Dragon fruit or Pitaya : What benefits and how to eat it ?
The dragon fruit, also known as pitaya, is a beautiful, sweet and colorful tropical fruit. The plant, from which the fruit comes, is a type of cactus of the genus Hylocereus. Originally grown mainly in Southeast Asia and Latin America, dragon fruit is now produced and appreciated worldwide. Although it seems intimidating and a little strange with its pink skin and light green scales, the preparation of this exotic fruit is very simple. You can enjoy it in fruit salads, drinks or tasty desserts, but it is also a healthy and delicious snack on its own.
What is Dragon Fruit or Pitaya ?
The dragon’s fruit gets its name from its appearance (which resembles that of an artichoke) with the sharp “scales” that surround it. The fruit, usually oval in shape, measures about ten centimetres and weighs generally between 300 and 400g.
The skin of the fruit is usually bright fushia pink, but there is a variety with yellow skin. The flesh is white, but there is also a variety with red flesh. Anyway, the flesh is smooth and tender and full of small black seeds, edible, very similar to those of the kiwi !
What are its benefits ?
- Pitatya is good hydrating food. It is indeed very rich in water. Consuming it therefore helps to stay well hydrated all day long!
- He is most welcome in a slimming diet. This fruit is high in fibre and low in fat! It is therefore very popular as part of a slimming diet, a detox cure or if you simply want to be careful with your shape.
- The dragon fruit is one of the best fruit to releave constipation. It is indeed loaded with fibre which causes a very useful laxative action if your intestinal transit is a little slow! Be careful not to consume too much at once, as this could give you some intestinal discomfort (such as diarrhea for example).
- It is a very effectiv fruit for stress relief. Rich in magnesium, the consumption of the dragon fruit will relax you! Magnesium helps to relax muscles and will lower your stress level! So take time to enjoy this strange fruit!
- The pitaya preserves our youth! Full of antioxidants, the fruit protects us from the premature aging of our cells. It’s good for the body and it’s good for our skin!
- The dragon fruit is very good to help fatigue-fighting. This super fruit is a concentrate of vitamins ( C and A) and micronutrients that are a real boost to vitality and energy!
How can you cut and peel it ?
To choose it, take a pretty pink fruit, with the tips of the leaves nice and green. It should be slightly soft under the finger. Try to take one that is not damaged.
Before eating, remember to wash the fruit thoroughly with water and salt or baking soda. Rub it lightly, rinse it well and it is ready! Despite its somewhat intimidating appearance, this fruit is very easy to cut.
On a cutting board, with a long enough knife , cut both ends of the fruit. Then simply cut the fruit in half lengthwise.
You then have two options: either remove the flesh with a spoon, or remove the whole flesh to peel it with your fingers. It can be easily removed by hand.
How to taste it?
The dragon’s fruit has a soft texture, its flesh is very tender, and crispy with the seeds inside. It reminds us the kiwi’s texture but even more melty! The taste is rather smooth and slightly sweet, it reminds of pear or melon. Try it and you will get a better idea!
You can enjoy the Pitaya very easily and in many different ways!
- In a fruit cocktail: with additional fruits, oilseeds and seeds!
- In a smoothie or smoothie bowl: with other fruits, milk and honey!
- In a pudding: with chia seeds!
- In a cocktail: margarita, mojito, with ice cubes and an umbrella!
- In a pie: raw in slices on a shortcrust or shortbread dough!
- As a sorbet: for a delicious fresh dessert!
- On a porridge or mueslis: in small raw pieces with peanut butter!
Once cut up, it is better to eat the dragon fruit as soon as possible to get the most benefits from it. Moreover, if it remains open too long it will quickly oxidize…! However, if you need to preserve some of it, be sure to wrap it in cling film or a hermetically sealed box in a cool place.