… and the winner is: Dragon fruit!

See below for my recipes and links to more Dragon Fruit info and recipes.

 

It’s time to add another queen to the Super Fruit Throne … and the winner is: Pitaya (pi-TAH-ya), or pitahaya, better known here in the U.S. as Dragon Fruit.

Reigning fruits have been:

  • mangosteen
  • acai
  • noni
  • goji
  • blueberries

… and now we can add another fruit that, thankfully, is high in nutrients and low carb.

Lucky us, we can get it locally — here in Cupertino, at the Monta Vista Market. Look for it in specialty markets and Asian markets.

What it looks like:

It’s about the size and shape of a large goose egg, or a large avocado, — yet it’s PINK, with green tipped leaves.

 

The leaves encase the fruit much like an artichoke (no spikes, tho), and they lay on top of each other in a very organized way.

The inner pulp can be pink, or magenta (see sticker, above), or white.

Remove the green-tipped leaves, then slice it in rings, and or cut it down the middle and scoop out the pulp.

Many many black seeds are imbedded in the edible pulp, so it has a crunch similar to kiwi.

Option, but not necessary — remove the seeds. One way is to push the pulp through a wire mesh.

Best way I’ve had it is blended and mixed with a bit of lemon, see recipe, below. I had to try a bit of salt on it, wasn’t good. Btw– adding a dash of alkaline (salt) …..and then  a drop or two of an acid (lemon) is my way of challenging the flavor of a food. More on this another time.

The flavor of Dragon Fruit is very delicate: mild, not too sweet, not too complex. The sweet, tart, sour from the lemon gives it just the right amount of lift to bring out the pitaya’s fruity and bouquet-like flavors.

The color of the magenta variety is RICH and FABULOUS!

The skin (rind) is strong enough to use as a serving bowl.

Both can be frozen, separately.

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Pitaya Lemon Spritzer

In blender, whip the fruit, then mix gently with sparkling water:

  • 1 lemon, juice
  • 1 dragon fruit
  • 2 cups sparkling mineral water

Or use lemon-flavored sparkling mineral water.

Makes 2 servings.

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Pitaya Coconut Smoothie (or Sorbet)

In blender, mix well:

  • 4 cubes frozen coconut milk (see NOTE, below)
  • 1 dragon fruit, frozen pieces
  • Optional: 1 to 3 drops stevia, xylitol or 1 medjool date (or similar sweetener)
  • If needed: use a bit of cold coconut milk or cold water to help blend.
  • Garnish with a fresh mint leaf.
  • Want a punch of flavor? Garnish with a drop or two of balsamic vinegar and or pomegranate syrup.

NOTE: I freeze coconut milk (canned, blended) …or freeze a Thai young coconut (blended coconut meat, exclude the coconut water) ………in ice cube trays and then use the cubes to make soft-serve-like frozen ice cream or smoothies. This will be more like a sorbet if you use watered-down coconut milk.

Makes 2 servings.

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Types of pitayas:

http://www.tropicalfruitnursery.com/dragon/index.htm

How to cut and serve pitaya:

http://video.about.com/thaifood/How-to-Use-Dragon-Fruit-as-a-Garnish.htm

More info and recipes:

http://swigsandgrinds.blogspot.com/2010/09/dragon-fruit-rambutan-exotic-duo.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pitaya

http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/lifestyle&id=8662641

http://seduceyourtastebuds.blogspot.com/2011/05/dragon-fruit-banana-smoothie.html

http://www.kitchenkonfidence.com/2011/08/pink-dragon-fruit-soda/