The Dragon Fruit (Hylocereus polyrhizus) --also known as the pitahaya or pitaya--is an edible plant that grows on the Hylocereus cactus, which is native to Central America and Mexico, although nowadays one sees it grown and sold all around the world. The Dragon Fruit is so named because of its striking appearance: it has a brilliant, bright red-colored skin covered in green scales that greatly resemble those of a dragon. This is no mythical creature though; the pitaya fruit is very real, with many, very real benefits--though some of them you may indeed find hard to believe in at first!
Though it is named after the skin, the pulp is actually the edible part of the Dragon Fruit. In most kinds, it is colored white, with crunchy black seeds embedded in it, though in some varieties the pulp is colored red. Another, even rarer, variety of Dragon Fruit has yellow skin with white pulp and black seeds inside.
The taste of the Dragon Fruit is apparently refreshing and slightly sweet, kind of like a pear or melon, maybe with a bit of kiwi fruit thrown in as well--but still unique. This tropical fruit has become increasingly popular in recent years. People flock to it for its appearance and flavor. But the Dragon Fruit is not just an exotic-looking novelty. It also has many unexpected, scientifically demonstrated, health benefits. In fact the pitaya is now regarded by many as a major 'health fruit' (1).
Being low in calories but at the same time highly concentrated in many essential nutrients, including essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, it has been shown to prevent diabetes and cancer, boost the immune system, lower blood pressure and cholesterol, neutralize toxic substances within the body such as heavy metals, and promote healthy bones, teeth and skin. You can even use to to restore life and health to your hair.
There are many ways you can reap the health benefits of this fantastic little fruit, with recipes out there for dishes ranging from Dragon Fruit smoothies and shakes, to jellies and fruit salads. If you want to improve your health while at the same time enjoying a delicious snack, then the Dragon Fruit makes a truly worthwhile addition to your diet.
- 1 Health Benefits Of the Dragon Fruit
- 2 1. Dragon Fruit Has Anti-Aging Properties
- 3 2. Dragon Fruit Provides Relief for Sunburned Skin and Acne
- 4 3. Dragon Fruit Produces Healthier Hair
- 5 4. Dragon Fruit Strengthens Bones, Teeth, and Tissues
- 6 5. Dragon Fruit Fights Arthritis
- 7 6. Dragon Fruit Prevents Cancer
- 8 7. Dragon Fruit Improves Immune System Function
- 9 8. Dragon Fruit Helps Digestion
- 10 9. Dragon Fruit Aids Diabetes Treatment and Prevention
- 11 10. Dragon Fruit Helps You Manage Your Weight
- 12 11. Dragon Fruit Improves Heart Health
- 13 12. Dragon Fruit Contributes to Improved Eyesight
- 14 13. Dragon Fruit Leads To Fewer Respiratory Problems
- 15 14. Dragon Fruit Neutralize Toxic Substances Like Heavy Metals
- 16 15. Dragon Fruit Improves Brain Function and Prevents Mood Disorders
- 17 16. Dragon Fruit Reduces Risk of Anemia Caused by Low Hemoglobin Levels
- 18 17. Dragon Fruit is Good For Pregnant Women
- 19 Slaying (eating) the Dragon (Fruit)
- 20 1. Dragon Fruit and Blueberry Smoothie
- 21 2. Dragon Fruit Milkshake
- 22 4. Dragon Fruit Fruit Salad
- 23 5. Dragon Fruit Parfait
- 24 6. Dragon Fruit Jelly
- 25 7. Dragon Fruit Popsicles
- 26 8. Dragon Fruit Salsa
- 27 9. Dragon Fruit, Coconut and Pineapple Pancakes
- 28 Summary
Health Benefits Of the Dragon Fruit
Scientific studies indicate that the Dragon Fruit could have benefits for a number of different health conditions. The health benefits are mainly attributable to it being rich in antioxidants; vitamins, especially vitamin C, but also B vitamins; minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium and phosphorus; and dietary fibre.
Here are some of those health benefits ...
1. Dragon Fruit Has Anti-Aging Properties
Eating Dragon Fruit can help keep your skin looking tight, smooth and young. Alternatively you can use the fruit to make a 100% natural, organic face mask, which is great for those of you want to beat the aging blues, but without resorting to harmful chemicals.
Dragon Fruit's anti-aging properties are a result of it being chock full of antioxidants (5) (6). These are compounds that protect your body from (or 'scavenge') free radicals, highly reactive molecules that cause cellular damage to your body, and which are believed to be one of the main culprits behind aging as well as many chronic diseases associated with aging (7). While aging is also a natural and inevitable process, who wouldn't like to hold it off for as long as possible? This is where the Dragon Fruit comes in. Because it is such a rich source of antioxidants, it helps to delay the process of aging (8). Vitamin C, especially, which Dragon Fruit contains in abundance, is well-known for its antioxidant properties (9). Dragon Fruit also has an extremely high water content; this makes it a very useful hydrating agent for when you have dry skin (10). The Dragon Fruit can thus literally save you from sagging and dull skin - and also potentially many of those nasty chronic diseases that go with aging (though more on this below).
To make the face mask, simply scoop the pulp out of a Dragon Fruit and mash it into a smooth paste; mix with yoghurt or honey, then apply to your face, leaving for 15 minutes before gently rinsing it off. Repeat process weekly.
Bottom line: eating or applying Dragon Fruit to your skin keeps it from getting dull, lined and saggy. Dragon Fruit may also delay or prevent many of the chronic diseases associated with aging.
2. Dragon Fruit Provides Relief for Sunburned Skin and Acne
Many of us love to get out there come summertime to catch some rays, but doing so unprotected can cause very nasty blisters. This is another occasion where the trusty pitaya can come to the rescue. As we have seen, Dragon Fruit is abundant in vitamin C, which in combination with vitamin E is scientifically proven to soothe sunburns and shield your precious skin from those lethal UV rays (11). By combining Dragon Fruit with ingredients like honey or lemon juice, you can create a pack whose application to the skin will help sooth the redness and inflammation caused by UV overexposure, much like aloe. Also, by applying it as a topical antioxidant in combination with sunscreen, Dragon Fruit can be used to prevent sunburn to begin with (12).
That's not all though. Because dragon fruit has so much vitamin C, it can also be applied topically to reduce acne (13), (14). Once again, simply scoop out the pulp, and mash it into a paste using a fork. Then dab onto the affected areas using cotton balls. Say goodbye to those unsightly facial scars and lumps.
Bottom line: applying dragon fruit topically, in combination with other substances, can help prevent and relieve sunburn, along with other skin conditions like acne.
3. Dragon Fruit Produces Healthier Hair
By putting the juice of a Dragon Fruit, or a conditioner containing it, on top of your scalp, you can protect your chemically treated or colored hair from damage. This is something you would probably need to do anyway, for the same chemicals that deliver those rich shades of color to your hair also render it dull, dry and brittle. Applying Dragon Fruit to your hair can minimize the damage caused by split ends and the like, but in a more natural, environmentally-friendly way.
How is that? The pitaya fruit is full of just those nutrients needed to keep hair follicles open, which enables your hair to breathe and obtain the materials it needs to grow healthy and strong (15). With its abundant antioxidants and enzymes, Dragon Fruit can also bring health and shine to ordinary, non-treated hair that is also lacking in life and lustre.
Once again, simply scoop out the pulp, mash into a paste, and apply to the hair and your scalp. Wash off after 15-20 minutes with shampoo. Repeat the procedure once per week until condition improves.
Bottom line: dragon fruit can be used to make a natural and organic hair mask that adds sheen and strength to dull and lifeless hair.
4. Dragon Fruit Strengthens Bones, Teeth, and Tissues
Dragon Fruit is packed with the minerals calcium and phosphorus, both of which help strengthen bones and teeth--especially when used together. Having a diet which is rich in calcium, but contains no phosphorus--or vice versa--is not nearly so effective at fighting bone and teeth disorders as one that contains both (16). This is where the Dragon Fruit comes in.
Abundant in both calcium and phosphorus, this 'super hero' health fruit helps increase bone mass and density and strengthens the roots of your teeth, armouring you against the development of gum disease and those dreaded root canals. Being packed full of vitamin C, it also assists the growth of collagen and connective tissue, which prevents and speeds up the healing of bruises and wounds (17).
Bottom line: Eating Dragon Fruit promotes healthy bone, teeth and tissue development, and helps prevent common diseases afflicting these organs.
5. Dragon Fruit Fights Arthritis
Arthritis interferes with your joints, causing severe pain, irritation and immobility. Adding fruit and vegetables such as --you guessed it--Dragon Fruit to your diet can help your body fight this tormenting ailment, because it is rich in vitamin C, which has scientifically proven anti-inflammatory properties (18). In fact, Dragon Fruit eases the discomfort associated with arthritis so well that some have called it the ‘anti-inflammatory fruit’ (19).
Bottom line: adding some pitaya to your diet can help relieve arthritic pain and discomfort.
6. Dragon Fruit Prevents Cancer
Scientific research has found that a diet high in consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables helps minimize the risk of developing cancers of the mouth, throat, vocal cords, esophagus, lungs, stomach, colon and even rectum. These same studies have also shown a connection between increased intake of vitamin C, an antioxidant, and reduced incidence of these different cancers (20).
As we have seen, Dragon Fruit has loads of vitamin C, which fact is responsible for many of its other health benefits as well. However, the pitaya fruit also contains several other antioxidants with known anti-cancer properties: for example betalain, which gives the pulp of one dragon fruit variety its characteristic red colour, is also skilled at scavenging free radicals, which helps prevent cancer cells from multiplying (21). The Dragon Fruit pulp and peel contain micronutrients in the form of polyphenols and flavonoid, which also have demonstrated antioxidant and anti-cancer properties in animal and test-tube studies (22), (23).
Finally, Dragon Fruit is rich in an enzyme called lycopene, which is said to have 'chemopreventive effects for prostate, breast, lung, liver and skin cancer' (24), (25), (26). One study published in Nutrition and Cancer found that ovarian cancer cell proliferation was significantly inhibited when treated with lycopene (27). Yet another scientific study, which examined factors influencing the occurrence of prostate cancer among men in a Malaysian village, found that a combination of exercise and a diet heavy in fresh fruit and vegetables, especially those which contain lycopene--such as Dragon Fruit!--significantly reduced the risk of acquiring this disease (28).
Bottom line: Dragon Fruit is rich in antioxidants and substances that have antioxidant effects; for this reason, it may help protect against various kinds of cancer.
7. Dragon Fruit Improves Immune System Function
Because of its high vitamin C content, Dragon Fruit is automatically good news for our bodies' immune systems. Scientists have known for years that vitamin C enhances immune system functioning; although it probably does not protect us directly from coughs and colds, it is essential for immune cells like phagocytes and T cells to properly perform their function of protecting the body against pathogens, and without whom the immune system would quickly collapse (29). Vitamin C also enhances the absorption of iron, an essential component of blood cells, and thereby strengthens the body’s ability to mount a response to infection.
Another useful set of chemicals which Dragon Fruit contains in abundance are water-soluble polysaccharides. These are generally regarded as dietary fibres, but it is now recognised by science that they are also powerful prebiotics that spur the growth of 'good' intestinal bacteria, which among other things can lead to improved gut immunity or immunomodulation (30).
Bottom line: Dragon Fruit is chock full of vitamin C, plus flavonoids, B vitamins, calcium, phosphorous, iron, protein, niacin and fibre all of which together combine to keep the immune system operating smoothly.
8. Dragon Fruit Helps Digestion
We all know that fibre aids digestion, and as we have seen, dragon fruit has fibre aplenty (31), (32), which along with its high water content, makes it very useful in treating constipation (33). So if you are looking for some extra help with that daily bowel movement, consider eating a Dragon Fruit a day to keep the constipation blues away! Fibre also helps to add bulk to your stool, so the ultra-versatile Dragon Fruit may thus also help in the treatment and prevention of that unpleasant condition known as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).
Another reason Dragon Fruit benefits digestion is due to the above-mentioned polysaccharides it contains. As we have seen, these work as prebiotics, which are known to improve gut health and digestion. (34) As an aside, prebiotics can do a lot of other things as well; they have a role to play in preventing and alleviating obesity, cancer, cardiovascular disease and degenerative conditions (35). That's just one more reason to make the pitaya a part of your culinary routine.
Bottom line: adding Dragon Fruit to your diet helps prevent and treat complications of the digestive system like constipation and irritable bowel syndrome.
9. Dragon Fruit Aids Diabetes Treatment and Prevention
Above we saw how the high fibre content of Dragon Fruit helps with digestion, but fibre also has an additional benefit: it can help to maintain normal blood sugar levels by suppressing the sugar spikes associated with consumption of high glycemic index foods (36)
Dragon Fruit is a rich source of micronutrients like carotenoids, polyphenols and glucosinolates, which together help to significantly lower blood glucose levels as well (37). Furthermore, one of the chief reasons for diabetes, according to various studies, is low levels of vitamin C. Vitamin C supplements are frequently used a cure for diabetes, because they facilitate the processing of insulin and glucose by our bodies (36).
The consumption of Dragon Fruit may also be beneficial in treating some of the issues experienced by those with diabetes. For example, one study found positive links between Dragon Fruit and the oxidative stress stemming from aortic stiffness which is frequently found in diabetics (38).
Scientific studies testing the effects of both white and red varieties of Dragon Fruit on obese mice found that eating the fruit helped reduce insulin resistance, fatty liver, and inflammation, and led to less weight gain, in the subjects (39). In part these effects were attributed to beneficial alterations in gut bacteria (40)
In a separate study, rats with diabetes treated with a Dragon Fruit extract had showed a significant reduction in damage caused by free radicals, and reduced arterial stiffness, in comparison to those who were not so treated (41). However, there are currently no studies that verify these effects of dragon fruit consumption in human subjects.
Bottom Line: Several studies done on animals indicate that Dragon Fruit may improve effects commonly associated with diabetes, such as insulin resistance, weight gain, and heart and liver problems. However, we await human studies to confirm that these benefits also exist for us.
10. Dragon Fruit Helps You Manage Your Weight
Despite being jam-packed with nutrients, Dragon Fruit is at the same time exceptionally low in calories. This, in combination with its delicious flavor, makes it a better option than many of the other fruits many of us include in our diets. Additionally, the fruit is about nine tenths water, and contains large amounts of fibre. This means that, after consuming Dragon Fruit, you feel full for a greater amount of time after eating, which acts as a check against overeating (42).
Bottom line: making the pitaya your 'fruit of choice' helps prevent your weight from ballooning, leading to better health and quality of life.
11. Dragon Fruit Improves Heart Health
An estimated 180 million people die each year as a result of heart problems — that's about 30 percent of all deaths worldwide (43). Cardiovascular disease is the biggest killer in the world today.
High cholesterol levels are one of the major culprits behind heart disease (44). Both lifestyle changes as well as including certain fruits and vegetables in your diet can save you from this disorder. The above-cited study on Dragon Fruit and its activity on the relief of oxidative stress in diabetics also investigated what effect the fruit may have on the heart.
The study showed that Dragon Fruit may help decrease bad cholesterol levels while improving the levels of good cholesterol, making it an excellent cholesterol-lowering food. Furthermore, dragon fruit peels contain pectin (45), which has also been shown to lower blood cholesterol levels (46). Dragon Fruit seeds, meanwhile, are rich in polyunsaturated fats, omega-6, and omega-3 fatty acids that help lower cholesterol, again decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease (47). All in all, the pitaya appears to be a valuable weapon in the fight against heart disease.
Because of its abundant antioxidants, and especially its high vitamin C content, Dragon Fruit prevents roaming free radicals from causing oxidative damage to blood vessel walls, and thus reduces arterial wear and tear and stiffness; this in turn removes a major risk factor for heart attacks (48).
Vitamin C can also help in the treatment and prevention of other cardiac problems, like atherosclerosis, congestive heart failure, angina pectoris, and high blood pressure (49). Another group of antioxidants present in dragon fruit, known as flavonoids, have also been scientifically shown to reduce the risk of heart disease (50). Finally, as we have seen, dragon fruit contains lycopene, which has a major role to play in preventing cancer; another benefit of this little enzyme is that it also seems to improve cardiac health (51).
Bottom line:There is good evidence that Dragon Fruit can help to lower blood cholesterol levels, as well as treating other heart conditions like high blood pressure and atherosclerosis. Overall, it seems to be a good food to add to your diet if you want to look after your heart's health.
12. Dragon Fruit Contributes to Improved Eyesight
If you are one of those who have experienced blurred vision and pain in the eyes when squinting, then maybe you should think about including Dragon Fruit in your diet. With the pitaya being rich in vitamin C, which is well known to improve vision (52), as well as beta-carotene (which the body converts into vitamin A) and other important plant pigments, this fruit will do wonders for your eyes. These elements protect our delicate sight organs from the harm caused by those pesky free radicals, which in turn prevents common eye diseases including macular degeneration and cataracts (53).
One study also examined the ability of fruits similar to Dragon Fruit to inhibit human cytochrome P450, a protein mostly found in the liver, but also known to be present in tissues of the kidneys, small intestines and lungs, and which has been linked to congenital glaucoma (54).
Bottom line: Eating Dragon Fruit can help improve your eyesight and prevent common eye diseases like cataracts. One study also provides evidence that it may reduce the risk of acquiring congenital glaucoma.
13. Dragon Fruit Leads To Fewer Respiratory Problems
Yet another benefit of Vitamin C is that it helps to reduce the symptoms of asthma or cough, whether they result from the common flu or from the presence of harmful pollutants in our bodies (55).
And Dragon Fruit, being ultra-rich in this critical nutrient, is a guaranteed safe bet for overcoming respiratory ailments. With winter coming, this may be the time to add some pitaya to your daily diet.
Bottom line: Dragon Fruit can help treat respiratory illnesses like asthma and cough.
14. Dragon Fruit Neutralize Toxic Substances Like Heavy Metals
Among its many other health benefits, Dragon Fruit also has the ability to neutralize toxic substances such as heavy metals (56) (57). This is another very valuable function: lead metal poisoning is a serious health problem in urban areas, especially among young children, with evidence that exposure to toxic amounts of lead early in life leads to many later developmental problems (58). In adults it may cause kidney damage and high blood pressure. Vitamin C supplements can lower to blood lead level (59), and Dragon Fruit on its own is an excellent vitamin C supplement.
Bottom line: Dragon Fruit may also neutralize toxic substances like heavy metals, which cause severe health problems in adults and children.
15. Dragon Fruit Improves Brain Function and Prevents Mood Disorders
Vitamin C plays a key role in the production of neurotransmitters, which heavily influence the mood of a person, and are also critical to the proper functioning of the brain. The brain controls the proper functioning of all the rest of our bodily organs, so it’s critical that it itself be kept in top working order.
Dragon Fruit, with its many essential vitamins and minerals, can keep the brain and the nervous system ticking along smoothly and prevent their fine tuned machinery from malfunctioning (60). In particular it has high iron content, which is required for haemoglobin and the production of red blood cells, without which the brain would quickly die due to lack of oxygen.
The flavonoids present in Dragon Fruit, which we examined earlier, have also been shown in scientific studies to contribute to better brain health along with their various other health benefits (61).
Bottom line: Dragon Fruit is also a 'smart food' as there is also evidence that it helps to improve brain function and prevent mood disorders.
16. Dragon Fruit Reduces Risk of Anemia Caused by Low Hemoglobin Levels
Anemia is a common condition in which a person has a lower than normal red blood cell count, or low hemoglobin levels. They may begin to feel tired, dizzy and short of breath. At its worst, anemia can lead to failure of the kidneys and brain damage, so anemic symptoms should never go unignored. One of the main causes of this disorder is insufficient intake of iron, which is the essential ingredient in hemoglobin and healthy red blood cells (62).
For this reason, Dragon Fruit is a good choice if you want to head off the signs of anemia at the pass. It is packed full of iron, in fact according to some reports a single Dragon Fruit contains about 8% of our recommended daily iron intake (63). In addition, Dragon Fruit is, as we have seen, rich in that blessed 'super vitamin', vitamin C, which among its many other use also increases our body's capacity to absorb this important metal. So get some of this remarkable fruit into your diet today.
Bottom line: eating Dragon Fruit increases your body's iron levels, and its capacity to absorb iron, staving off anemia.
17. Dragon Fruit is Good For Pregnant Women
As we just seen, Dragon Fruit contains iron which is essential to the production of normal, healthy red blood cells by our bodies, and which is required to ward off anemia. Anemia is an extremely common condition among expectant mothers, and unfortunately the numbers seem to be rising (64). Perhaps making dragon fruit, with its abundant quantities of iron, a regular part of the diet of pregnant women is a way of reversing this trend--not just for the mother's sake, but also the developing fetus, as without access to sufficient numbers of red blood cells, they are unable to obtain the oxygen and nutrients they need to grow.
Next, Dragon Fruit is rich in carbohydrates (65), which provide you with energy, in fact one fruit (100g) contains 9 grams of carbs; they are relatively simple carbohydrates as well, which they are broken down easily and provide a quick boost of energy for your body’s muscles (66). The Dragon Fruit is so rich in carbs, it has even been recommended as a good source of fuel for bodybuilders during their weightlifting sessions (67). This also makes it beneficial for pregnant women, who have very high energy needs of their own. Another reason for them to get acquainted with the amazing pitaya fruit.
With its high fibre content, Dragon Fruit can also reduce the possibility of digestion problems in 'soon to be' mothers. Finally, the vitamin folate is present in Dragon Fruit, which apparently can help prevent the development of neural defects in the growing baby (68).
Bottom line: eating Dragon Fruit makes life easier for pregnant women--and for their soon to be born babies--in several ways; it prevents of anemia, provides a convenient source of fuel, facilitates smooth digestion, and more.
Slaying (eating) the Dragon (Fruit)
Given all the amazing health properties of this wondrous little fruit, an obvious question is how do you reap its benefits? The easiest way is to simply eat the Dragon Fruit raw. Cut a pitaya fruit down the middle, or quarter it, and scoop out the flesh with a spoon, just like you would with an avocado or kiwi fruit. If you want, you can even just bite it straight from the peel. As mentioned above, the taste is mildly sweet and refreshing, a bit like melon. The seeds of the pulp are crunchy.
Here as elsewhere, though, there are many ways to skin a cat (or a dragon!). You can also toss a chopped up Dragon Fruit into your next fruit salad, or work it into your daily post-workout recovery shake or smoothie. Try some of these delicious Dragon Fruit recipes that allow you to get all the above-mentioned health benefits whilst at the same time enjoying a variety of tasty snacks and meals.
1. Dragon Fruit and Blueberry Smoothie
Smoothies make an excellent post-workout protein recovery drink. They are also more than welcome at the breakfast table first thing in the morning, as well as throughout the day when you want a snack or some cool midday refreshment after being out in the hot sun. Because of their versatility, smoothies a great way to get some Dragon Fruit into your diet. This delicious Dragon Fruit and blueberry smoothie recipe is just one possible concoction among many. Blend dragon fruit with bananas, berries and milk, and you're there. Remember to serve chilled (chuck some ice cubes in when you're blending the ingredients to speed up the process). It's incredibly easy to make, and it even looks mouth-watering!
2. Dragon Fruit Milkshake
Looks can be misleading. Despite its flamboyant appearance, the Dragon Fruit actually has a very mild flavor, similar to a melon or pear. That makes it a great candidate for a smooth, gently refreshing, cold milkshake. This recipe here makes for a lovely cool beverage on a hot day. Pick up some pitaya at your local farmer’s market and marry with bananas and a can of coconut milk. Serve chilled. Bon appetit!
3. Dragon Fruit Margarita
Dragon Fruit goes just as well in alcoholic drinks. Here is one such brew. This cocktail of Tequila, lime juice, and pitaya fruit--with just a hint of rosewater thrown in for good measure--will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Once you've started, you'll probably end up downing several shots! Best served chilled and garnished with lemon wedges.
4. Dragon Fruit Fruit Salad
With its pitaya peel serving bowl, this Dragon Fruit fruit salad is great for impressing a crowd. Simply scoop out the flesh and mix with watermelon, berries, and a few tangy mint leaves, then sprinkle with lemon juice and honey, before serving. This Dragon Fruit fruit salad puts those store bought fruit salad packs to shame, both in terms of its flavor and it nutritional content. The rind bowl or gourd makes it look more authentically tropical as well! Bring a slice of paradise into your kitchen today.
5. Dragon Fruit Parfait
Dust the cobwebs off of that Food Processor, and put it to work making this Dragon Fruit parfait. Whip together a crumble-textured crust out of dried berries, cinnamon and dates. Line your serving glass with the crust, then layer with fruit and pour in a pitaya mix filling. Top with more assorted fruit. Serve and savor. For those with a sweet tooth, this parfait and you are a match made in heaven: it even looks mouth-watering! This is one of those dishes where you really get to express your creative side in the kitchen: you can decorate your creation with whatever combination of colorful fruits you choose. Make sure to always include a pitaya though: this is your go-to food if you want to enjoy a sweet snack that actually improves your health as well.
6. Dragon Fruit Jelly
Here's one for the kids! Jellies make fantastic party food, and are always a fun dessert option. Adults can enjoy them as well, whether served with custard, cream or ice cream. Here is the recipe for a gelatinous treat that the whole family can enjoy. Combine dragon fruit puree and honey with dried gelatin and water, and dissolve the mixture over a hot stove. Pour into jelly molds and refrigerate. Prepare it the night before so they're good to go when you want them.
7. Dragon Fruit Popsicles
These Dragon Fruit popsicles make for a sublime treat on a hot day. Use the red pitaya pulp to get hues of hot pink that remind one of a vibrant southern summer. Combine your pink fruit with bananas, strawberries, pineapple, honey and coconut milk for a straightforward blend. Pour the resultant mixture into popsicle molds and freeze for a minimum of four hours.
8. Dragon Fruit Salsa
Make your fiery dips and sauces roar with this Dragon Fruit salsa. This medley of pitaya fruit, cilantro, onions and lime juice is just the ticket if you're planning a Mexican or Spanish feast. It goes well with many other savory dishes as well--hot chips, curries, barbeques--you name it.
9. Dragon Fruit, Coconut and Pineapple Pancakes
With their vibrant pink colored topping, you're going to want to show off these dragon fruit, coconut and pineapple pancakes to all your friends. Blend store-bought frozen pitaya smoothie packs with pineapple juice plus stevia drops, then drizzle over the top of golden brown pancakes home-made from oats and coconut flour. Add topping in the form of fruit, nuts, sultanas, and dessicated coconut. These little stacks will look worthy of an Instagram snapshot. They are yet another way you can add the Dragon Fruit to your diet in a fun, creative fashion.
The legendary pitaya really is so much more than just an exotic looking tropical fruit. It provides many wondrous health benefits, ranging from prevention of cancer to lowering your blood pressure. It has an intriguing taste, and there are loads of things you can do with it in the kitchen. The Dragon Fruit allows you to improve your health while at the same time enjoying a delicious drink, dessert or meal. It’s grown and sold all over the world today, so it is easy to access as well. Just head down to your local farmer’s market or specialty health food store, and make it a part of your diet today.