Growing on a clinging cactus plant that is often found attached to a fence, pitaya, also commonly referred to as dragon fruit, is quite commonly encountered throughout central and South America, as well as portions of Southeast Asia.
The oval-shaped pitaya portrays a stunning bright pink skin, with bright green thick leafy extensions. Averaging about a half-pound each, once sliced open, the unique melon-like fruit is exposed, engulfed with small black seeds that are similar to that of kiwifruit.
Depending on the variety, the flesh of pitaya can be white, pink, or light purple and delivers a mildly sweet flavor with notes of watermelon, berry and Asian pear. A rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients, this fruit is an incredibly healthy addition to your seasonal diets.
While pitaya can be worked into cooked preparations, it is most commonly enjoyed raw.
It has become popularized in specialty smoothie bowl establishments, with the frozen flesh blended up and served chilled. I have also seen pitaya used in specialty beverages and cocktails.
I most commonly enjoy dragon fruit as it comes, with the flesh simply scooped out and enjoyed with a spoon. When scooped out and sliced, pitaya makes for a really nice presentation on the table.
This week I prepared a simple pitaya-banana smoothie, using some cashew yogurt to help smooth it out. For a tropical essence, I like to add a little frozen pineapple as well.
1 pitaya fruit.
1/2 cup cashew yogurt (or any you prefer).
1 cup frozen pineapple.
Scoop the flesh out of the pitaya, and add it to a blender. Add remaining ingredients, along with about a half-cup of ice and blend until smooth. Depending on your blender quality, you may need to add a little juice, milk or water to allow the blades to spin.