11 Substitutes for Pomegranate Seeds 

Pomegranate seeds make a great addition in various foods, like dessert foods and smoothies. They are scrumptious and healthy, which might lead you to think that there aren’t many replacements. But, if you can’t find any pomegranate seeds, there are plenty of fruits similar to pomegranate.

If you need pomegranate seeds but none are available to you, don’t give up on your recipe. There are a sufficient amount of pomegranate seed substitutes that will do the same job. Some of the best replacements for pomegranate seeds include cranberries, raspberries, red currants, blackberries, blueberries, and more.

What are Pomegranate Seeds?

Interestingly, pomegranate seeds are the only edible part of pomegranates. They are acquired by cutting a ripe pomegranate in half and hitting it with a spoon. The seeds that spill out during this process, called the arils, have both a pleasant flavor and nutritional profile.

Their taste is tart or sweet, yet mild. In comparison to other fruits, they are much less tart than the taste of blueberries. The subtle flavor and influx of health benefits make pomegranate seeds a perfect addition to yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and more.

Is it Healthy to Eat Pomegranate Seeds?

Pomegranate seeds are incredibly healthy. They are rich in antioxidants, which support your body’s overall health and immunity. Pomegranate seeds are also thought to be heart-healthy, antimicrobial, and can help reduce inflammation.

Along with these benefits, pomegranate seeds are high in fiber, minerals, and vitamins, but low in calories. Some essential minerals that you can get from pomegranate seeds are magnesium, phosphorus, iron, calcium, and potassium, as well as vitamin C. 

What Can You Use Instead of Pomegranate Seeds?

1. Cranberries

Cranberries are usually fairly easy to track down at the grocery store. Their taste is similar to that of pomegranate seeds, but they aren’t as sweet and are more tart. Their color is a dark red shade, and their consistency is dense but fleshy, making them an ideal stand-in for pomegranate seeds.

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Cranberries may be found in two forms; fresh or dried. You can use either as a pomegranate seed substitute and your recipe will turn out more or less the same. If you need fresh cranberries but can only find dry ones, they can be rehydrated

To do this, soak them for about fifteen minutes in warm water and they will take on that rounded texture that fresh cranberries have.

2. Raspberries

In terms of flavor, raspberries are the most similar to pomegranate seeds. Raspberries have a tangy flavor that is sweet at the same time, a trait that many love pomegranate seeds for. They’re also red in color, and will brighten up your dish aesthetically, too.

Raspberries are somewhat bigger than pomegranate seeds, but if this is a problem for you they can easily be broken up into smaller pieces. Their texture is a bit softer than pomegranate seeds, but they are still very juicy. Raspberries also should be easy to find in the freezer area.

3. Red Currants

Red currants are the most similar to the size of pomegranate seeds. They also have a similar taste, but are a bit more sour. Using a small amount of sugar will balance this out, if needed. The color of red currants is also similar to the color of pomegranate seeds.

4. Pomegranate Syrup

If you’re looking for something that replicates the flavor of pomegranate seeds, pomegranate syrup might be your best bet. Of course, it is a liquid, so it does not offer the same texture that pomegranate seeds do.

However, it will give you almost the exact same taste that pomegranate seeds do. For example, if you normally top off salads with pomegranate seeds, try adding pomegranate syrup as a dressing. It easily blends in with smoothies and other drinks as well.

5. Blackberries

Blackberries can be a bit harder to come by than some of the other fruits listed above, but they do make a viable replacement for pomegranate seeds. They’re full of nutrients and can be added to any dish that pomegranate seeds would be, without altering the taste much.

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Their texture is softer than pomegranate seeds, and they are darker in color, but they are equally as delicious in recipes.

6. Cranberry Juice 

Cranberry juice is the pomegranate seed replacement for any liquid. It can be added to sauces or dressings, as well as creams or sweet drinks. Before adding cranberry juice to your drinks, give it a taste test to see how saturated the flavor is so you don’t add too much.

Obviously, it does not offer the same texture that pomegranates do, so it is best suited for only liquids. But, its taste is very pungent and sweet, you’ll hardly be able to notice the difference when using it as a pomegranate seed replacement.

7. Blueberries

Blueberries are not a perfect replica of pomegranate seeds, but in a pinch, they can work just fine as a substitute. Their texture is very similar to that of the pomegranate seeds, and they have a similar tartness.

As you can infer, blueberries are blue and not red, so the color palette of your dish will be different. They are also somewhat larger than pomegranate seeds, so you may want to cut them into halves or quarters, but their taste is still sweet and tart.

8. Dried Barberries

Dried barberries are not so easy to find, but if you happen to come across them, they make a perfect pomegranate seed substitute for any recipe. They are considerably smaller than pomegranate seeds, but can easily be rehydrated. 

The taste of dried barberries is sweet and satisfying, so they can be a perfect touch to salads, smoothies, or creams. When using it as a pomegranate seed substitute, their taste is almost exact.

9. Raisins 

Raisins are probably not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of pomegranate substitute replacements, but they are a very versatile food. For one, they are soft and their texture is chewy. They can also be rehydrated in water if needed.

Their flavor is not as subtle as the flavor of pomegranate seeds, so the amount you use may need to be adjusted. But, they also offer similar health benefits, like being high in fiber. Raisins are also packed with nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and iron. 

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10. Sour Cherries

As you can infer from the name, sour cherries are not as sweet as regular cherries, but more sour. This quality makes them a nice replacement for pomegranate seeds. One thing to note is that they won’t look the same in your foods because they are bigger in size and darker.

They can be cut into smaller pieces to better fit the size of pomegranate seeds, or eaten whole. Just remember to remove the pits from the cherries, and you can use them as a replacement for pomegranate seeds in any recipe.

11. Figs

Figs are much larger than pomegranate seeds, but they can be diced and sprinkled over your lunch. Their taste is very fruity and sweet, and their texture is similar to pomegranate seeds, but they may be a bit softer. Dried figs can also be eaten alone as a nutritious and tasty snack.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many pomegranate seeds should I eat a day?

It is recommended by the USDA to eat around two cups of fruit per day. Pomegranate seeds are a very healthy and easy way to meet this goal, as they are low in calories but dense in nutrients.

Should you spit out pomegranate seeds? 

Eating a whole pomegranate seed won’t do much damage, and the arils are very rich in fiber. It’s up to you whether you want to eat the whole pomegranate seed or spit out the tiny pit!

Are pomegranate seeds hard to digest?

Pomegranate seeds are safe to eat and digest, but be mindful of how much you eat at once. Everything should be done in moderation, including pomegranate seeds. Eating too much at one time can cause intestinal blockages.

Final Thoughts

Pomegranate seeds are packed with nutrients and add a sweet taste to any recipe they are a part of. If you can’t find any pomegranate seeds and don’t have any on hand, there are plenty of alternatives that are just as delicious and healthy.