You have likely run across the pink and spiky dragon fruit while grocery shopping. With its bright color and unique appearance, dragon fruit stands out from many other fruits. But what exactly is dragon fruit? What does it taste like? And how do you eat it?
If you are not used to eating dragon fruit, it may come off as intimidating. This post dives deep into what dragon fruit is and how to make dragon fruit taste better. With these tips, you won’t be intimidated anymore by this bright fruit anymore!
WHAT IS DRAGON FRUIT?
Also known as pitaya, dragon fruit is a popular tropical fruit that mostly grows in Southeast Asia and South America. Dragon fruit is a fresh fruit that grows on a few different types of cacti, which is why it has a spiky exterior.
The pink skin (or sometimes yellow skin) is inedible, but the inside is completely safe to eat. The inside of dragon fruit is usually white or red and has black seeds.
WHAT DOES DRAGON FRUIT TASTE LIKE?
Despite its vivid color, dragon fruit has a mild and sweet taste. It tastes kind of like a kiwi and has a similar texture. Its soft and mild flavors make it refreshing during a hot summer’s day.
Make sure to buy fully ripe dragon fruit, because unripe dragon fruit has no flavor.
HOW DO I KNOW IF THE DRAGON FRUIT IS READY TO EAT?
Like most fruits, dragon fruit tastes best when it is ripe. There are some ways to check that the dragon fruit is ready to eat. The skin should have a bright color without any spots or bruising. Overripe dragon fruit will have spots and look dry.
Find an unblemished dragon fruit and gently press its skin. If it is too soft, then the dragon fruit is overripe. If it’s too hard, then it is under-ripe but, it will ripen quickly.
The perfect dragon fruit will feel a bit soft when lightly pressed. This means it is ready to enjoy!
HOW TO CUT AND EAT DRAGON FRUIT
It may look a bit intimidating, but dragon fruit is simple to prepare. Its scaly skin won’t prick you as a cactus would, so you can grab it with your hands.
Slice the dragon fruit in half, and scoop out what’s inside. That’s it! The outside is inedible, but its soft interior is safe to eat. You can eat it as is, or follow one of the tips below.
IS DRAGON FRUIT HEALTHY?
Yes! Dragon fruit is an incredibly healthy fruit with lots of health benefits. One serving of dragon fruit is filled with antioxidants that can help with blood pressure, cholesterol, and heart health.
The fruit is also filled with vitamin C, vitamin B, omega-3, omega-6, and fiber. All this from just one fruit! The tiny black seeds themselves have most of the nutrients, so make sure to eat those as well.
If you are not a fan of how dragon fruit tastes as is, but still want to enjoy all of its awesome benefits, don’t worry. There are plenty of ways to switch up dragon fruit’s flavors to make it fit your tastes.
TIPS ON HOW TO MAKE DRAGON FRUIT TASTE BETTER
Add a bit of sweetener
This is definitely the easiest way to enjoy dragon fruit. Cut the dragon fruit in half and sprinkle some sugar, or drizzle honey over the fruit’s flesh. Get a spoon and start eating! You can use any sweetener you like, but adding a bit of sugar to the dragon fruit will bring out its natural flavors more.
Dragon fruit itself has a mild sweet flavor, so amplifying that sweetness can make it taste better for some. It requires little effort, and you can still get many of dragon fruit’s nutritional benefits.
Slice it for salads
Use dragon fruit’s pretty appearance to liven up a salad! Since it doesn’t have an overwhelming flavor, dragon fruit can work just as well in savory salads as it does in fruit salads.
Make a savory salad with your favorite greens and veggies, and slice some fresh dragon fruit on top! It will give the salad a bright color and a hint of sweetness. Take the salad to the next level with a fruity vinaigrette. It will be the perfect salad for the hot summer months.
There are many ways you can add it to a fruit salad. Simply combine slices of dragon fruit with your favorite fruits and that’s it! Top it with some honey for a healthy sweet treat. Experiment with different fruits to see which you like best with dragon fruit.
Blend it into a smoothie
A great way to use dragon fruit is to blend it into smoothies. Scoop the dragon fruit into a blender with your favorite fruits and water for an antioxidant-rich drink. It will add a nice sweet, citrus flavor that will start you off on the right foot in the mornings.
Whether you are making a fruity smoothie or a green smoothie, dragon fruit is an awesome fruit to add. To really bring out dragon fruit’s tropical vibes, use coconut water or coconut milk, or almond milk for the smoothie’s base. You can also add some Greek yogurt to make the smoothie a bit more hearty.
If you’re not sure which fruits to try first in your dragon fruit smoothie, here are a couple of options to try.
- Kiwi fruit: has a similar subtle sweetness to dragon fruit, so they work beautifully together.
- Pineapple: the sweetness of the pineapple brings out the dragon fruit’s subtle flavors.
- Banana: makes the dragon fruit smoothie creamy and sweet.
- Strawberry: the sweet and tart flavors of the strawberries balance out well with dragon fruit while giving it a beautiful pink color.
- Oranges: the citrus notes from oranges bring out dragon fruit’s mellow citrus flavors.
This may sound like a strange tip on making dragon fruit taste better, but it works! The heat of the grill helps caramelize the natural sugars in dragon fruit, so it tastes sweeter grilled than fresh. To boost its sweet flavors, add a bit of brown sugar to the dragon fruit before grilling it. Pair it with grilled pineapple for a yummy grilled fruit experience.
Want to give the grilled dragon fruit a bit of heat? Add some chili powder on top for an awesome sweet heat treat.
Freeze the fruit
There are two ways you can go with this tip. The first is to simply place the dragon fruit in the fridge for a couple of hours until it is cold. Cut it in half, then enjoy! Dragon fruit has quite a lot of water in it, so when it is cold, the inside has an almost sorbet-like consistency. It is an easy way to enjoy a refreshing bite of dragon fruit.
Another way is to cut up pieces of dragon fruit and freeze them in an airtight container. Instead of eating them directly, blend the frozen fruit with other fruits and make a smoothie bowl! Using frozen dragon fruit will give the smoothie bowl a creamy texture. Top it with anything you like from fruit to granola to extra dragon fruit. That is a pretty nice way to start the morning!
You don’t just have to enjoy smoothie bowls for breakfast. They make for a great, cooling snack for any time of the day. The best part is that they are super healthy, so you don’t have to feel guilty about enjoying one.
Make it into a salsa
Pico de gallo and pineapple salsas are delicious as is, but adding a bit of dragon fruit can make them even better. Dice the dragon fruit into very small cubes and mix it with pineapple, mango, red onions, tomatoes, oil, cilantro, and lime juice. You will have a fantastic, fruity salsa in a couple of minutes.
Salsas with dragon fruit work best with seafood dishes. Dress up your favorite fish dish with a big serving of this yummy dragon fruit salsa.
Make a dragon fruit ice cream
Similar to smoothie bowls, dragon fruit can also be turned into ice cream. You can make straight dragon fruit ice cream, but you can also mix it with other fruits. It is a great, healthy ice cream flavor for the summer. Some fruits that blend well with dragon fruit ice cream are kiwi and mango, but use other flavors and see what you like best. It is the perfect summer treat for those who like ice cream flavors that aren’t too sweet.
To give the dragon fruit ice cream an additional level of flavor, give it a bit of heat. Similar to grilling dragon fruit, adding a bit of heat can bring out a lot of the fruit’s natural flavors. Maybe don’t put Tajin into the dragon fruit ice cream, but a bit of cinnamon can do the trick just fine.
Mix it into dessert
Dragon fruit is the perfect addition to almost any dessert. It is sweet, but not overwhelming, and has a gorgeous color. Blend some dragon fruit into desserts like cheesecake or blonde brownies to give them a pop of bright pink. The visuals of your sweet treats will increase significantly, but the taste of them will not change too much. It is a great balance!
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