Dragon fruit is one of the most strikingly colorful of all fruits, with an exotic appearance and delightful texture. Also known as pitaya, dragon fruit is part of the cactus family.
Its leathery skin is bright pink with yellow and green-tipped spines, and the inner flesh has many tiny seeds and a creamy texture that resembles kiwi fruit. It has a mild, sweet flavor that is very similar to kiwi and pears.
As dragon fruit is low in calories and offers numerous nutrients, including vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, fiber and antioxidants, it has gained huge popularity in recent times.
This beautiful fruit is readily available in Southeast Asia, Mexico, Central and South America, and Israel. However, it can be hard to find in the U.S. and Europe, so many people are not aware of how to cut and enjoy this exotic fruit. You can simply eat the fresh cut fruit or add it to fruit salads or desserts. It can also be used to make healthy smoothies, like the one included below.
When buying dragon fruit, look for one that is firm and has a bright, even-colored skin.
- Steps to Cut and Eat a Dragon Fruit
- Steps to Make a Dragon Fruit Smoothie
- Additional Tips:
Steps to Cut and Eat a Dragon Fruit
Things you’ll need:
- Sharp knife
- Ripe dragon fruit
- Cutting board
Step 1. Cut the core off
Place the dragon fruit on a cutting board, and cut the core off with a sharp knife. After cutting the core, the white inner flesh will be exposed.
Step 2. Cut it into four pieces
Next, cut the fruit straight down the middle into two halves. Then, cut each half in half again, so you have four pieces. When ripe, the dragon fruit is easy to slice.
The flesh of the fruit will be white with many tiny, black edible seeds. Some varieties even have red flesh.
Step 3. Scoop out the flesh
Once the fruit is cut into four parts, separate the flesh from the skin. There are two ways to do this.
You can scoop out the flesh by simply sliding a spoon between the flesh and the skin.
Another option is to loosen one corner of the skin with your finger and slowly lift the flesh off the skin.
Step 4. Slice and eat
Finally, cut the flesh into cubes.
You can eat it right away or chill it in the refrigerator and enjoy it cold. To heighten the flavor, sprinkle it with just a little bit of lemon juice or black salt.
You can also add the cubes to a fresh fruit salad or make a healthy and tasty smoothie.
Steps to Make a Dragon Fruit Smoothie
Things you’ll need:
- Dragon fruit – 1½ dragon fruits, cut into cubes
- Almonds – 2 or 3 almonds, chopped
- Ripe papaya – 1 cup, cut into cubes
- Ripe banana – ½ to 1 ripe banana, cut into thick slices
- Yogurt – 1 cup plain yogurt
Step 1. Put yogurt in a blender
Yogurt is one of the main ingredients of any smoothie. So, put 1 cup of yogurt in the blender.
It’s best to use plain yogurt. Flavored yogurt may overtake the flavor of the other ingredients.
Step 2. Add banana and papaya
Next, add ½ to 1 sliced banana and 1 cup of cubed papaya to the blender.
You can also use kiwi, pear, mango and other mild-flavored fruits. However, avoid citrus fruits as the sour taste does not go well with dragon fruit.
As an ingredient, bananas are commonly used in healthy smoothies and milkshakes.
Step 3. Add dragon fruit cubes
Finally, add the cubes cut from 1½ dragon fruits. Depending upon your preference, you can adjust the quantity.
Step 4. Blend the ingredients
Close the lid of your blender and turn it on. Blend the ingredients until your smoothie has a thick consistency.
Step 5. Pour the smoothie into a mug
Pour the smoothie into a mug. If it’s too thick for your preference, add some milk or water and blend again.
Step 6. Garnish with chopped almonds
Garnish your smoothie with chopped almonds.
Instead of almonds, you can use crushed flaxseeds, chia seeds or sesame seeds.
- Avoid dragon fruit with a lot of blotches as it may be overripe. Also, it should not be too soft or mushy when pressing lightly on the skin.
- Make sure the flesh of the fruit does not have any residual pink skin on it before you eat it. The skin isn't healthy to ingest and could give you a stomach ache. It also doesn’t taste good.
- You can dry the skin of dragon fruit and use it as a bookmark or for other creative projects.
- Avoid mixing dragon fruit with other fruits that have strong flavors and could overpower its delicate taste.