Dragon what? Doesn’t it sound so strange that fruit is been named as a ‘Dragon Fruit’ It’s a tropical fruit that is increasingly in demand and voguish these days?
In tropical and subtropical regions in South America and Asia, the dragon fruit burgeons and grows in opulence. Pertinently named, the dragon fruit’s outer covering skin seems like cactus, bears a resemblance that of the scales of a mythical dragon.
Its bright green color and reddish-pink hues indicate that the fruit is full of nutrients, while the creamy white flesh dotted with black seeds which give way to many rich and natural properties, along with its unique looks and taste and provides health benefits as well.
Dragon fruit is also known as pitaya, which contains around 60 calories each and is rich in vitamin C, B1, B2 and B3, and minerals such as iron, calcium, and phosphorus and many more that is why it is called as one of the best “super fruits” out there.
This article takes a look at dragon fruit, including its nutrition, benefits, and how to eat it, etc.
What Is Dragon Fruit?
Externally Dragon Fruit looks Exotic, oblong vibrant hot pink colored fruit covered with spiky green leafy peels shooting up like flames around its corners. The most widely available variety of Dragon fruit has white pulp with black seeds internally, though a less common type with red pulp and black seeds exists as well.
It grows in tropical regions all over the world. It grows on vine looking cactus plants i.e. climbing cactus called Hylocereus, which comes from the Greek word “hyle,” which means “woody,” and the Latin word “cereus,” which means “waxen.” Dragon fruit goes by many names, including pitaya, pitahaya, and strawberry pear. its plant is native to southern Mexico and Central America but now it’s grown all over the world under its favorable conditions. Central Americans call it “pitaya.”
In Asia, it’s called “strawberry pear.” If we cut it vertically, we’ll find it juicy with a fleshy white part inside, dotted with black chia seeds type in it which are edible. Its sweet and crunchy in taste and somehow combination of the taste of a Kiwi, a watermelon, and a pear along with a nutty flavor of seed as the kiwi have.
Yellow Dragon fruit:
Yellow Dragon fruit is the smallest and sweetest variety that has yellow skin and white flesh. Hylocereus Megalanthus -This type of dragon fruit has a white fruit flesh and a yellow shell. The shell of this variation is a bit thornier than the rest of the variations, so it is rarer to see in a garden.
This Dragon fruit is high in vitamin C and other antioxidants, which are good for your immune system. This fruit has a spiny skin that makes them look somewhat like small pineapples. The translucent white flesh is pale yellow, or red to crimson red, depending on the cultivar, with numerous tiny black seeds inside the creamy pulp. The seeds are edible and digestible as well. Yellow skinned white-fleshed, have a more discernable flavor are notably sweeter which can vary from mild to moderately sweet and slightly tangy. The Flavor is not remarkable but there is enough of it that you recognize you are eating something flavored. Yellow Dragon Fruit is the sweetest of all the dragon fruit varieties. Dragon fruit grows on the Hylocereus cactus, also known as the Honolulu queen, whose flowers only open at night. Today, it is grown all over the world.
Why is Dragon fruit so expensive?
As it is a tropical fruit and grown in the tropical regions of native to Mexico, Central, and South America, so a lot of it is imported into the United States and to the other countries. Vietnam is at the top of its productions. It’s costlier than the other fruits as it is more in demand than the supply. Fewer people do the farming of this dragon fruit plant and as it’s highly imported to other countries which increases the price of it than its basic price.
According to the surveys, this exotic fruit will set you back a pretty penny, as one can even sell for as much as $10 each. The law of supply and demand dictates the cost of nearly every commercial good, and dragon fruit is no different. When you consider the appeal of this fruit, it’s been hyped up over the last decade.
California, Florida, and Hawaii do grow the fruit, but natural disasters such as droughts, hurricanes, and wildfires can give an economic gut punch to the agricultural industry of those states. It doesn’t help matters that dragon fruit’s harvest season from June through September also happens to lead into wildfire and hurricane season. Organic dragon fruit can cost double the price as fully loaded with numerous health benefits.
What does Dragon fruit taste like?
Usually, people according to their developed taste buds and experiences describe that dragon fruit which is grown on hanging cactus tastes somehow like melon and also reminds of the similar taste of a cross between a kiwi and a watermelon. Dragon is sweet and with a creamy textured pulp which is edible somehow looks like an internal part of kiwi fruit.
Few people give their reviews as it tastes like a mix of Kiwi and a pear and for some, it tastes somewhere between kiwi and melon. It has a couple of varieties: Red dragon and the pink dragon, red being the sweeter one of the two while the pink one is a bit tangy.
Check out the given link below: CHECK HERE for more explanation.
Purple Dragon fruit
The Purple Dragon fruit i.e. Hylocereus guatemalensis is the third species of fruit in this genus. It has bright pink skin and purple flesh. Native to Central and South America, it’s also grown in Florida and marketed as American Beauty. It’s almost similar to the taste of other varieties.
how to grow dragon fruit?
This fruit extracted from the genus thor this is a unique flower that grows very fast at night so it is also called the queen of the night
This dragon fruit is one of a climbing plant that needs a bit of support to grow properly. It is a subtropical plant that needs a lot of heat and humidity, so below is the given information that you need to nurture and grow dragon fruit.
- Water Light Requirements
- Soil Requirements
- Temperature Requirements
Dragon fruit plant can be grown in 2 ways
Dragon fruit plant can be easily propagated directly from the seeds in the fruit under its favorable conditions. You just need to cut the fruit in half and then scoop out the seeds out of the flesh, now wash and dry them overnight. Using a germinating tray, plant the seeds in the soil, but make sure that they are covered on the top. Make sure that the soil is a little moist, and then cover it with plastic wrap until the germination occurs which will take up to 10 to 15 days. Once germination occurs, the new young plants can be transplanted into a larger pot or in the gardens.
By the Plant cuttings:
If you are interested to grow dragon fruit from a cutting, make sure you need not take too much from the parent plant because it can stunt its growth. Also, make sure to start growing the cutting during the summer months for the best results as it is the favorable weather to grow. Start with a cactus segment that is approximately a foot long. This section can make 3 to 4 new plants.
Once you cut the cutting into 3 to 6-inch cuttings, apply a fungicide to the ends and allow the cuttings to dry. This is not a necessary step, but it helps promote growth, so it is useful. Next, you dry or cure the cutting, which typically takes two to five days. You will know that it is ready when the tips of the cutting turn white. Rest you can watch both the ways in the given video link: HERE
How to eat dragon fruit?
Well, it’s your own choice that how you eat fruit, as you can eat it in many different ways. This dragon fruit is eaten in its raw form, you can toss it into a fruit salad whether served cut up, blended, or frozen. But it can also be grilled, for example, which can be done on skewers along with other fruit .varieties of fruits like Mango, pineapple, and mango, etc. Either you can cut it into a salsa, churn it into ice cream or Squeeze it into some other flavored juice or water.
On the other way, you can use it as a topping for Greek yogurt or freeze it and blend it into a smoothie. You can enjoy it to create tasty drinks and jams, jelly, puddings, and frozen desserts such as Dragon Fruit Martini, Dragon Fruit Frozen Sorbet, and Dragon Fruit Smoothie, etc. Dragon fruit pairs perfectly with fish dishes also.
Never buy a fruit that has bruises or dry leaves it signs that it’s overripe, so before you buy dragon fruit, squeeze it gently like in a washing machine. If it feels hard when you press on it, let it ripen on the counter for a few days before eating. To prepare the fruit for eating first cut it into quarters. Either peel away the skin or remove the flesh with a spoon or with the help of a knife, ice cream scoop, or melon baller, it is a wonderful, healthy snack on its own. Its skin is not edible. Have a quick view over here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDtjHKht9Oo&feature=youtu.be
health benefits of dragon fruit
- Fights Signs Of Aging
- Treats Acne
- Soothes Sunburned Skin
- Promotes Skin Health
- Provides Essential Moisture To Dry Skin
- Treats Colored Hair
- Promotes Healthy Hair
- Strengthens the hair
- Lowers Cholesterol
- Helps With Stomach Ailments
- Lowers Blood Sugar
- Repairs body cells
- Boosts the immune system & body metabolism
- High in dietary fiber
- Has anti-fungal, Anti-Bacterial and antioxidants properties
- Builds stronger bones
- Improves Cardiovascular Health
- Cuts Low Hemoglobin Risk
- Helps In Weight Management
- Prevents Cancer.
Dragon fruit tree
The dragon fruit plant is an exotic cactus found in Mexico, Asia, and parts of South America. Dragon fruit can be planted as ornamental plants, but they yield delicious fruit that is quite tasty. These dragon fruit trees can also be grown in gardens, pots, and fields.
The blooms of this plant are unique; in fact, they are one of the largest flowers in the world. The reason that they are so unique is not their size; it is the fact that the blooms only open for one night, and the scents that you will experience on that night are surreal and exotically sweet and fruity.
how to cut dragon fruit?
As tough as the outer shell may look, dragon fruit is easy to cut. Place the dragon fruit on a cutting board or another clean surface. Cut the fruit straight down the middle with a sharp knife, and separate it into two sections.
Removing the fruit’s flesh is quite simple and similar to serving an avocado. Run a tablespoon around the circumference of each section to separate the flesh from the skin (which is not edible). Using the spoon, lift the flesh out of the skin and place it on the cutting board. Turn over the mound of flesh, checking for any residual pink skin, and cube or slice up the flesh
How to peel
As it’s very easy to peel it, you only need to cut its base and pull its spiky leave towards the backward direction. You can get the flesh easily. Or you can cut the top and base of the dragon fruit and mark slight cut and peel it off with the help of a knife or spoon.
Video link is given how to cut a dragon fruit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TWY-BzZQ30
Dragon fruit uses
The dragon fruit is also a source of other nutrients like calcium that may help develop both strong bones and teeth, iron that may assist information of healthy red blood cells, and phosphorus to aid in promoting tissue and cell growth, maintenance, and repair.
Dragon fruit is loaded with nutrients and one of the healthiest fruit we have –
- Possess strong anti-inflammatory properties.
- Rich in vitamin C hence helps boost immunity.
- It is rich in nutrients like dietary fiber, vitamin A and water-soluble vitamins such as vitamin C, niacin, and riboflavin
- Helps manage blood cholesterol levels.
- Boost cognitive and bone health.
- The mineral profile includes magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, and sodium.
- As rich in antioxidants, it promotes weight loss and reduces cancer risk.
- Helps in managing blood sugar levels.
- High dietary fiber makes it good for digestive health.
This fruit also contributes more to our skin as it has a good amount of antioxidants. Consumption of it also prevents us from getting old quickly. Applying a small amount of honey in it also prevents wrinkles on the face this is also beneficial in reducing fine lines on our face.
Acne and rashes on the face of young girls are more common which makes them feel ashamed daily use of dragon fruits instead of experimenting with other drugs is also beneficial we should make a paste of this fruits and apply it on the face every day and after three minutes rinse the face. Doing so will remove acne and gives you a glow on the face. Dragon fruit contains a surprising number of phytonutrients.
It’s also loaded with antioxidants and is home to carotene, protein, vitamin C (said to be about 10 percent of the recommended daily value), polyunsaturated fatty acids (good), and B vitamins that may be necessary for carbohydrate metabolism. Also, this tropical fruit does not contain complex carbohydrates, which can allow vitamin B1 (thiamine) along with other B vitamins in the body to break down food more easily in the body.
A phytochemical called captin is also present in dragon fruit. It is usually used in medicines that can help relieve heart problems. Other known benefits of dragon fruit include boosting the immune system, promoting faster recovery from wounds and bruises, and reducing the risk of respiratory problems.
In one 6-ounce serving of dragon fruit cubes, you’ll get:
- Calories: 102
- Fat: 0 grams
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbohydrates: 22 grams
- Fiber: 5 grams
- Sugars: 13 grams
You’ll also get these vitamins and minerals:
- Vitamin A: 100 international units (IU)
- Vitamin C: 4 milligrams
- Calcium: 31 milligrams
- Iron: 1 gram
- Magnesium: 68 milligrams