Dragon Fruit

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1. WHAT IS IT?

AKA: pithaya; strawberry pear; pineapple from hell

Countries of origins: Cambodia, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, and the Philippines

Plant of origin: Hylocereus undatus

History: To increase sales, dragon fruit vendors lure in their customers with a tall tale. During battle many years ago, fire wasn’t the only thing that came out of a dragon’s mouth. At the end of each fiery blow, a dragon fruit would fall from the dragon’s tongue and onto the ground. Once the dragon was slain, soldiers collected the fruit and presented it to the Emperor as a symbol of victory.

Varieties: magenta and magnolia

In Season: summer to early fall

 

2. IS IT HEALTHY?

Nutritional Value: vitamin C, iron, fiber

Health Benefits: antioxidant properties, replenishes blood, strengthens immune system, helps with digestion and constipation

Replaces: kiwi

 

3. WHERE CAN I FIND IT?

Where: Asian markets, or your grocery store’s produce section near other exotic fruit.

BUY this: leathery, bright, even-colored skin; flexible stem; green scales

AVOID this: bruises, blotchy coloring; dry, browned scales

Shopping Tip: Squeeze it like you would an avocado or pear. If it’s too firm, then it will need a few days to ripen. If it’s too soft, then it’s past its prime. Try to find a middle ground with flesh that yields when squeezed.

NOTE: We all know it’s rare to find perfectly ripe produce—so a hard dragon fruit will do, just give it some time to soften.

 

4. HOW LONG WILL IT LAST?

Store: Keep the dragon fruit on your kitchen counter until the pink skin darkens (a sign of ripeness). Then, if you’re not ready to use it, move the dragon fruit into your fridge for up to 3 days. If it’s cut open, wrap halves in plastic wrap and place cubes in a sealed container.

NOTE: Dragon fruit is tastier when chilled.

 

5. I DIDN’T KNOW THAT. . .

  • Thanks to all of its active antioxidants, dragon fruit keeps skin looking bright and youthful. You can use it as a firming face mask.
  • If you have dyed hair, then dragon fruit is a godsend. Use juice or conditioners with dragon fruit extract to nourish your follicles.
For more info, go to: http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-dragon-fruit/#

 

6. BUT HOW DO I EAT IT?

Dragon Fruit Salsa

 

Craving more? Check out these recipes:

Dragon Fruit Salad (from whiteonricecouple.com)

Mango and Dragon Fruit Tart (from ricardocuisine.com)

 

 

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