How to Eat Dragon Fruit: Best 8 Mouthwatering Ways

Looking to add some excitement to your fruit routine? Explore how to eat dragon fruit. From slicing to blending, we’ve got you covered!

Dragon fruit, which is also known as pitaya, is a tropical fruit that belongs to the cactus family. It is popular for its refreshing taste and numerous health benefits. However, some people are uncertain about the best way to consume this fruit or incorporate it into their diet.

What is dragon fruit?

The Hylocereus plant, also called Honolulu queen, yields the exotic fruit known as dragon fruit. Its blossoms emerge only at night.

The tropical plant hails from regions in Central America and the southern part of Mexico. It is growing throughout the world these days.

There are other names for it, such as strawberry pear, pitaya, and pitahaya.

The namesake comes from the brilliant red skin and green scales of the two most prevalent species, which resemble dragons.

There is a less common variant with red pulp and black seeds, but the most commonly accessible variation has white pulp with black seeds.

Yellow dragon fruit, also known as pitaya amarilla, has white pulp with black seeds and yellow skin.

Dragon fruit may appear unusual, yet its flavors are similar to other fruits. Its flavor has been described as a somewhat sweet cross between kiwi and pear.

Dragon fruit nutrition profile

NutrientAmount per 100g
Calories60
Protein1.2g
Fat0.4g
Carbohydrates13.7g
Fiber3g
Vitamin C9mg
Calcium8mg
Iron0.9mg
Magnesium30mg
Potassium260mg

Please note that these values may vary slightly depending on the variety and ripeness of the fruit.

Benefits of dragon fruit

Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants, such as Vitamin C, which protects cells from damage caused by free radicals and reduces the risk of chronic diseases.

Boosts Immunity: The body can fend off infections and illnesses because of the high vitamin C concentration in dragon fruit, which supports a strong immune system.

Enhances Digestive Health: Rich in dietary fiber, dragon fruit facilitates easy digestion, wards off constipation, and supports a robust digestive tract.

Heart Health: By lowering cholesterol and enhancing heart health, the low cholesterol and high fiber content of dragon fruit can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

Supports Weight Management: Dragon fruit is a wonderful addition to a diet for weight reduction or weight management because of its high fiber content and low-calorie count, which can help you feel full and pleased.

Hydrating Properties: Dragon fruit has a lot of water, which can help you stay hydrated and promote healthy skin and overall wellness.

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Dragon fruit is rich in vitamins and minerals, including vitamin B, calcium, iron, and phosphorus, which are necessary for several body processes. Furthermore, it comes with a beneficial amount of vitamin C.

May Help Control Blood Sugar: According to certain research, dragon fruit may be able to help control blood sugar levels, which is advantageous for people who already have diabetes or are at risk of getting the disease.

Anti-Inflammatory Properties: Studies have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of several of the substances found in dragon fruit, which may help lessen inflammation and ease the symptoms of inflammatory diseases.

Promotes Healthy Skin: The high concentration of antioxidants and vitamin C in dragon fruit can promote the production of collagen, improve skin elasticity, and prevent premature aging, helping to maintain youthful and vibrant skin.

How to Eat Dragon Fruit?

Here are the top 8 ways to eat dragon fruit, complete with ingredients and instructions for each method:

1. Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl

Ingredients:

  • 1 dragon fruit, peeled and diced
  • 1 banana, frozen
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • Toppings: granola, strawberries, chia seeds – these are the choices for your dish.

Instructions:

  1. Blend dragon fruit, banana, yogurt, and almond milk until smooth.
  2. Pour into a bowl and top with granola, strawberries, and chia seeds.

2. Dragon Fruit Salsa

1 dragon fruit, dicedA finely chopped red onion, half of it.One jalapeño, with the seeds removed and finely chopped.1/4 cup cilantro, choppedJuice of 1 lime

Ingredients:

  • 1 dragon fruit, diced
  • A finely chopped red onion, half of it.
  • One jalapeño, with the seeds removed and finely chopped.
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime

Instructions:

  1. Combine all components within a mixing vessel.
  2. It is recommended to place it in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes before serving.
  3. Enjoy by adding tortilla chips or as a savory topping for grilled fish or chicken.

3. Dragon Fruit Salad

Dragon Fruit Salad

Ingredients:

  • 1 dragon fruit, cubed
  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup cucumber, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions:

  1. All items should be mixed in a receptacle.
  2. Generously pour the honey on top, then softly combine it.
  3. Serve chilled.

4. Dragon Fruit Popsicles

Dragon Fruit Popsicles

Ingredients:

  • 1 dragon fruit, peeled and blended
  • 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon honey

Instructions:

  1. The puree of dragon fruit, coconut water, and honey should be blended.
  2. Empty the mixture into popsicle molds and wait for it to solidify completely in the freezer.

5. Dragon Fruit Parfait

Dragon Fruit Parfaits

Ingredients:

  • 1 dragon fruit, diced
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • Drizzle agave syrup

Instructions:

  1. Layer dragon fruit, yogurt, and granola in a glass.
  2. Repeat layers.
  3. Drizzle with agave syrup.

6. Grilled Dragon Fruit Skewers

Grilled Dragon Fruit Skewers

Ingredients:

  • 1 dragon fruit, cubed
  • 1/2 pineapple, cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • Wooden skewers

Instructions:

  1. Thread dragon fruit and pineapple onto skewers.
  2. Brush with honey and grill for 3-4 minutes per side.

7. Dragon Fruit Chia Pudding

Dragon Fruit Chia Pudding

Ingredients:

  • 1 dragon fruit, blended
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Instructions:

  1. Mix dragon fruit puree, chia seeds, almond milk, and maple syrup.
  2. Refrigerate overnight.
  3. Stir well before serving.

8. Dragon Fruit Margarita

Dragon Fruit Margarita

Ingredients:

  • 1 dragon fruit, scooped
  • 2 oz tequila
  • 1 oz triple sec
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Ice

Instructions:

  1. Blend dragon fruit, tequila, triple sec, and lime juice with ice.
  2. Rim glasses with salt, pour in the mixture, and garnish with dragon fruit slices.

What types of Dragon fruit?

White-Fleshed Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undatus): This is the most common type of dragon fruit. It has vibrant pink skin with green scales and white flesh speckled with tiny black seeds. The flavor is mildly sweet and often likened to a cross between a kiwi and a pear.

Red-Fleshed Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus costaricensis): Also known as “red pitaya” or “red dragon fruit,” this variety has bright pink to red skin with green scales and vibrant red flesh. It tends to be sweeter and juicier than the white-fleshed variety, with a flavor reminiscent of watermelon and raspberries.

Yellow-Fleshed Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus megalanthus): Sometimes referred to as “yellow pitaya” or “yellow dragon fruit,” this variety has yellow skin with green scales and white or yellow flesh. It has a mildly sweet taste with subtle floral notes, similar to a mix of pineapple and citrus.

Purple-Fleshed Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus undatus x Hylocereus costaricensis): This hybrid variety combines the characteristics of both white-fleshed and red-fleshed dragon fruit. It typically has deep purple skin with green scales and vibrant purple flesh. The flavor is sweet and slightly tangy, with hints of berry and melon.

Hylocereus guatemalensis: Also known as “Costa Rica pitaya” or “yellow dragon fruit,” this variety has yellow skin with green scales and white flesh speckled with tiny black seeds. It has a mild, sweet flavor similar to the white-fleshed variety.

How to Cut Dragon Fruit?

  1. Selecting the Fruit: Choose a dragon fruit that feels slightly soft to the touch but not mushy. Ripe dragon fruit will have bright, evenly colored skin without any bruises or soft spots.
  2. Preparing Your Workspace: Place the dragon fruit on a clean cutting board. Make sure you have a sharp knife and a spoon handy.
  3. Cutting the Dragon Fruit:
    • Start by cutting off the leafy green stem at the top of the fruit. This step is optional, but it makes the fruit easier to handle.
    • Stand the dragon fruit upright on the cut end.
    • Using a sharp knife, carefully slice the fruit vertically in half from top to bottom. Be cautious as the skin may be tough.
    • You should now have two halves of the dragon fruit, each with white or pink flesh and tiny black seeds.
  4. Removing the Flesh:
    • To eat the dragon fruit directly from the skin, use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, similar to eating a kiwi.
    • Alternatively, you can peel the skin away from the flesh. Gently grip the skin with your fingers and peel it away, similar to how you would peel a mango or avocado.
  5. Serving Suggestions: Once the flesh is removed, you can slice, dice, or cube the dragon fruit as desired. It can be eaten on its own, added to fruit salads, smoothies, and yogurt bowls, or used as a topping for desserts.
  6. Storing Leftovers: If you have leftover dragon fruit, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 days. It’s best to eat it as soon as possible for optimal freshness and flavor.

FAQs

What does dragon fruit taste like?

Dragon fruit is often described as having a flavor similar to pear and kiwi, with a hint of citrus. Dragon fruit is somewhat sweet and has soft flesh that may be scooped out with a spoon.

Can you eat dragon fruit daily?

Absolutely! Dragon fruit is high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, so if you appreciate it, you can eat it daily. Keep in mind that dragon fruit contains a lot of fiber, which can cause gas, bloating, and cramps if consumed in excess.

Which color of dragon fruit has more health benefits?

The pink dragon fruit with crimson flesh contains the most betalains, which can help lower bad cholesterol. Yellow dragon fruit went viral on TikTok due to its high fiber content and purported ability to alleviate constipation. All varieties of dragon fruit are high in fiber. Other health claims about dragon fruit, including its ability to relieve constipation, have not been validated and should be reviewed with your doctor.

How do you know if a dragon fruit is ripe?

Dragon fruit is ripe when its skin is bright and smooth, with few imperfections. It should also give somewhat when pressed with your fingertips, but not too soft or mushy.

References

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