If you’re looking for a new fruit to add to your menu, you might want to look into dragon fruit. Dragon fruit is the more colorful name for Mangosteen fruit. Its color is usually pink, though there are dragon fruits that can be found colored yellow or dark red. The fruit dragon plant is quite pretty with striking flowers. It also comes with a cool name.
The origin of the fruit dragon plant is somewhat unclear, though many believe it originated in South America. The Vietnamese began to eat dragon fruit after the French brought it to them about a hundred years ago. Dragon fruits were considered a sign of wealth as royalty and the rich grew them. Dragon fruits are now found in places like Texas, Argentina and Mexico.
The Fruit Dragon Plant
The stems of the fruit dragon plant grow up to twenty feet, towering over trees with their very own aerial roots. These plants are often used for ornamentation rather than eating. Dragon fruit loves the night life as it blooms only when the sun doesn’t shine. It’s also a hardy plant that can survive over a hundred degrees Fahrenheit, but cold kills it like kryptonite.
If you want to grow and eat dragon fruit, you’ll need to be in a subtropical or dry tropical climate. Texas and Mexico have the necessary environment where it can grow and flourish. Wet tropical zones also allow the fruit dragon plant to thrive although fruit production may be unreliable. When it comes to soil, the dragon fruit isn’t picky. Many growers suggest supplementing the soil with organic materials.
Benefits of Dragon Fruit
Like the banana with its climate requirements, the dragon fruit is often imported. The dragon fruit contains plenty of nutrients, including calcium, vitamin C, as well as fiber and antioxidants. It is apparently crunchy and sweet. Some say its taste is a mix of a pear and a kiwi.
1. Better Than Cheerios
2. Heart Healthy
3. Fill Up On Fiber
4. Active Antioxidants
5. Fights Diabetes
6. Reduces Signs of Aging
7. Treating Colored Hair
8. Suppresses Arthritis
9. Avoiding Acne
10. Soothe Sunburned Skin
How to Buy Dragon Fruits
When buying dragon fruits, look for bright skin and even colors. Spotty skin may indicate that it is overripe. If it’s brittle or very dry, it has clearly over ripened. It shouldn’t be mushy or too soft, but like an avocado it needs to have some give.
Dragon fruit is best eaten by cutting it in half and scooping out the meat or flesh inside. Like some other fruits, dragon fruits taste great when chilled. They can also make a nice fruit juice or jam.
It’s actually not that difficult to add dragon fruit into your menu. You may be able to find it in specialty markets with imported foods or of course if it grows in your area. If you don’t like eating it straight out, make shakes with crushed ice or jams for breakfast. Who know, you may one day become one more fan of the dragon fruit.