Dragon fruit has become one of the most popular tropical fruit worldwide though originally well-known in Southeast Asia and Latin America. This beautiful exotic fruit is also known as pitaya, pitahaya, or strawberry pear and grows on the Hylocereus cactus, whose flowers only bloom at night. The sweet and delicate flavor with vibrant colors makes this fruit easily loved by many people.
The most common dragon fruit appears with a pinkish or purplish-red (magenta) exterior and green spikes that resemble a dragon. On the inside of it is white or purple flesh with edible tiny black seeds. Dragon fruit also has other varieties, such as the pink-skinned with three types of fruit flesh, white, red, and purple flesh. The other variety is yellow-skinned with white fruit flesh.
The sugary and crunchy taste of dragon fruit makes it enjoyable in various yummy and healthy recipes, such as drinks, desserts, salsa, and classic fruit salads. With foods and beverages that come out in a bright, colorful, and picturesque appearance, adding dragon fruit to your recipes is energizing on the hot summer days. Here are tasty ways to eat dragon fruit, from sweet smoothie to fresh salsa on a grilled fish.
Delicious dragon fruit summer recipes
Preparing dragon fruit is uncomplicated. The simplest one will probably be slicing in half and use a melon-baller or spoon to scoop out the fruit flesh. The exterior of dragon fruit is the best container for a quick bite. You can store the scoops of fruit into the skin container to serve directly or move them into a serving bowl or other dishes.
While that is a quick and simple way to enjoy your pitaya, you can also create various mouthwatering recipes with this fruit. Incorporating dragon fruit into your summer recipes is a perfect fun idea that you can try by yourself without any hassle.
1. Pitaya breakfast smoothie
You can try a dragon fruit smoothie for a fresh way to start your day. Pitaya is well-mixed with other fruits, but with its unique flavor, it can be the new star of your smoothie. Explore your taste buds in the tropics by adding coconut water, bananas, and pineapple to your pitaya. You can also use dragon fruit to add more sweetness to a green veggie breakfast shake. The vibrant color of this smoothie elevates your healthy morning meal.
2. Fizzy pink soda
This carbonated drink combines dragon fruit with soda water, lime juice, and a bit of additional sweetness. You can use a natural sweetener instead of a regular syrup to lower sugar levels. The super lovely pink color from the exotic dragon fruit makes you will not feel guilty about your extra soda consumption.
3. Pitaya mix parfait
Create a pitaya mix parfait by combining dried berries and cinnamon. Layer the pitaya mix and crust in a sleek glass and top it off with a fruit assortment. You can choose various types of berries for an artsy mix-and-match. When you have no time to finish all your pitaya mix parfait, you can cool it in the fridge and enjoy later for a thirst-quenching snack.
4. Dragon fruit pudding
Creating recipes from the delicious and juicy tropical fruits seems like a never-ending exploration. You can renew your classic pudding dessert by mixing pitaya with other exotic fruit for a fresher blend. For example, mix dragon fruit with a mellow rambutan. Chill your pudding for at least four hours.
5. Pitaya ice cream balls
When you want to eat something fun and simple for the ultimate frosty treat, try making pitaya ice cream balls. For a more spiced-up dragon fruit ice cream, sprinkle some cinnamons on top. Complete it with your favorite fruit toppings.
6. Pop summer salads
Whether you want to make a green veggie salad or classic fruit salad, adding dragon fruit to your healthy mix will add a subtle sweetness and eye-catching visual. The mellow flavor of pitaya goes well with lighter greens like spinach salad. Drizzle your meal with a basic vinaigrette such as a cinnamon or pomegranate vinaigrette for that energizing summer flavor. For the classic fruit salad, pitaya will add that pop of freshness to any fruit mix you love.
7. Fresh pitaya salsa
A unique way to electrify your salsa is by using dragon fruit. The savory mix of pitaya, cilantro, onions, and lime juice will pump up any meal. When you want to chill out in the summer while spoiling your palate, enjoy the fresh dragon fruit salsa with chips, tacos, and any of your favorite grilled fish. Use this salsa as toppings for grilled mahi-mahi or salmon.
Healthy benefits of dragon fruit
Besides being an excellent ingredient for your summer recipes, you can also get many health benefits from eating this delicious tropical fruit.
1. Rich in antioxidants
Dragon fruit is rich in antioxidants such as betacyanins and betaxanthins. These natural substances neutralize free radicals in your body. Free radicals are molecules that can provoke cell damage and lead to premature aging and diseases like cancer. As antioxidants, betacyanins and betaxanthins can prevent further damage caused by free radicals. The antioxidant in dragon fruit can also help stop inflammatory in the body.
2. High in essential nutrients
Dragon fruit contains essential vitamins and minerals while low in calories. It also has a large amount of dietary fiber. Dragon fruit provides 7 grams of fiber in one serving, a brilliant choice for your daily fiber needs. It is also worry-free to have dragon fruit as a snack because the fruit can keep you full for a longer time between meals. The nutrients in dragon fruit include magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin C, and zinc. Smaller amounts of copper and calcium also present in the fruit, which is good for your body.
3. Contains prebiotic
Dragon fruit comprises carbohydrates named oligosaccharides, which can help stimulate healthy bacteria growth in the human stomach and intestines. Doctors call these bacteria probiotics which support body health. The prebiotics in dragon fruit can help to improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, and lower the risk of intestinal diseases.