Have you ever wondered how to cook with pomegranate seeds or the best substitutes for them?
These sweet, tart and colorful morsels are packed with essential nutrients like magnesium, calcium, and iron and have a unique flavor that adds a delightful punch to any dish.
For those who do not have easy access to fresh pomegranates, there are some smart substitutes that can provide the same flavor profile.
From raspberries to cherries, here is our guide on cooking with pomegranate seeds, as well as the five best substitutes for them.
What are Pomegranate Seeds?
Pomegranate Seeds are edible, ruby-red jewels filled with tart goodness.
Originating in Iran, they were known as a symbol of fertility and abundance among ancient civilizations.
Nowadays, pomegranate seeds have become much more widely available and can be easily bought in grocery stores or even harvested from trees and bushes that thrive in warm climates.
When harvested, they burst with a sweet-tangy flavor and a juicy yet crunchy texture that is sure to tantalize the taste buds.
Eat raw or cooked into dishes like salads and smoothies; pomegranate seeds can be used for both sweet and savory purposes.
They are also an excellent source of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making them extraordinary for one’s overall health.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Pomegranate Seeds
If you’re looking for a way to give your dish that classic sweet-tart crunch of pomegranate seeds, don’t worry – there are plenty of great alternatives you can use.
Here are the five best substitutes for pomegranate seeds:
1 – Raspberries
Raspberries are a delightful fruit, with their juicy and sweet flavor and deliciously tart aftertaste.
Firm in texture yet incredibly soft, they burst when under pressure.
Even though they offer several nutritional benefits, people love raspberries primarily for the unique taste that can only be described as incomparable.
For those looking to replicate the experience of eating pomegranate seeds without the tediousness of de-seeding them, raspberry is a great substitute as it offers a similar texture and taste guaranteed to satisfy any craving.
2 – Cranberries
Cranberries are an interesting fruit that has been enjoyed for hundreds of years.
Their sweet and tart flavor, combined with their pleasing texture, make them a great addition to any dish or recipe.
While fresh cranberries can be hard to find in some locales, the dried variety is easy to come by and still offers an amazing taste.
Many people think of cranberries as pomegranate-like, but if you can’t find any pomegranate seeds on hand, there’s no need to worry because cranberries make a perfect substitute.
You can mince and use them either fresh or dried to get the same crunchy texture as pomegranate seeds.
3 – Red Currants
Red currants are an interesting alternative to traditional pomegranate seeds.
With a sweet and tart taste and a crunchy popped texture when chewed, red currants can be used as a substitute for pomegranate seeds in salads, desserts, and smoothies alike.
The flavor of the red currant is predominantly sweet with a slightly tart finish, and its smaller size makes it ideal for layering on top of toast or yogurt.
For dishes that call for the texture of pomegranate seeds, red currants offer a milder flavor profile but provide a distinctive popping sensation in every bite.
Red currants may be harder to find than pomegranate seeds at certain grocery stores, but there’s no denying their versatility when it comes to creative uses in the kitchen.
4 – Raisins
Raisins are small, dried fruits made from grapes.
They have a unique sweet yet tart flavor and are chewy in texture.
Often used as an ingredient in baking, raisins can make an excellent substitute for pomegranate seeds.
Use them to top salads or yogurt bowls for added flavor and sweetness, or add them to recipes that call for fresh fruit for extra texture and flavor.
As an alternative to the crunchy texture of the pomegranate seeds, the raisins have just enough sweetness and softness to make any recipe deliciously unique.
So don’t hesitate to try substituting raisins throughout your cooking repertoire; you may be pleasantly surprised with the results.
5 – Cherries
Cherries are vibrant, tart-sweet fruits that make a bold statement in any dish.
Their firm texture and juicy, sweet-tart flavor pair well with countless foods, allowing them to be used in any number of creative ways.
Although they can be enjoyed on their own as a delightful snack or dessert topping, cherries also make an excellent substitute for pomegranate seeds in salads and other dishes.
They retain their slightly tart taste even when cooked or blended into sauces or toppings and add a burst of flavor that works in both savory and sweet recipes.
In conclusion, pomegranate seeds are a delicious and nutritious addition to any dish.
However, for those who don’t have access to fresh ones or can’t be bothered with the tedious process of de-seeding them, there are several great alternatives available.
Raspberries, cranberries, red currants, raisins, and cherries can all provide a similar taste and texture as pomegranate seeds but with their own unique flavor twist.
So don’t be afraid to experiment and try these substitutes in your next recipe.