Dragon fruit gives the saying “beautiful inside and out” a new meaning.
It’s a unique and visually stunning tropical fruit. Even if you haven’t tasted it, we bet it has caught your eye at the supermarket or farmers market.
The exterior appearance of flame-shaped overlapping “scales” and bold colors inspired the name “Dragon Fruit.” When you cut it open, the flesh is just as intriguing.
Certainly, dragon fruit looks inviting to eat. So, keep reading to learn what dragon fruit tastes like, how to prepare it, and its excellent health benefits.
What is Dragon Fruit and Where Does It Come From?
The exact origin of dragon fruit is unknown. However, it is probably native to Central America. Today, it is grown in Asia, Mexican, Central America, South America, and Israel.
Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or strawberry pear, is oval and grows on a family of cacti called Hylocereus.
The skin can be hot pink with green-tipped spikes, a sunny yellow or white. Only the yellow variety has thorns on the tips of the spikes. Even so, these can be easily removed.
The flesh varies from an electric purple to a deep red or white. Regardless of the flesh color, every fruit has tiny black edible seeds.
What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?
When ripe, dragon fruit taste mildly sweet and juicy with a slight crunch. The flavor is a unique combination of pear, kiwi, and watermelon.
In comparison to unripe dragon fruit, the flesh is virtually flavorless. The skin may be beautiful and enticing. However, it is not edible and should be thrown away or added to your compost heap.
You can expect the texture to be similar to a ripe kiwi. In addition, the seeds of a kiwi are almost identical to those in dragon fruit.
Hence, the kiwi and dragon fruit seeds contribute to their crunch factors. Also, dragon fruit seeds have a nutty flavor.
How do you know when dragon fruit is ripe?
We will focus on the pink-skinned dragon fruit, which is the most common.
Dragon fruit is harvested unripe in preparation for shipping. It is firmer and exposed to less risk of bruising or spoiling on the journey.
The flesh of pink-skinned dragon fruit is either red or white. In most cases, a grower’s sticker on the skin will indicate the color of the flesh. Notably, red flesh is sweeter than white.
Don’t panic if there is no sticker. The size and shape are great guidelines. For red flesh, look for a circular shape with short petal-shaped pieces. If you want white flesh, the shape is more elongated with long petal-like pieces.
The trick for choosing the best dragon fruit is weight-based. The heavier it is, the more juice it has and the riper it is. On your next trip to the supermarket or farmers market, pick up a few, and you will see what we mean.
The skin should be evenly pink, slightly firm, and give under the pressure of your thumb-similar to checking if an avocado is ripe. Also, any blemishes are signs of bruising.
Another indicator of ripe dragon fruit is that the petal-shaped pieces start to dry out, usually turning yellow with brown tips.
We recommend you look for all these indicators to ensure the fruit is ripe, juicy, and delicious.
How to peel and cut Dragon Fruit
The easiest way to cut and access the fruit is as follows:
- Using a shape knife, cut it across the width
- Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh
If you want to cut up the fruit, follow these steps:
- Again, using a sharp knife, cut off a small section of the base
- Steady the fruit on a board and cut the skin off from top to bottom around the flesh
- Cut into pieces or slices and enjoy
How should you eat dragon fruit?
Scooping the flesh out with a spoon is the quickest and easiest way to eat dragon fruit. This method makes it an excellent snack and a fun eating experience for children.
However, if you want to slice it for a fruit platter or dice it for a fruit salad, cut off the skin as recommended above and create your desired shape.
5 Delicious Ways to Enjoy Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is available fresh, and some supermarkets sell it frozen in bags. Therefore, you can use them in various recipes, including margaritas, fruit salads, smoothies, and salsa, to name a few.
We have narrowed it down to 5 delicious ways to enjoy dragon fruit.
Tropical Twist Smoothie
A delicious, nutritious, and refreshing way to start your day.
Make this smoothie for breakfast or lunch using coconut, nut, or dairy milk with dragon fruit and other tropical fruit.
We suggest adding pineapple, watermelon, lychee, and kiwi. Add some vanilla protein powder and chia seeds for an extra boost of flavor and nutrients.
Dragon fruit makes an excellent addition or fruit substitute in margaritas.
Of course, it is best mixed with other exotic fruit, such as mango, pineapple, lychee, and watermelon. Using fresh lime rather than lemon enhances the tropical flavor.
Sensation Fruit Salad
Nothing is better than a fresh fruit salad on a hot summer’s day.
Make this using an exotic fruit collection of dragon fruit, mango, pineapple, lychee, and watermelon.
Fresh lime juice and garden mint are the perfect finishing touches.
Fresh Garden Salad
It may seem strange to add fruit to a green leaf-based salad.
Yet, you can expect a fresh, crisp, and satisfying culinary experience with the right combination.
Dragon fruit pairs well with baby green leaves (as these are sweeter), cucumber, citrus, spring onion, and a crunchy seed topping.
Remember to add a dressing made with lime juice, salt, chili powder, and extra virgin olive oil.
This super salsa is great to serve with chips and crackers. Also, it is great for tacos!
Make this salsa using kiwi, dragon fruit, avocado, lime juice, chili powder, and fresh basil leaves.
Ideal as an entree when entertaining family and friends.
Health Benefits and Side Effects of Dragon Fruit
Is Dragon Fruit Good for You?
Dragon fruit contains a decent amount of essential vitamins and minerals, including the following:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
It is high in fiber and naturally fat-free. Due to the high fiber content, it makes a terrific snack between meals as it keeps you fuller for longer.
Dragon fruit contains antioxidants, such as flavonoids, phenolic acid, and betacyanin.
Moreover, they contain prebiotics. Prebiotics feed the good bacteria, known as probiotics, in your gut.
All the above-contributing factors assist with the following:
- Cancer prevention
- Premature aging prevention
- Intestine health
- Lowering blood sugar
- Boosting your iron levels
- Strengthening your immune system
Regarding the side effects, dragon fruit is generally safe to eat.
There have been isolated allergic reactions recorded that include:
- Swelling of the tongue
However, this is very rare.
Oh, and eating a fair amount of red or purple flesh dragon fruit can turn your urine red, similar to eating beetroot.
Are Dragon Fruit Seeds Good for You?
Absolutely! Dragon fruit seeds contain omega 3 and omega 9 fatty acids. Omega 3 is essential in blood clotting regulation, concentration, and inflammation.
Omega 9 helps reduce the risk of heart disease and helps to improve blood sugar control, to name a few.
Overall, dragon fruit is a delicious and nutritious tropical fruit. If you want to learn more, we recommend you visit this link.
Final Fruity Thoughts
We love this fascinating and delicious tropical fruit. Certainly, it is intriguing to look at, fun to prepare, and a refreshing eating experience.
Dragon fruit is a unique tropical fruit that boasts an unforgettable taste. From sweet to tart, it even has subtle hints of spice. Depending on the type, it might even remind you of kiwi or pear.
Though some people might not find it appealing, others enjoy its one-of-a-kind flavor. If you’re curious about dragon fruit’s taste, the best way to find out is to try one for yourself.
Who knows – you might surprise yourself and fall in love with it!
Trying new things can be an exciting and enlightening experience. So why not start with a delicious dragon fruit?
So, what is your favorite dragon fruit flesh color? Red, purple, or white? Let us know!
Learn more: What Does a Lychee Taste Like? Does It Taste Good?