Fresh Dragon Fruit
Approximately 8-10 dragon fruit
Available year round
Vietnam (other origins may be substituted based on availability).
Dragon fruits (aka pitayas, pithayas, pitahaya blancas, nanettika fruits, strawberry pears & sometimes dragon’s eyes) are an otherworldly-looking cactus fruit, pinkish-red in color with a feathery-appearance. Probably originally from South America, their white, black-speckled inner flesh has a mild, slightly sweet, and refreshing flavor.
They are low in calories, but high in vitamin C and fiber.
These dragon fruits are the red pitaya variety: sweet pitayas with red skin and white flesh speckled with small edible black seeds.
Ripe dragon fruit should be eaten as soon as possible for best flavor, but can be stored in your refrigerator.
For long term storage, dragon fruit can be frozen. The color of their outer husks will no longer be as vibrant and the texture of the internal fruit will change, so once thawed they will only be suitable for pureed applications (sauces, sorbets, etc).
They can also be sliced and dried in an ultra-low heat oven, freeze-drier or dehydrator. Completely drying dragon fruit can be difficult, so unless you manage to completely remove all moisture, the "dried" fruit should still be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. Drying slightly intensifies this fruit's flavor.
Up to three days in the refrigerator, longer if frozen or dried.
RECIPES & TIPS
We recommend eating raw dragon fruit by chilling them, cutting them in half, squeezing on a little fresh lemon or lime juice and then scooping the inner flesh out with a spoon (as you would a kiwi).
Dragon fruit’s subtle flavor allows it to be used with just about any fruit, but they are often paired with citrus fruits because they impart extra acidity (either tossed with orange/Clementine wedges or lemon, lime juice).
Chopped dragon fruit are often used in fruit salads. The fruit can be pureed for use in sorbet as a refreshing palate cleanser.
Dragon fruit juice is good as a beverage by itself, but can also be added to other cold or frozen drinks (try it in smoothies!), blended in cocktails (particularly tequila-based ones), made into wine, or turned into a syrup.