegranates are still prominent symbols in many cultures, including Greek, where pomegranates are broken on the ground on New Years Day and are given as housewarming gifts to promote luck and fertility.

Nutrition Info

A single pomegranate yields about ¾ cup of seeds. There is a myth out there that all pomegranates have 613 seeds, but they actually range from 200-1,400.

In a ½ cup serving you get (information from the USDA FoodData Central database):

Calories: 70

Protein: 1 g

Fat: 1 g

Carbohydrates: 16 g

Fiber: 3 g

Sugars: 12 g

Calcium: 20 g

Vitamin C: 9 mg

A report from the University of Florida lists a whole host of benefits from eating pomegranates, from heart health, reduced cancer risk, and anti-inflammatory effects against arthritis and effects of aging. These benefits come from the high concentrations of phytochemicals, 122 of them to be exact, which are potent antioxidants (see Eat the Rainbow for more information about the benefits of phytonutrients).

Picking Out the Best Pomegranate

Select pomegranates the same size as grapefruits. Photo by Dana Banana on Unsplash

Select fruits about the size of a grapefruit, somewhat square, heavy for their size, and deep red. The crown of the fruit (prominent blossom end) should be turned slightly inward. Skin should be smooth and taut, shouldn’t wrinkle or ripple when rubbed, and should be difficult to scratch with your fingernail.

Opening a Pomegranate

I remember trying to open my first pomegranate! I was probably in about fifth grade and while watching a movie as a family, we saw someone break a pomegranate open over a rock—I’d never seen such a fruit before and was amazed. My mom picked one up for us during her next grocery trip. We marveled at it, not sure what to do, and decided to cut it in half with a knife rather than try breaking it on the ground outside. Well, as you probably guessed, bright red pomegranate juice spurted everywhere, staining our hands, cutting board, and clothes! But we enjoyed every bit of that juicy pomegranate, standing over the sink to protect our house from the juice.

This is your goal…seeds, but how do you get them out of the pomegranate? Photo by Tamanna Rumee on Unsplash

I continued to eat pomegranates this way, losing tons of juice and painstakingly picking out seeds one-by-one for an hour before gathering a cupful them. I researched and tried different methods, including cutting and peeling pomegranates submerged in a sink of water, and nothing really worked until I discovered an amazing method to seed a pomegranate in a minute flat! There’s no squirting pomegranate juice, no sink of water, and you get all of those delicious seeds with minimal work.

Watch my video and learn how easy it is:

Removing Pomegranate Seeds

Fast and easy method to remove pomegranate seeds by Cindy Thompson of Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching. Reduce Food Waste with Imperfect Foods Boxes. They have amazing groceries, for 30% less than grocery stores, delivered to your door. It’s completely customizable and they have tons of great produce and vegan options to choose from.

Isn’t that great?!? Give it a try and you’ll see why it’s so easy for us to eat pomegranates nearly every day in our house when they’re available in the market. It’s way less expensive and more environmentally friendly to get your seeds right out of a pomegranate, not a plastic container at the store.

Again, save $10 off your first Imperfect Produce order by using this link: and get your own beautiful perfectly imperfect pomegranates.

And if you’re looking for a fun and delicious way to eat your pomegranate seeds, try making my Vegan Gunkan Maki Sushi, a vegan twist on traditional sushi without fish roe. It’s the perfect bite of sweet, spicy, salty, tangy, and umami (learn more about these flavors in That’s Tasty!)!

Vegan Gunkan Maki Sushi. Photo by Cindy Thompson,

Vegan Gunkan Maki Sushi. Photo by Cindy Thompson,

Vegan Gunkan Maki Sushi. Photo by Cindy Thompson,

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5 from 3 votes

Vegan Gunkan Maki Sushi

Traditional Gunkan Maki is made with fish roe. This adaptation uses fresh pomegranate seeds for a beautiful presentation and traditional texture for the perfect bite of sweet, salty, spicy, tangy, and umami.
Course Appetizer, Main Course, Sandwiches and Handhelds, Un-Seafood
Cuisine Asian, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Soy-Free, Sushi
Keyword Nori, Pomegranate, Rice, Rice Vinegar, sea vegetables, Wasabi
Servings 4
Calories 155.7kcal
Author Cindy Thompson, MS, NBC-HWC | Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching


  • 3 cups prepared sushi rice
  • 2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 3 sheets nori seaweed each cut into 6 equal strips, 1 inch by 6 inch
  • wasabi paste prepared
  • ¾ cup pomegranate seeds


  • Prepare the sushi rice per package directions. Mix in the seasoned rice vinegar and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Cut nori seaweed sheets into 6 equal strips each, 1x6 inch strips. Set aside.
  • Wet your hands slightly. Shape 1 tbsp of prepared sushi rice into an oblong. With smooth side facing out, wrap a strip of nori around the rice. Crush a cooked rice grain on the end of the strip so it sticks at the end of the wrap.
  • Dab some wasabi paste onto the top of the rice with your finger and flatten the top of the rice so that it's about ¼ below the top edge of the nori wrap.
  • Spoon pomegranate seeds onto the rice so it's contained within the nori wrap.


Calories: 155.7kcal | Carbohydrates: 33.4g | Protein: 3.3g | Fat: 0.6g | Saturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 8.7mg | Potassium: 85.6mg | Fiber: 2.5g | Sugar: 4.3g | Vitamin A: 101.4IU | Vitamin C: 3.9mg | Calcium: 5.7mg | Iron: 0.3mg

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  1. BB on December 15, 2020 at 2:49 pm

    I watched your video on getting pomegranate seeds out! That was fabulous! Thanks for the hot tip. Really enjoying all of my whole food plant-based eating since we took your class!

    • Cindy Thompson, Trimazing! Health & Lifestyle Coaching on December 15, 2020 at 2:57 pm

      Wonderful! Go gather as many pomegranates as you can and ENJOY! So glad your WFPB journey is going so well and I look forward to seeing you again in a future class.

5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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