Regardless of where you get your dragon fruit, whether it’s picked fresh from your own trees, or bought in a store, you’ll need to know how to keep them fresh and good to eat. In this article, we’ll be looking at the options available for storing dragon fruit and seeing what can be done to keep these delicious treats at their best.
What You'll Learn Today
How Long Are Dragon Fruits Good For?
Once ripe, dragon fruit won’t last long after being picked from the tree. If stored at room temperature, it may only be two to three days before they begin to degrade. In the refrigerator, you can expand this time to two or three weeks.
For real long-term storage, try freezing the fruits, which will preserve them for six to twelve months.
How long they keep will vary, depending on the room’s actual temperature. If the weather is hot and the inside of the room is warm then they will begin turning bad faster than if the temperature is cooler, such as in an air-conditioned home.
Try not to cut or damage the fruits, as that will make them spoil faster. If you do cut one up but only use a portion of it, then always pop the rest into an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator.
Refrigeration helps to slow down the decomposition rate of the fruit. Uncut and place into an airtight container, then stored in the fruits and vegetable section, the ripening process will be slowed, and they should remain good for around three weeks.
If you cut the fruit again, place it into an airtight container in the refrigerator. They normally last for around one to two weeks depending on how ripe the fruit is.
If you have more dragon fruit than you can eat in a few days, a longer-term storage solution needs to be found.
You could process them into other things such as jams, but if you want to keep them whole or cut up, so they are ready to use in another type of recipe, you’ll first need to ensure they are clean, even if you’re storing them whole.
Place your fruit the way you want it, into a freezer-proof container. It will normally stay good for three to six months or even up to a year, depending on the freezer. Flash freezing will help to keep them good for longer.
For farmers wanting more information on storing techniques for commercial crops, this article has some useful information.
What Is The Best Way To Store Dragon Fruit?
For long-term storage, don’t peel or cut the fruits as this will shorten the length of time they will stay good.
If you’re going to eat them almost immediately, placing them into a clean bowl on your countertop is fine. Keep them out of direct sunlight and away from heaters, as this will quickly overripen the fruit.
They won’t need to be covered, as this can actually make them mold. Dragon fruits have thick skin which helps protect the soft fruit inside.
If you’re going to place your dragon fruits into the refrigerator, be sure to keep them away from other fruits such as bananas or apples, as these produce ethylene which forces the fruits to over ripen more quickly.
If you chop them up before refrigeration, make sure they are placed into a resealable plastic bag or another airtight container. It’s always best to put them into a resealable container, either whole or cut up.
Cut dragon fruits will go bad quickly even if you refrigerate them.
How Do You Store Dragon Fruit In The Refrigerator?
Before storing your dragon fruit in the refrigerator, make sure it’s ripe, as placing it into a cold environment when it’s unripe will keep it that way. Unripe fruits are almost entirely tasteless and a great disappointment.
The yellow variety of dragon fruits is the sweetest, followed by the pink or red-fleshed ones.
Although it’s convenient to dice up your dragon fruit before refrigeration, it will shorten the shelf life significantly. Storing them whole keeps them good for longer.
Wash your fruit, dry it and place it into a clean, dry, airtight container or ziplock bag. Only remove it when you’re ready to use it within two to three weeks.
If you notice any kind of mushiness or bad smell, then don’t eat it, just throw it away.
If you don’t place your fruit, particularly cut fruit, in an airtight container, it can absorb the aromas of other foods in your refrigerator and make it taste bad. Always ensure the bag, tub, or jar is properly sealed.
When putting chopped-up dragon fruit into a bag in the refrigerator, be sure to eliminate as much excess air as possible from the bag before you seal it. Oxygen is NOT your friend when it comes to preservation.
Sprinkling cut dragon fruit with lemon juice can help preserve it for longer.
Can You Freeze Dragon Fruit?
Dragon fruit is suitable for freezing, but a few things must be kept in mind. Unless you’re going to use the fruit within a couple of months, it’s best NOT to freeze it whole. Instead, remove the rind and cut it into pieces before placing it into an airtight, freezer-proof container.
The regular opening and closing of the freezer can cause freezer burn if the fruit is not adequately protected.
To maintain as much of their texture as possible, you will need to flash freeze them.
If you’re hoping to take your whole dragon fruit out of the freezer, let it thaw, and eat it raw like a freshly picked fruit, you’ll be in for a disappointment. The freezing process will inevitably break down the bonds of the fruit, which makes it rather mushy once thawed.
It’s best used for making smoothies, dessert toppings, or purees. All of which are completely delicious!
Freezing Dragon Fruits
- Clean the fruit thoroughly using water to remove any dirt or chemicals that may be on the skin.
- Slice the fruit in half with a sharp knife.
- Spoon out the contents carefully, or peel off the skin.
- Cut the flesh of the fruit into equally sized pieces on a cutting board, large, medium, or small; the size is up to you.
- Place the cubes of fruit onto a sheet of baking parchment on a clean tray. Ensure no piece is touching another.
- Flash freeze your fruit on the tray for around one hour (the length of time will ultimately depend on your freezer).
- Check to see the fruit is frozen, remove it from the tray and immediately place them into a freezer bag or sealable container. Remove as much air as possible before sealing.
- Make sure to label your bag or container with the fruit’s name and date of freezing. Don’t keep for more than one year and always check it still looks and smells good once thawed. If not, put it in the trash.
In this video, you can see how to freeze dragon fruit:
How To Tell If Dragon Fruit Is Spoiled?
The interior of dragon fruit is quite soft, despite the hard exterior rind. Always handle the fruit gently, as you don’t want to bruise or split the skin by accident, as this will make the fruit spoil faster.
If you want to store dragon fruit for any length of time, only choose those which appear perfect. If there are any flat spots, dents, or obvious bruises, you need to use them immediately or cut the bad spots out and freeze the fruit.
Even when storing your dragon fruit in a fruit basket or other container, don’t pile them on top of the other, as it can cause them to become damaged. This is because they contain a lot of liquid, which is why they don’t keep for very long.
There are a few tell-tale signs you can look for to check if your fruits have gone bad. These include:
- The skin is wrinkled, loose, or turns a darker shade.
- The leaflets on the fruits have become discolored.
- The skin is split open. If it is left like this for more than a few hours, it can begin to go bad.
- You can see through the skin to the flesh.
- Discoloration and blotching of the skin. It should be an even color all over.
- There is a rotting smell.
- It becomes mushy to the touch.
Because dragon fruits have a high water content, they cannot be kept for long unless refrigerated or frozen. Keeping them cool will help them stay fresh for longer, but for ultimate long storage, you need to consider freezing them.
Another option is to convert your fruits into another, longer-lasting treat such as a jam or wine that can be enjoyed over an extended period.
Find out how to grow and care for your own dragon fruit trees in our other articles.