How to Cut a Dragon Fruit in 3 Easy Steps
Wondering how to cut dragon fruit safely? This guide condenses the process into three easy steps so you can enjoy the delectable flavors and numerous health benefits of this exotic tropical fruit.
What is dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit, also known as pitahaya or strawberry pear, is a tropical fruit native to Mexico, Central America and South America, but is also cultivated extensively throughout Southeast Asia. It comes from the dragon fruit tree, a type of large cactus, and gets its name from its thorny peel, which happens to resemble the skin of a dragon.
The flavor of dragon fruit is lighter than its dramatic appearance would suggest; it tastes like kiwi but with more sweetness and less tang.
There are three varieties of dragon fruit:
- Red skin with white flesh
- Red skin with red flesh
- Yellow skin with white flesh
The three varieties taste similar, though some would argue that the fruit with the red flesh is the sweetest.
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Health benefits of dragon fruit
It doesn't just taste good, dragon fruit is good for you, too. Some of the health benefits it offers include:
- It’s high in fiber and good for digestion
- It's a good source of magnesium
- It’s packed with antioxidants
- As an added bonus, it’s also low in calories!
How to cut a dragon fruit safely
Its unique appearance and vivid colors can make dragon fruit come across as a bit intimidating for those that have never handled or tried one. But learning how to prepare it is extremely easy, not to mention quick. Follow the steps below.
- Select your dragon fruit. Dragon fruit can typically be found in Asian supermarkets. The skin should be bright pink (or yellow, depending on the variety of the fruit) with rubber-like appendages attached to it. The fruit should also have some give to it; it shouldn’t be mushy or hard.
- Slice the fruit. Put the dragon fruit atop a non-slip cutting board. Using a large, sharp knife, simply cut it down the middle, either lengthwise or widthwise. The knife should slide through dragon fruit without much resistance.
- Scoop the fruit out with a spoon. The outside flesh of the fruit will effectively serve as a bowl. You can scoop the fruit out easily with a spoon and enjoy. Note that the small black seeds in the fruit's flesh are edible and provide a delightful crunch – a satisfying contrast to the fruit’s soft texture.
Storing: Whole dragon fruit can be stored at room temperature as long as it’s not getting too soft. If it starts to yield considerably when you press into it, move it to the fridge in a sealed plastic bag for up to a few days. Throw it away when it gets mushy.
Freezing: Cut into ½- to ¾-inch pieces. Store in a single layer in a resealable bag. Fruit can be frozen for up to 12 months.
How to enjoy dragon fruit
There are countless ways to enjoy dragon fruit. Here are a few ideas:
- Eat it on its own as a simple and refreshing snack
- Use a melon baller to create spheres and add them to fruit salads. Combined with fruit such as watermelon, papaya or kiwi, dragon fruit can add some color and a refreshing, light taste to a salad.
- Make popsicles using the fruit
- Enjoy it in smoothies. (We love it in avocado smoothies.)
- Use it as a topper on oatmeal, overnight oats and yogurt
- Add it to mango or pineapple salsa