Dragon fruit, also know as Pitaya is as intimidating as a unicorn in steel armor – so cute and unusual, but why the spiky protrusions? And as with most things in nature, something that’s so vibrant on the outside will usually be pungent or piquant on the inside. Except for dragon fruit. At first glance, it seemed a perfect fruit for a quirky smoothie, with traditional fruits to round out what had to be crazy, loopy flavor. And a dragon fruit smoothie with guava and strawberries sounded pretty divine.
With my first slice of red dragon fruit (we’ll talk about the white version in a bit), I prepared to pucker at its sourness or pass out from the sweetness. But a few bites in, no surprises, no quirks, just a surprisingly mild, dense fruit with crunchy seeds like a Kiwi.
All that show and flare on the outside leads to a lovely fruit you could add a top any cereal or yogurt. So we brought in the guava to give the dragon fruit a contrast, along with very ripe strawberries for a tangy sweetness.
Dragon Fruit Health Benefits
The result is a not-too-sweet, very creamy smoothie that packs on a heck of an antioxidant punch. And that’s where dragon fruit reveals its secrets. It’s the flavor she comes armed with, but rather a host of health benefits that range from a healthy dose of vitamin C, vitamin B, and calcium.
However, the seeds hold the real health benefits, no surprise there. They contain lycopene, the same compound found in tomatoes that are good for the heart. Add in the omega-3 fatty acids, and a dragon fruit smoothie sounds like a good idea for fuel in the morning or post-workout.
Katherine even found a study showing the fruit has anti-aging properties and she thinks it would make a great base for a face mask. Between you and me, she doesn’t need it. But I’ll ask her to post the beauty recipe if she likes the results. Here's a full list of health benefits.
As part of our culinary tour of Baja, I was surprised to find out that dragon fruit is indigenous to Mexico’s deserts as a member of the cactus family and is easy to find in fruit stands.
Now the question is, will you be able to find the red dragon fruit locally?
You’ll probably have a bit of challenge. Katherine and I live in Atlanta and have our pick of international markets to get hard-to-find produce. However, it took nine phone calls to track down the red version finally.
The good news is that white dragon fruit was readily available everywhere we looked. The flesh is white with same tiny black, edible seeds.
A smoothie made with dragon fruit won’t have the same fuchsia vibrancy, but we have some suggestions and alternatives below to help you achieve the same lovely smoothie.
There’s also a pink and yellow version, but those also have a white or light flesh with black seeds, too.
Suggestions and Alternatives
- Red dragon fruit is harder to find than white, so you can use white dragon fruit instead.
- If you prefer a thicker smoothie or want to make a smoothie bowl, add one ripe banana.
Other Baja Mexico Recipes
- Black Bean and Corn Salad [with Avocado]
- Baja Shrimp Tacos with Sweet Corn Salsa
- Mexican Fruit Salad [with Lime Chili Dressing]
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- 1 large red dragon fruit, peeled and diced quality
- 1/2 cup guava juice quality
- 1/2 cup strawberries quality
- 1 tablespoon agave quality
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 5 ice cubes
- Peel and dice 1 large red dragon fruit and add to blender.
- Add 1/2 cup guava juice and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries.
- Add 2 tablespoons agave, 1/4 cup cold water, and 5 ice cubes.
- Blend on medium high until smooth for about 3 minutes.