Classified under the genus name Hylocereus, the dragon fruit tree is a species of cactus. There are three main types of sweet dragon fruits - red skin with red pulp, red skin with white pulp (most commonly available variety) and yellow skin with white pulp. Identifying dragon fruits is very easy, mainly because of their bright-colored skin.
Speaking about dragon fruit nutrition facts, it is low in calorie content and contains loads of nutrients, including vitamin C, calcium, antioxidants, fiber, and phosphorus. While some people like the mild sweet taste of this fruit, some consider it bland. Most often, it is eaten raw, while its dried version is also sold in the market. For an improved flavor, refrigerate it before consumption.
Eating Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruits sold in the market usually weigh approximately 600 grams, while some measures to more than a kilogram in weight. The fruits are covered with scales and its color varies according to the type. Below the scales lie a thin rind of skin. Being a not so familiar fruit, you may be inquisitive about the preparation and eating ways of dragon fruits. Refer to the information below for selecting, preparing, and eating dragon fruits:
Choosing the Fruit
In case you are planning to eat this fruit for the first time, select small fruits while purchasing. You will find them less messy and easy to prepare, as compared to the larger ones. Also, opt for firm yet ripe dragon fruits with a fresh stem. Freshly harvested fruits do not have soft patches in the skin and brown tips on the scales. Signs like blotches and brownish scales indicate overripe dragon fruits.
Preparing the Fruit
Before cutting, wash the fruits thoroughly under running water. Place them in a cutting board and make two halves by cutting straight down or longitudinally. You can begin eating from these slices directly with a spoon or go a step further and remove skin by using a spoon. For the latter option, place a tablespoon along the circumference of the pulp, next to skin. Lift the pulp and separate it from the skin. Repeat the same for the other half. Slice off any skin remains from the pulp.
Consuming the Fruit
Once you cut open a dragon fruit, you will find black crunchy seeds embedded in the pulp similar to that of a kiwifruit. Scoop the pulp with a teaspoon and serve directly. Another method is to make cubes out of the fruit pulp after separating it from the skin. Serve these cubes in the fruit skin to add a visual effect. Or else, use these cubes in making fresh fruit salad recipes along with your favorite fruits.
You can also prepare juices, smoothies, and frozen recipes other than eating fleshy cubes of dragon fruit. Always bear in mind that you are supposed to chew the black crunchy seed along with the sweet tasting pulp. Loaded with lipids, these seeds are difficult to digest without proper mastication. So, include this low calorie fruit as a part of the diet and reap its several benefits.