Nutrition

Dragon fruit fact and health benefits for kids

Emma Bathie Oct 23, 2019
Dragon fruit. Vibrant Dragon Fruit on white background. Sliced white dragon fruit or pitaya on white plate on the table, close-up. Tropical and exotic fruits. Healthy and vitamin food concept.

 

Are you and your kids a little over the same ol' fruit plate? Or perhaps you're not quite ready to let go of summery vibes just yet. If so, then Dragon Fruit might just be the new fruit for you!

This exotic looking and magical sounding fruit not only brightens up kitchen countertops and fruit plates, but it's also incredibly good for you and your kids.

Sometimes also known as "Pitaya", this is the fruit of a climbing cactus that is native to Central and South America. It's also commercially cultivated in South-East Asia. That means it's possible to find Dragon Fruit in-store in the exotic-fruit section of many supermarkets, almost year-round.


Look, taste, and feel


Dragon Fruit has a distinct exotic oval-shaped look, roughly the size of an orange, with pinky-red peel and wavy green leaves. Its flesh can be pink or magenta-colored, but that of the more commonly found Dragon Fruit is white. With all kinds being sprinkled with tiny black edible seeds, similar to those found in kiwi fruit.

Sometimes referred to as a "Strawberry Pear" because of its delicate berry, watermelon, kiwi, and pear blend of flavour, the Dragon Fruit has a similar texture to watermelon.

The Dragon Fruit is usually happy to adorn your kitchen counter for a few days, but longer than that and it's best stored in the fridge. And can be frozen for up to 3 months.

If your local supermarket does not carry them, try specialty South American or Asian markets. You'll know it's ready to eat if it has a slight softness (like an avo) when gently squeezed. Otherwise leave to ripen at home, or look out for pitaya puree in the freezer section of your supermarket.

Closeup of hand with knife cutting dragon fruit
Homemade yoghurt with Ripe Dragon fruit, Pitaya or Pitahaya isolated on wooden background, fruit healthy concept
Smiling Indian woman showing dragon fruit to her daughter

How to prep, eat & enjoy dragon fruit on the daily

The easiest no-fuss way is to slice the Dragon Fruit lengthways and dig in with a spoon like you would a Kiwi.

Or you can quarter or slice it and then peel off the leathery skin, or bite it straight off the peel for a quick fix.

Fill up a fruit plate, with or without a topping of Greek Yoghurt, add it to salads, pair it with seafood, or use it in smoothies.

Dragon Fruit can also be used to make ice-cream, sorbets, and jam, or reduced down into a syrup.

Wanting a taste of summer? Blend Dragon Fruit, together with water, lime juice, and crushed ice… rum, of course, optional for you!

How ever you choose to enjoy it, extra points for getting your kids to think you had to slay a dragon to get it home. ;-)