Have you ever heard about a Dragon fruit? Don’t be scared… It’s just the name of a fruit. LOL. You might wonder why it is named dragon fruit? But you know, English is a funny language. Well jokes apart, it is named so, because of the fire-like flower that grows from the fruit.
Now those who haven’t heard about it might wonder what exactly it is, how it tastes, how to eat it, is it healthy? So, I am gonna tell you all about these.
Dragon Fruit is an exotic tropical fruit belonging to the cactus family. It is also popularly known as strawberry pear, pitahaya, or pitaya.
It has 3 varieties:
- Pitaya Blanca- Red skin with white flesh and black seeds inside.
- Pitaya Roja – Red skin with red flesh and black seeds inside.
- Pitaya Amarilla- Yellow skin with white flesh and black seeds inside.
Due to its appearance, you might be hesitant to give it a try. But I believe that we have just one life, so why leave anything to regret… Isn’t it?
Basically, Dragon fruit has a light, slightly sweet flavor. It is most commonly compared with the flavor of Kiwi combined with that of a pear. Also, It has a crunchy flavor due to the seeds inside.
So, if you are a fan of fruits like me, you should definitely give it a try.
Dragon fruit is available throughout the year.
It is grown in countries like Central and South America, Mexico, Israel, Australia, Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, West Indies as well as warmer states in the United States like Texas, California, and Florida.
Dragon fruit can be found in well-equipped supermarkets. It’s not commonly found. It is most common in Latino and Asian markets.
So, here I would like to give you some personal suggestions that you must keep in mind while looking out to buy a Dragon fruit.
- All the varieties of Dragon fruits are similar in taste and appearance.
- The red dragon fruit is more flavorful than others, but it is a little harder to find.
- The yellow one can be easily spotted.
- Lemme tell you a very important tip- dragon fruit may be ripe or unripe.
So you must know how to differentiate between the two, as both have a very similar look.
Dragon fruits taste best when ripe and fresh. These tips might come in handy for picking it while shopping.
- If a dragon fruit is not ripe, it will be green in color.
- If it is ripe, the outer skin will be evenly colored, and that too bright.
- Do not pick one with many bruises.
- Try pressing it slightly using your fingertips. If it is slightly soft, it’s good to buy. But if it is too soft, it’s overripe.
Choosing a dragon fruit is not that hard as it seems, eventually, you will get a grip of it once you taste it and won’t be able to get over it.
Well to answer that… Apart from its taste, Dragon fruit is equally popular for its health benefits. Here are some of its benefits.
- It May Help in improving cardiovascular health.
- Possibly helps to reduce the risk of heart attack or stroke.
- It May Help in reducing bad cholesterol which may help in promoting healthy blood flow.
- Can improve the immune system against common touches of flu, cold, and infections as Dragon fruit is a rich source of Vitamin C.
- Helps to promote healthy digestion.
- Has skin-related benefits, like- it may help in reducing age signs, wrinkles, and acne…. So all the pretty girls out there, you know what to eat.
- Helps in fighting against chronic disease as it is rich in antioxidants which neutralize radicals that cause these diseases.
Some of you out there would be very health-conscious, so let me state its nutrition facts with you. So here you go.
- Dragon fruits contain various nutrients and vitamins in small amounts. It also contains a genuine amount of iron, magnesium, and fiber.
- Its seeds contain omega 3 and omega 6 fatty acids which are necessary for the body.
- If you are a fitness freak or anyone who wants to decrease their calorie intake you will be happy to know that 100 grams of dragon fruit contain only 60 calories. Yes, you heard it right!
- Also, the same amount of dragon fruit (i.e.100 grams) contains
- Protein- 1.2 grams
- Fat- 0 grams
- Carbs- 13 grams
- Fiber- 3 grams
- Vitamin C- 3% of the RDI
- Iron- 4% of the RDI
- Magnesium- 10% of the RDI
‘RDI’ refers to Reference Daily Intake.
A little caution on that part as it might cause an allergy, but it is very rare.
According to the studies- Only 2 cases of an allergic reaction by the dragon fruit have been reported yet.
Hives, swelling of the lips or tongue, Tingling or itchy feeling in the mouth, nausea or vomiting, Wheezing are some signs which indicate that you might have an allergy to dragon fruit.
It’s very simple and easy.
Pick a ripe fruit that has evenly colored skin, which is deep pink or red, or yellow as I told you earlier.
- Don’t eat the skin, because unlike other types of fruits, the skin of dragon fruit is not edible. But you’ll be able to use its skin for serving or presenting your exotic dragon fruit dish (Mmmmm, now I’m craving it).
- Don’t cut the dragon fruit until you plan to use it or eat it, as it will start to dry out and discolor as soon as you cut it open.
1. Eat it as it is –
You can cut the fruit into small pieces and eat it as it is. Slice the fruit crosswise or in half or in quarters by cutting straight through it, using a knife. Exercise caution, while using a sharp knife.
Peel off the skin starting from the pointed edge, if you want to extract the flesh easily. An easy way to peel it is exactly like you peel a prickly pear. Very easy!
Then, slice the flesh up or use a spoon to scoop it out and enjoy it fresh.
The fruit may slip a little, just like a peeled kiwi. I am repeating again, exercise caution!
- You can place the residual fruit in a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge for up to 5 days. Or you can store the fruit in the freezer for up to 3 months. This can work wonders if you are planning to make smoothies with the fruit.
By eating dragon fruit as it is you’re going to experience its original flavor, with nothing else added. But if you get a bland one, it will be really disappointing.
2. So if you get a bland one or you think it lacks some taste anyway, here are some ideas.
- Slice dragon fruit further into small pieces and eat it with chopped nuts or Greek yogurt or ice cream.
- If nothing, simply a drizzle of honey would also taste good.
3. This fruit is simple to prepare and therefore can be paired with other meals also. For instance- You can add chopped dragon fruit to a salad, whether it’s a fruit salad or vegetable salad is up to you. You can also toss dragon fruit in a bowl with pineapple, blueberries, kiwi, or strawberries for a fascinating summer salad or add it into your bowl of muesli containing bananas, nuts, and seeds.
4. Blend Blend!
Frozen dragon fruit chunks can be added to smoothies to create a creamy texture, similar to soft-serve ice cream. Due to its subtle taste, the fruit is most popularly used by blending it with other fruits in frozen bowls or smoothies, or drinks. Dragon fruit may also be pureed and utilized in sauces.
5. Grill it!
You can also grill cubes of this exotic tropical fruit like a kebab, to enjoy it. The caramelized sweet flavor can be balanced with a pinch of chili powder, and the result is delectable and mouth-watering. Here’s how you can make a kebab –
All you will need-
1 dragon fruit (cubed)
1 pineapple (cubed)
1 Apple (cubed)
Or any fruit that you like
Oil for brushing
1 tsp desi red chili powder
Salt to taste
1. Add all the ingredients to a bowl and toss well.
2. Arrange pieces of dragon fruit, pineapple, apple, or any other fruit alternatively on the skewers, and grill for around 10 minutes.
3. Serve hot.
Mmmm… It’s just making me hungrier! What about you all?
6. Freeze it!
Nothing can beat a refreshing popsicle (ice lolly) or sorbet in this boiling summer heat. And dragon fruit could be a great option because it’s loaded with vitamins besides being delicious to taste. All you need to do is juice the fruit (along with other fruits too, if you like, such as kiwi, watermelon, strawberry, etc.), and transfer it to a mold and freeze it till it’s set.
Now make your dish or eat as it is and lemme know what you think about it?