Don't Be Intimidated by Dragon Fruit

Seen them on social media but not really sure what to do with dragon fruit? Don’t worry. You’re going to slay this.

The dragon fruit (also known as pitaya, pitahaya, and strawberry pear) is one of the prettiest types of produce. Their bright pink skins with shades of green and white interiors patterned with black seed polka dots are a stunning gift to the world of #wellness (and Instagram-ready food photography).

Plus, they taste amazing. Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit native to southern Mexico and Central America—though they look exotic, many compare their fresh, sweet flavor to pears and kiwis. They're mega healthy, too. Dragon fruit contains a decent amount of iron, magnesium, and heart-healthy fiber.

How to Eat a Dragon Fruit

Dragon fruit can be used as a delicious base for smoothie bowls: Just freeze the flesh in chunks and toss into a blender with some banana chunks and coconut water. You can also eat diced dragon fruit on top of Greek yogurt with macadamia nuts or toasted almonds, or serve it alongside mahi-mahi (it pairs perfectly with fish). Any dish you might eat with mango, pineapple, or another tropical fruit is fair game.

Now that you know how to enjoy dragon fruit, let's look at how to shop for, prepare, and store it...


You can find dragon fruit year-round, but their peak season is summertime through early fall. To pick one that's perfectly ripe and sweet, look for bright, evenly-colored pink skin. A few blemishes on the exterior are OK, but dragon fruit with lots of funky-colored marks on the flesh may be overripe. The skin should be a bit soft and tender when you press it with your thumb, but not mushy. If it still feels firm, allow it to ripen a couple more days.


They may look intimidating (the dragon comes from the leafy "scales" on their exterior), but this fruit is super easy to eat. Lay it on a cutting board and slice it length-wise down the middle with a sharp knife. To remove the inedible skin from the sweet insides, run a small spoon around the interior circumference of each side's skin to separate them.

Alternatively, you can use your knife to peel it, but this prevents you from saving the pretty and intact "bowl" of pink peel for serving. Once the skin's removed, you can dice your dragon fruit or use a melon baller to make little spheres of it. Or eat the flesh right out of the skin using a spoon!


As with other fruits, you can keep these out at room temperature for several days as long as they're uncut. Once cut, eat your dragon fruit immediately or store it in the fridge for a day or so until it begins to brown. If you'd like to slow the ripening of an uncut dragon fruit, store it in the fridge inside a plastic bag (to keep it from absorbing flavors and odors from other foods).

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