Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit rich in nutrients. It’s also known as strawberry pear and pitaya. This juicy fruit is packed with nutrients, especially fiber which helps control blood sugar levels and benefits cardiovascular function in addition to bowel health.
Though it’s somewhat an expensive fruit due to high demand and low supply, eating dragon fruit occasionally and throwing chunks into a fruit salad can have some health benefits. However, to get these benefits, you’ll first need to eat them, and that starts with cutting a dragon fruit.
Considering the shape and appearance of dragon fruit, you might think to yourself, how am I going to cut this? This article will explain everything about cutting dragon fruits, proper storing methods, how to eat them, and look at the nutritional facts while answering commonly asked questions.
Table of contents
Dragon fruit varieties
Most dragon fruits have bright red skin with white flesh. You’re most likely to see this variety of dragon fruit more than the others, but there are two additional types of this juicy fruit.
Red dragon fruit
As the name suggests, this type of dragon fruit is red. It has red skin with red flesh, usually a bit darker in color or pinkish-red. Red dragon fruit is also considered to be the sweetest and juiciest out of three. It also has a higher antioxidant content. Despite the slight difference in taste, there is no difference between the red dragon fruit and others in terms of texture or ways of cutting other than the color.
Yellow dragon fruit
It’s no wonder where the name of yellow dragon fruit comes from. This type of dragon fruit has yellow skin, but unlike the red dragon fruit, it doesn’t have the same flesh as the skin. Yellow dragon fruits come with white flesh and a milder taste that is a little sour like kiwifruit.
Different ways to cut dragon fruit
As there are different types of dragon fruit, there are various ways to cut it. You can cut it in any shape you want, but you’ll have to follow the same principles to remove the skin entirely to reveal the flesh.
How to remove dragon fruit skin?
Though it’s not always a must, the easiest way to remove dragon fruit skin is to peel it. Start off removing the dragon fruit’s skin by cutting the top and bottom edges. After cutting about half an inch of the edge will reveal the flesh. Then, halve the dragon fruit vertically or horizontally.
Once you have two halves, hand-peel the skin, and you’ll have two large chunks of completely edible dragon fruits. You can also scoop out the fruit with a large spoon, similar to scooping an avocado. You won’t need to trim the edges if you plan on scooping the flesh.
Note that the tiny black seeds in the flesh of the fruit are edible, just like kiwis.
Cutting dragon fruit
Now you have two dragon fruit pieces. You’ll need to cut these into smaller pieces. You can also eat the entire thing by itself, but avoiding a mess is next to impossible since it’s a very juicy fruit. Here are different ways to cut dragon fruit to steer clear of any mess.
Cut dragon fruit with these knives
True cutting power in the palm of your hand
- Lay the dragon fruit flat on the cutting board.
- Make a horizontal cut in the middle that will determine the cube’s thickness. You can skip this if you want to have larger chunks.
- Slice dragon fruit into the desired length and transform them into cubes.
Making cubed cuts is the most straightforward way to cut dragon fruit. Once they’re cubed, you can throw them in a fruit salad or eat them the way they are. If you’re serving fruits as appetizers at a gathering or party, using the peeled skin as a plate with toothpicks on the cubed cuts is a great way to go about it.
- With the skin attached, halve the dragon fruit.
- Lay the flat side of the fruit on the cutting board and cut it in the middle lengthwise.
- Continue slicing until you have the desired sizes of wedge cuts.
If you’re not going to use the dragon fruit in a salad or you want a fast way to get them ready, cut them into wedges. Once the dragon fruit is about a quarter in size, an easy way to wedge cut is flipping and cutting it right down the center.
How to eat dragon fruit?
Eat dragon fruit like any other fruit and use it in fruit salads and desserts, but you don’t have to limit yourself. There are different ways to use a dragon fruit to treat yourself.
The red dragon fruit’s sweetness and juiciness make it an ideal candidate for popsicles. You can also use typical or yellow dragon fruits, but the red one’s extra sweetness makes it a better choice. Cut the dragon fruit in thick, lengthy cuts and pierce it with a popsicle stick. As dragon fruit is very juicy, it doesn’t take much to freeze. In about two hours, you’ll have a healthy summer refresher.
Additionally, you can add dragon fruit to your smoothies or mix them with yogurt. Whether you’re using apples, bananas, strawberries, oranges, throwing a little dragon fruit into the mix will give it an extra flavor.
How to choose ripe dragon fruit?
Most dragon fruits in grocery stores are mature enough, but choosing a nicely ripe dragon fruit can be challenging. The main concern is mainly the overripe ones. Differentiating between the two is crucial, especially if you’re buying one for the first time.
When shopping for dragon fruit at the grocery store, look for the ones with bright skin. The color of the fruit, whether red or yellow, should be evenly spread throughout the entire outer layer. If a dragon fruit has too many brown blemishes or has a dry look, there is a high chance that it’s overripe.
On the other hand, if the dragon fruit is too firm and has a solid appearance, it’s not ready yet. If you must buy, give these unripe dragon fruits a few days until they get a little softer before eating.
How to store dragon fruit?
You can keep dragon fruit perfectly on the countertop for up to two to three days. If you need to keep them for longer than that, you’ll need to store them in an airtight bag or container in the fridge. They won’t go bad for up to a week in the refrigerator, but if you need to keep them for even longer, the freezer is your best bet.
Generally, dragon fruit will be good in the freezer for up to three months, but after that, it will slowly lose its taste and flavor. We recommend keeping dragon fruit in the freezer for a maximum of two months to get the most out of them without sacrificing any flavor.
Nutritional facts about dragon fruit
According to the US Department of Agriculture, the nutritional value of dragon fruit per 100 grams is as follows.
- Calories: 60
- Protein: 1.18 g
- Carbohydrates: 12.9 g
- Sugars: 7.65 g
- Fat: 0 g
- Fiber: 2.9 g
- Vitamin C: 2.5 mg
- Iron: 0.74 mg
- Calcium : 18 mg
- Magnesium: 40 mg
Benefits of eating dragon fruit
Dragon fruit is a low-calorie fruit that’s safe to eat regularly. The high iron content boosts low iron levels, giving you more energy and better focus. The fiber supports the guts and helps with bowel movements. You’ll get about 20 percent of the recommended daily magnesium intake in a single cup serving of dragon fruit, which is only half the fruit itself.
On top of all this, dragon fruits have several antioxidants like hydroxycinnamates, flavonoids, and betalains, in addition to Vitamin C. These antioxidants are essential for the immune system and fights chronic diseases.
FAQs on dragon fruit
Can you eat dragon fruit skins?
It’s generally not a favorite, but dragon fruit skins are edible – at least from a nutritional viewpoint. If you’re going to try eating the skin, make sure to wash it thoroughly. You might want to cook it before taking a bite as it’s leathery. Some seasoning can also help with the bitter taste, but there isn’t much in eating dragon fruit skins. You’re better off eating the juicy flesh instead.
Which dragon fruit is sweeter?
As briefly mentioned in this article, red dragon fruit is deemed to be the sweetest. Its color also backs it up partially, as fruits in darker colors have a sweeter flavor. It’s also important that the fruit is ripe enough. Regular dragon fruit or yellow equivalents that are ripe will have a sweeter taste than those that aren’t ready.
Where do dragon fruits grow?
Dragon fruit is a species of cactus and is a tropical plant that likes warm climates. The fruit is native to Mexico, South America, and some parts of Central America and also grows in Southeast Asian countries, with Vietnam being the top producer.
Are dragon fruit and kiwi related?
Though both fruits have a similar texture, taste, and pretty much the same tiny black seeds, dragon fruit and kiwis aren’t related. Kiwis are a part of the Actinidia plant family, whereas dragon fruit belongs to Cactaceae.
Why is dragon fruit so expensive?
Dragon fruit is an exotic and tasty fruit that’s high in demand. The fruit’s popularity has been growing over the recent years, and the increased demand drives its prices up. The dragon fruit also has a low supply, and most stores can’t keep up with the demand, and they’re sold out quickly. This is why dragon fruit is expensive though they are sold year-round.
Overall, dragon fruit is an excellent fruit that’s safe to eat every now and then. It is full of nutrients and antioxidants. If you haven’t tried one yet, you are seriously missing out!