Let’s Raise a Smoothie Glass to Frozen Dragon Fruit!

Are you acquainted with the newest darling in the fruit category—dragon fruit? Also known as pitahaya or strawberry pear, it’s a low calorie tropical fruit known for its vibrant red skin and sweet, seed-speckled pulp. It contains nutrients, prebiotic fibers, and other healthy substances.

In fact, based on lots of recent research, this delightful low-calorie fruit offers high concentrations of essential vitamins (C and E), minerals (magnesium and iron), lycopene, and beta-carotene. It also contains a substantial amount of dietary fiber. Thus, dragon fruit promotes a healthy gut and strengthens the immune system.

Dragon fruit has a thick, leathery skin, which can be intimidating. So eating this fruit is very dependent on finding one that’s perfectly ripe. An unripe dragon fruit will be green. Look for one that is bright red. Some spots are normal, but too many bruise-like splotches can indicate that it’s overripe. Like avocado and kiwi, a ripe dragon fruit should be soft but not mushy. There are two varieties—one with white flesh and one with bright pink flesh. The pink flesh fruit is higher in antioxidants.

To eat a fresh dragon fruit you need a SHARP knife. Cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the fruit with a spoon. Or cut it into cubes by cutting vertical and horizontal lines into the pulp without cutting into the peel (much like you do a mango). Push on the back of the skin to expose the cubes and remove them with a spoon or your fingers.

It’s delicious when added to salads, smoothies and yogurt. But it’s so good that it needs no accompaniments or gussying up. Just eat it on its own.

I noticed the other day that it’s now showing up in the frozen section of many grocery and membership stores (Costco, etc.), pre-peeled and cut into cubes. Yay! This is a super convenience.

So convenient in fact, that it’s easy now to include this health boost into a daily smoothie. One of our favorites is from the great website, www.realfoodwholelife.com. The creator and exceptional cook, Robyn, came up with a delicious recipe that combines frozen dragon fruit, strawberries, banana, and milk for a vibrant way to start the day. And it’s ready in just 5 minutes!

Robyn explains that because dragon fruit is on the more mild side, flavor-wise, you do need to add some stronger flavors to this smoothie. Pineapple is also a good addition. And to round it out nutrition-wise, I also like to a couple cups of chopped kale and ¼ teaspoon turmeric to it (you can’t even tell this stuff is in there).

Don’t you love how fruits that be so hard to come by are now showing up more and more, and in such easy-to-use formats? Let’s raise a smoothie glass to frozen dragon fruit!

5-Minute Dragon Fruit Smoothie


1 diced, frozen dragon fruit (pitaya)
1/2 cup frozen or fresh strawberries
1 frozen banana broken into pieces
1 1/2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk or milk of choice
1 tablespoon chia seeds
juice of 1 lemon

Add all the ingredients to a high speed blender. Blend on high until smooth. (Optional add-ins: raw nuts, flaxseed, avocado, pineapple, kiwi, etc.)

Recipe formatted with the Cook'n Recipe Software from DVO Enterprises.

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    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

  •   www.melissasproduce.com
  •   www.thecreativekitchen.com
  •   www.realfoodwholelife.com

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