I was shopping at my local health food store and I came across a box of bright, almost fluorescent, pink fruit that beckoned to me to come closer. Naturally curious, I could not resist buying one so I could find out more about it. One of the great things about not shopping for food at mainstream supermarkets (one of my real food resolutions for 2012) is discovering new foods. So today’s blog post is to talk about one of the new foods I’ve discovered – dragon fruit.
I have discovered that dragon fruit, also known as Pitaya, is a part of the cactus family and native to Mexico and Central and South America. It is also grown in Southeast Asia, Israel and Vietnam. In Australia, the growth of the fruit has expanded since being introduced in the 1980’s.
So what does dragon fruit look like?
Dragon fruit comes in three colours: two have pink skin, but the flesh is either white, or a magnetic, deep pinky red. The other type of dragon fruit is yellow with white flesh. The flesh contains edible black seeds, reminiscent of a kiwi fruit.
Nutritional information for dragon fruit
According to Wikipedia, dragon fruit is packed with numerous nutrients, including Vitamin C, phosphorus, calcium, fiber and is high in antioxidants.
What are the health benefits of dragon fruit?
The health benefits of dragon fruit include:
- Increasing the excretion of heavy metal toxins.
- Lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.
- Alleviating chronic respiratory tract ailments.
- Reducing cancer causing free radicals.
How do you eat dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit cuts easily straight down the middle. You can scoop out the pulp with a spoon. Like a kiwi fruit, the seeds are edible but the skin is not.
How do you select dragon fruit?
Select one with a bright pink colour and an even-coloured skin. To check whether it is ready to eat you can lightly press on the skin. If it’s too soft forget it, if it’s firm it will need a few days to ripen.
What does dragon fruit taste like?
The best way to describe the taste of dragon fruit is that it is a cross between a kiwi fruit and a pear. It has a fairly mild, delicate taste, not too sweet and is very pleasant to eat.
Some good recipes for dragon fruit include using it in a fruit salad, in cocktails and in jams. See my next post for a yummy, dragon fruit and lychee sorbet that is sugar and dairy free!