How To Cut And Eat Dragon Fruit?

Truly sun-ripened yellow or pink-fleshed dragon fruits are the sweetest and most delicious. Buying those produced in the United States helps you get an authentic taste of these delightful fruits. Easy to peel and full of health benefits, we will look a little further to see how to cut and eat dragon fruit to enjoy it at its best. 

How To Cut Dragon Fruit?

How To Cut Dragon Fruit

When ripe, dragon fruit can be harvested by hand. With a couple of twists, the fruit will fall off quite easily. If the fruits are being commercially harvested before fully ripe, they can be cut off using a sharp-bladed knife or a pair of secateurs. 

Harvesting of green fruits should never be done, as they do not ripen very much after being collected. Instead, wait until the fruit is fully ripe, four days after the color has changed evenly from green to yellow, pink, or red (depending on variety). 

Commercial farmers may wish to cut the fruit after one or two days of the color change to prevent spoilage during transportation. 

If you wish to cut the dragon fruit tree to remove branches, then use either secateurs or loppers and cut the stem off at the base where it joins. 

Branches can also be tipped by removing their ends. This is done to promote flower buds to develop and increase side branching. Tipping can usually be done by twisting the ends off with your fingers, or you may use a sharp knife or a pair of secateurs. 

When it comes to cutting up dragon fruits for eating, see our guide below.

How To Peel Dragon Fruit {3 Methods}

Separating the skin from the flesh of your dragon fruit can be done in a couple of ways, either slice the fruit into sections lengthways and use your fingers to remove the skin. Or, take a dessert spoon, cut the fruit in half from top to bottom and scoop the flesh out. 

Method One

  1. On a cutting board, slice off both ends of the fruit with a sharp knife to expose the pulp inside.
  1. If you don’t want to cut the fruit in half, make a long cut just through the skin, keeping the fruit whole, from one end to the other. Ensure the cut goes right through the skin.
  1. Do the same thing a quarter of the way around, halfway around, and three-quarters of the way around.
  1. Use your fingers to peel off each of the four sections of skin.

Method Two

  1. Slice the fruit in half and then into quarters lengthways.
  1. Either peel it like this or cut each quarter in half first to make them smaller. This will make it even easier to remove the skin.
  1. Using your thumb, work it between the skin and the flesh and gently prise it away. 
  1. A sharp knife can be used to remove any remaining peel.

Method Three

  1. Cut the dragon fruit in half.
  1. Scoop the contents out using a spoon. The disadvantage to this is that they won’t be uniform sizes. 
  1. Another option is to use a melon baller to carve out perfect little balls of dragon fruit. These look very attractive presented in a bowl or used to decorate salads, cakes, or other dishes. 

In this video, you can see how to cut and eat yellow dragon fruit:

How To Eat Dragon Fruit?

The sweet varieties of dragon fruit are absolutely delicious when ripe. Just peel and enjoy the succulent fruit inside. 

If you’re looking for something a little more “put together”, then there are a host of other options, including:

  • Smoothies
  • Smoothie bowls
  • Salads
  • Protein bars
  • Tarts
  • Pies
  • Cakes
  • Jelly
  • Popsicles
  • Ice creams 
  • Cocktails

Emily from Rainbow Delicious has a range of fantastic ideas that won’t only taste amazing but look like dishes fit for royalty. They are true works of art, sure to appeal to anyone. 

What Part Of A Dragon Fruit Is Poisonous?

No part of dragon fruit is poisonous. For some unknown reason, it was a common belief that the skin was poisonous, but this is untrue. 

Nutritionally, dragon fruit skin is fine to eat. It will require thorough washing to remove dirt and pesticides first though.

Dragon fruit skin is highly nutritious, although it hasn’t got the most outstanding flavor or texture, which is perhaps why many would rather avoid it. 

Rich in anthocyanin and antioxidants, it has been of interest to the medical world due to the role anthocyanin plays in reducing diabetes and cancer risks. It has also been linked to helping prevent weight gain. 

According to WebMd, the benefits of dragon fruit include:

  • Antioxidants – Flavonoids, betacyanin, and phenolic acid are all beneficial in guarding against free radicals that can damage your body’s cells. This can help reduce the risk of premature aging and cancer. 
  • Blood Sugar – Researchers have found that this fruit helps lower blood sugar levels. Damaged pancreatic cells are replaced, which allows them to make more insulin, a chemical hormone that is beneficial for breaking down sugar. Further human studies on this are still required.
  • Fiber – The fruit is naturally high in fiber and fat-free, making it a good choice for a snack, keeping you fuller for longer, and helping with digestive transit. 
  • Prebiotics – The job of prebiotics in the gut is to feed the beneficial bacteria found there called probiotics. Probiotics are helpful as they destroy viruses and harmful bacteria, assist with food digestion and help to strengthen natural immunity.
  • Immune System – The high level of antioxidants and increased levels of probiotics strengthen the immune system.
  • Vitamins and Minerals – Iron, a mineral essential for circulating oxygen through our bodies, and vitamin C, which helps with iron absorption by our body tissues, are both found in dragon fruit. 

What Part Of A Dragon Fruit Do You Eat?

What Part Of A Dragon Fruit Do You Eat

Usually, it is the flesh and seeds beneath the skin of the dragon fruit that is eaten, but as we have seen above, it’s fine to eat the skin, too, if you want to.

Dragon fruit can be used in cooking or to make wine. In China, the skin is made into Guangxi sweet tea, a nutritious drink. It is also used in fruit juices, where the fruits are more commonly known for helping lower blood pressure. 

What Does Dragon Fruit Taste Like?

The type of dragon fruit varies the flavor. As an overall guide, the yellow-skinned varieties are the sweetest, with the pink-fleshed ones being the second sweetest, and the pink-skinned white-fleshed the least sweet. There is also a sour white-fleshed variety.

The taste has been likened to other fruits such as melon, kiwi, or pear, but the only way to find out is to try one for yourself. 

Palora, a yellow-skinned variety, is the sweetest of all and its flavor has been said to be like honey on a sugar cube – so pretty sweet then! 

American beauty is another sweet variety that may be a little less intense.

I strongly recommend you buy American grown fruit and don’t just try the more common white-fleshed varieties. Dragon fruits that have been imported are cut before fully ripe. They will often be disappointing. 

Conclusion

There’s nothing more satisfying than picking fresh ripe fruits right from your own yard. If you’re lucky enough to be able to grow dragon fruits where you live, then I highly recommend looking for the yellow-skinned varieties if you want maximum flavor and sweetness. 

Although the red and pinked skinned ones look amazing, they don’t always hold the same amount of taste and, if eaten when not fully ripe, are often disappointing.

To find out more about dragon fruits and how to grow and care for them in your own home or garden, have a look at our other articles. 

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