slaying the dragonfruit: the pitaya bowl

Move over, açaí  – there’s a new superfruit in town!

Over the past decade or so, the antioxidant-rich açaí berry has found a regular place on the menus of health-food cafes all over the country, used in smoothies and as a base for fruit-topped açaí bowls. But the Dragon Fruit, a tropical fruit native to Central and South America (and now grown all over the world), is quickly becoming a favorite alternative to the Amazonian superfood.

The fruit, also known as pitaya, most commonly has a bright magenta skin and green spikes that resemble the scales of a dragon, white or deep pink flesh, and a subtly sweet taste.  Its consistency is similar to that of a kiwi, with similarly edible seeds. Whenever I’m in the tropics or even down in Southern California (where these grow really well!), I am spoiled by having fresh, ripe pitaya at my disposal, but up here in Northern California, I usually have to settle for buying it frozen (which, in all fairness, is great for making pitaya bowls).

The benefits of pitaya, according to Pitaya Plus, the nation’s leading supplier:

  • Rich in magnesium, Vitamin B2, and Vitamin C
  • Good source of Iron
  • High in fiber
  • Rich in antioxidants
  • Verified non-GMO & organic

To eat the fresh version of this strangely beautiful fruit, you simply cut it in half or in wedges (like below), and peel away the skin or scoop the flesh out with a spoon. When these are in season and perfectly ripe, they are super addictive!  For the frozen fruit, my favorite thing to do is to use it as you would açaí, in a smoothie bowl.  Scroll down for the recipe!

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RAINBOW PITAYA BOWL

1 Pitaya Smoothie Pack or 1 small scoop of Pitaya Cubes
1/2 cup frozen Mango
1/2 cup frozen Pineapple
1/2 cup Pineapple juice or Coconut water
squeeze of lime juice

Toppings:

Sliced banana, kiwi, strawberry, mango
Hemp seeds
Chia seeds
Granola (here is my recipe)
Shredded coconut, unsweetened

Combine the pitaya with the frozen mango, pineapple, liquid of choice (you can even use regular water if you prefer), and lime juice in a high-speed blender and mix until the consistency is that of soft serve ice cream. Pour into a bowl and top with a combination of your fruit, hemp and chia seeds, granola, and coconut shreds.  Enjoy immediately!

A Few Notes

  • The beauty of the pitaya bowl is that you can make endless variations, changing up the frozen fruit (I also like to use peach, banana, or frozen strawberries) and the liquid (apple juice, even unsweetened almond milk) to suit your own tastes.
  • This recipe does have quite a bit of sugar thanks to the amount of fruit it contains, so if you are counting calories, sugar, or carbs, keep that in mind
  • Boost this recipe’s nutrition by adding your favorite protein powder, maca powder, bee pollen, or powdered Cordyceps!

 

 

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fiendishly fond of cooking, SoulCycle, Pilates, green smoothies, and Korean spas.

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