Dragon fruit is a nutrient-rich, low-calorie fruit – a great addition to any diet. You can eat it fresh or use it in recipes. Preparing it seems daunting, but it’s actually easy. Learn how to cut dragon fruit like a pro!
Dragon fruits are a bit enigmatic, given their bright pinkish-red color and odd shapes. You don’t seem to encounter one in the wild, and it’s not as popular as other fruits like oranges, bananas, or apples.
However, dragon fruit is just as delicious. And if you’re lucky enough to find some, it’s time to whip out the cutting board, prepare this fruit, and add it to your dishes or eat it as is.
In this article, we’re going to teach you how to cut dragon fruit properly so that they become maximally edible. Besides, it requires a special technique for peeling that takes both skill and patience.
Dragon Fruit Info
Known as the fruit of the dragon due to its vibrant red color, the dragon fruit is native to Southeast Asia. It has a bumpy exterior that makes it look like a spiny pinkish-red sea urchin.
The white flesh with black seeds is virtually tasteless, unlike the ones found in blackberries or raspberries. Still, it has a sweet, delicate, and enticing flavor that’s often underappreciated – some people judge it before even trying it.
Depending on the size (anywhere from 100 to 200 grams), this puny-looking fruit is enough to satisfy your whole family.
Dragon fruit is ideal for smoothies, thanks to its crunchy flesh with a watery texture. It’s low in sugar, rich in antioxidants, and has many health benefits, such as antioxidants that help boost your immune system and prevent cancer.
So there’s nothing stopping you from trying dragon fruit! You can find it in any Asian market.
- Dragon fruit tastes like a mix of pear and kiwi, with a hint of banana.
- It protects against heart disease, eases inflammation, boosts the immune system, improves eyesight, prevents wrinkles, fights bacteria that cause tooth decay, aids in digestion, and has antiviral properties.
- The pink or red color is caused by anthocyanins – powerful antioxidants that fight free radicals causing oxidative stress and damaging DNA.
- It contains lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E.
- Dragon fruit is sweet but not overpowering, with a crisp texture and almost no seeds.
- There are different types of dragon fruits: red, white, and purple. Red has more lycopene, which makes them riper; they’re also sweeter. White has higher levels of the amino acid citrulline, which is good for your cardiovascular health. Meanwhile, purple contains a powerful antioxidant called anthocyanin, together with other nutrients like iron and calcium.
How to Cut a Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruits can be difficult to cut open due to their bumpy exterior. But it’s possible if you follow this simple step-by-step guide:
- Take a knife and slice a bit off of each end. Leave about half an inch on each side because you’ll need both ends later for stability.
- Turn the fruit so that one of the flat sides is facing up. Use the pointy tip as your guide.
- Insert your knife horizontally into the side of the dragon fruit. Don’t cut too far in or you’ll puncture through the other side.
- You should now see where to cut next due to the gap created by your first slice. Slice open the top by cutting diagonally, towards the opposite side.
- Now your dragon fruit is ready to eat!
Slice your dragon fruit as desired and eat as-is, or blend it up with other fruits for a delicious and healthy breakfast smoothie.
Dragon fruits contain small, black seeds that are edible and taste a bit nutty. But some people don’t like the texture because it feels slimy due to its high water content.
The skin is also very thin and needs to be handled with care. That’s why you should use a sharp knife when cutting it open.
It’s possible to eat the leaves of dragon fruit but only when certain of the plant’s origin. Their edges are serrated and can give you tiny cuts if not handled properly.
Some people prefer adding lemon juice or salt, eating dragon fruit with yogurt or ice cream, or dicing it up and using it in a salad – there are many possibilities.
You can also cut your dragon fruit into cubes and freeze it for a sweet, healthy snack. Just remember to thaw it out before eating so that the texture isn’t too hard.
Learn more useful information about dragon fruit:
How to peel dragon fruit?
- Make sure the dragon fruit is ripe. It should be soft to the touch, but not so much that it feels mushy.
- Use your thumbs to press on one side of the stem while pinching and pulling at the same time with your other hand. This will separate the skin from the flesh without damaging them.
- Repeat with the other side of the stem, and you should be left with two pieces of peeled dragon fruit.
How to tell if a dragon fruit is ripe?
Tight, firm fruits are usually best. Pick them up and gently press your fingers into the flesh. If it’s too hard, give it a day or two to ripen on your countertop. Throw it away if there’s no change in texture after a couple of days.
When is dragon fruit season?
Dragon fruits are usually in season from the end of spring through to the beginning of autumn. However, you can find them year-round at local greengrocers or farmers’ markets.
How long do dragon fruits last?
Once ripe, dragon fruit will last for up to 10 days in the fridge if stored properly. Wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or use an airtight container with a lid. If it’s not ripe yet, keep it on the counter for several days.
Does dragon fruit have any side effects?
Yes, some people may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions after coming in contact with the leaves of a dragon fruit plant.
How do you grow dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit plants grow best in well-drained, nutrient-rich soil. They generally prefer full sun exposure and temperatures between 20°C and 30°C (68°F and 86°F).
How much do dragon fruits weigh?
Dragon fruits can weigh anywhere from 150 to over 600 grams.
Can you eat dragon fruit seeds?
Yes, dragon fruit seeds are chockfull of beneficial nutrients, including healthy fats.
Who discovered dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit was first cultivated in Mexico by the Aztecs and has been eaten for thousands of years. It wasn’t until the 1900s that it started to become popular outside of Central America.
To summarize, dragon fruit is a tasty, often underappreciated fruit with tons of health benefits. If you bought one from the store because it looked funny, be sure to follow our tips on how to cut dragon fruit correctly.