How to Cut Dragon Fruit
Learn how to cut dragon fruit quickly and easily with this step-by-step guide. The sweet flesh is delicious and packed full of nutrients. You can eat dragon fruit on its own as a simple and refreshing snack or add it to fruit salads, smoothies, desserts and more!
Dragon fruit can seem a bit intimidating at first with its unusual shape and color, but the more you eat, the more you’ll love it! And it’s surprisingly popular with kids owing to its interesting texture and colors.
It makes a healthy snack on its own and a fabulous addition to fruit salads, smoothies and more. Plus, dragon fruit is low in sugar and keto!
WHAT IS DRAGON FRUIT?
Dragon fruit, also called pitaya or pitahaya, is a tropical fruit coming from the dragon fruit tree, which is actually a type of large cactus. There are three varieties of dragon fruit:
- Pink skin with white flesh
- Pink skin with red flesh (called red dragon fruit)
- Yellow skin with white flesh
All of these varieties have tiny black seeds interspersed throughout the flesh with very similar taste.
The flavor is sweet and mild, while the texture is crunchy like watermelon or starfruit. Dragon fruit taste is unique, with some resemblances to kiwifruit, pear and sugar beets.
Dragon fruit is a health-conscious choice that’s low in sugar and calories. It also contains many beneficial nutrients including vitamin C, calcium, antioxidants and fiber. For all these reasons, it’s become the fastest-growing exotic fruit in America!
Most U.S. dragon fruit used to come from Latin America and Asia. However, Florida has recently built a harvest of more than one million pounds, so we have a domestic supply as well.
CHOOSING DRAGON FRUIT
Dragon fruits are usually available year-round in Asian supermarkets and sporadically in other grocery stores. If you can’t find any, you can always try ordering online.
When shopping choose dragon fruit with a bright color and firm skin. It’s normal to encounter some blemishes and blotches on the outside. However, if you see mushy soft skin and/or wrinkles/sagging, then it’s too ripe and should be discarded.
CUTTING DRAGON FRUIT
Dragon fruit is best when freshly cut. If you’re not ready to cut right away, it can sit for a day or two at room temperature. Any longer and you should store it in a sealed ziptop bag in the fridge for up to one week.
Cutting dragon fruit is very easy. Place it on a cutting board and cut straight through the middle using a large sharp knife:
Then grab a large table spoon and slide it in between the skin the flesh, like you might do with an avocado or kiwi. You should then be able to lift the flesh out of the skin.
Place the flesh on a cutting board flat-side down. You can cut up dragon fruit into quarters like an apple, slice it widthwise into semicircles, or chop it into cubes or chunks as you like.
HOW TO EAT A DRAGON FRUIT
Once you’ve figured out how to cut dragon fruit, you can explore the many ways to eat it. The easiest way is straight out of the skin with a spoon as a snack. Note that the skin is not edible.
If you’ve already cut the fruit into chunks, you can place them back into the half-shell for an attractive serving presentation (kids love this one). Alternatively, just put into a serving bowl.
While dragon fruit is delicious on its own, it’s even better mixed into fruit salads, fruit salsas, smoothies and desserts. It works well as a substitute for kiwi in many recipes, and it goes best with berries and tropical fruits such as mango, kiwi, pineapple and papaya.
If you’re not consuming cut dragon fruit right away, you can store it for up to 1 day in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Otherwise, you can freeze it for up to 3 months for use in smoothies only (the texture isn’t the same for eating after freezing).
How to Cut Dragon Fruit
- 2 medium dragon fruits
- 1 cup mango chunks, optional
- 1 cup pineapple chunks, optional
- Place the dragon fruit on a work surface.
- Using a sharp knife, cut each one in half lengthwise down the middle.
- Slide a large table spoon in between the skin and the flesh. Scoop out the flesh onto the work surface.
- Repeat the previous step for remaining halves.
- Cut the flesh into cubes or chunks as desired.
- Serve on its own or combine with optional mango and pineapple in a serving bowl. Enjoy!
- 1 dragon fruit yields 2 cups of diced fruit.
- Serving size: 1 cup
- Cut dragon fruit can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to one day or frozen for up to 3 months.
EQUIPMENT FOR CUTTING DRAGON FRUIT
More fruit cutting tips:
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