When you see a crate of dragon fruit at the grocery store, you may experience a flurry of different emotions.
From awe and fascination to overwhelmed and intimidated – these reactions are actually very common when it comes to addressing this strange and exotic fruit.
For although dragon fruit can look both vibrant and beautiful, it can also look complicated and difficult to prepare. Making you question how you cut the fruit, or even what part of the fruit you are allowed to eat.
Because of these concerns many people often overlook dragon fruit, robbing themselves of the experience that is this delicious and beneficial foodstuff.
That is why we have decided to answer your burning dragon fruit questions and compile together all the information you will ever need about this amazing and unique fruit.
Down below you will discover more about the dragon fruit and its various health benefits, while also learning how to prepare the fruit from the comfort of your own home.
What Is A Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or pitahaya, is a tropical fruit that predominantly grows in South America and Asia – where it is used as a key ingredient in a variety of cultural dishes.
The dragon fruit itself is a product of the dragon fruit tree, a plant that is actually considered to be a large species of cactus.
In the world, there are three varieties of dragon fruit that can be purchased for human consumption, with each variety differing in appearance and color.
The most widely recognized dragon fruit species is round in shape and features vibrant pink skin with white flesh on the inside.
However, it is also possible to purchase dragon fruit that comes with pink skin and red flesh instead of white. This species is often more difficult to find and may not be available at your local market.
The third and final variety of dragon fruit is the yellow dragon fruit, which differs from the others in its vibrant yellow skin and white flesh.
Although the three species of dragon fruit all differ in their appearance, they all contain the same tiny black seeds which are often interspersed through the fruit’s meat.
The dragon fruit bears many similarities to kiwifruit in terms of texture, as its flesh is soft and yet crunchy due to the number of seeds. Dragon fruit also tastes universally the same, regardless of the variety.
The fruit is known to have a mild and lightly sweet flavor that can be likened to the taste of pears and kiwi. Although dragon fruit is vibrant and colorful, it actually has little to no smell.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Dragon Fruit?
Beyond its natural beauty and vibrancy, the dragon fruit is also a highly nutritious fruit that has many impressive qualities and health benefits.
The fruit itself is packed with rich antioxidants like flavonoids and betacyanin – natural substances that help to protect your cells from molecules that could cause cancer and other fatal diseases.
The dragon fruit is also high in Vitamin C, which helps to strengthen your immune system against germs or illnesses that could incapacitate you.
Pitaya is also fat-free and high in fibre, which makes it a filling and rewarding snack that can be enjoyed throughout the day. The fruit also contains prebiotics, which works to feed the natural bacteria in your gut.
Dragon fruit is known to encourage the growth of these healthy bacteria, which further helps to protect your body from viruses and harmful germs.
Dragon fruit is high in beneficial minerals such as iron and magnesium, which can have a profound effect on the way oxygen moves throughout your body.
Incidentally, the natural Vitamin C in dragon fruit also allows your body to absorb iron in a fast and effective way.
How To Pick A Dragon Fruit?
When purchasing a dragon fruit, you have to make sure that it is in the best condition for consumption. When a dragon fruit is ripe and ready to be eaten, the skin will take on a bright and evenly colored appearance.
The fruit should also be firm in its texture but still allow a slight give when squeezed or handled. If you purchase a dragon fruit that feels soft and mushy to the touch, then chances are the fruit is overripe or has begun to expire.
Although blemishes and markings are not uncommon on ripe fruit, you should remain wary of dragon fruit that comes with an abundance of blotches. As these could indicate that the fruit is too overripe for consumption.
Dragon fruit can often be found in Asian markets across the world, where it will usually be sold year-round. Select grocery stores have also been known to stock the fruit sporadically throughout the year, but it can also be purchased on Amazon as a last resort.
How To Cut A Dragon Fruit?
And here we have the big questions, how do you cut a dragon fruit? Well, there are several ways to cut and prepare this particular fruit. But for this article, we have outlined the most traditional and widely used method down below.
Step 1: Cut The Fruit In Half
Cutting a dragon fruit can be a very easy task. First, you have to take your dragon fruit and place it on a clean surface or cutting board. Then take a large, sharp knife and cut the fruit vertically down the middle until you have two halves.
Step 2: Empty The Fruit
Once you have cut your dragon fruit in half, take a large spoon and slide it between the skin and the flesh like you would an avocado or kiwi. This helps to loosen the flesh from the skin, allowing you to remove it without issue.
Once this has been completed, you should be able to lift the meat from the skin with the spoon, or peel the skin back using your fingers.
Step 3: Cut Up The Flesh
Place the flesh on a clean surface and remove any residual skin or pink matter. Then cut the flesh up into quarters and slice it into cubes or chunks.
If you wish to present the fruit in a fun and creative way, then you can serve it inside the empty skin or simply place it in a serving bowl. Note that the skin is not edible and should not be digested.