The Wonders of Whimsical Dragon Fruit
Pink may be back to being the new pink, but there's one produce taking its own vibrant spin on blush-colored hues.
There's no doubt dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is the flavor of the summer. Between the new Mango Dragon Fruit Refreshers at Starbucks and pitaya-centered smoothie bowls gracing our Instagram feeds, it's clear the world can't get enough of this exotic produce.
Though dragon fruit has garnered much attention recently, it still remains a hidden gem among the fruit kingdom.
This tropical produce typically sports a flashy look with rich colors and dragon-like scales. There are three main kinds of dragon fruit: red skin and white flesh, yellow skin and white flesh, and red skin and red flesh. Each variety has a subtle difference in flavor; however, compared to its compelling appearance, dragon fruit has a minimally pungent and tame taste to it.
Though they are native to Central America, dragon fruits have recently been grown all over the world. In some countries, they even provide deeper meanings. For example, throughout Vietnam and Thailand, dragon fruit is brought to temples as an offering to Buddha, a particular goddess, or an ancestor. It's also the official national fruit of Vietnam!
Lastly, dragon fruit deserves praise for being a stellar superfood. It supports strong bones, good digestive health, and cares for immune systems. Dragon fruit is also loaded with calcium, vitamin C, and antioxidants.
Learn how to select, store, and prepare this fun fruit for all your culinary creations below!
When selecting a dragon fruit look for a fruit without bruises. Also, check the stem of the fruit. If the fruit is overripe then the stem will be brittle. The scales should be colorful and without browning. The best way to see if a dragon fruit is ripe is to lightly squeeze it. The fruit should be soft but not mushy. It should feel similar to the softness of a ripe mango.
When storing dragon fruit, it is important not to cut or peel the fruit. Place the dragon fruit in a sealed container or bag and then place in the refrigerator. While the dragon fruit can last 2-3 days sitting on the counter but it lasts the longest when stored in the refrigerator.
Preparing a dragon fruit to eat is a lot simpler than the elaborate skin would have you believe. The process is similar to slicing an avocado. Start by cutting the dragon fruit in half from top to bottom. Once it has been separated into two sections, take a tablespoon and slide it in between the flesh and the skin around the entire fruit. Then lift the flesh out of the skin with the spoon. After that, it is ready to be cut, cooked, and consumed.
As previously noted, dragon fruit has a sweet and relatively quiet flavor. It pairs well with other tropical and citrus fruit because it compliments their strong tart flavors with its own mild and sweet flavor. Dragon fruit is the perfect addition to smoothies, fruit salads, and juices.
Now that you know all there is to know about dragon fruit, try out your kitchen skills with this great recipe from Breakfast Criminals!
o 1.5 cups almond milk (or any nut milk of choice)
o 5 tablespoons chia seeds
o 2 tablespoons raw walnuts
o 1/3 cup dragon fruit, chopped (try swapping it with mango or more berries)
o 1 tbs Dastony raw stone ground tahini
o 1/3 cup raspberries, fresh or frozen
o 2 dates, chopped
1. Mix all the ingredients in a glass jar with a lid (or another airtight container) and let it sit. Stir again in 15 minutes, then cover and refrigerate overnight.
2. Serve with fresh berries, dragon fruit, coconut chips, walnuts and love.