I looked at this beautiful pink fruit in the fresh food section and decided to give it a try, and I came to know that it was the Dragon Fruit!! The name is apt because the tough exterior and the spikes feel forbidding somehow!! Have you also felt the same? Let me tell you that you are not alone! Then one day, I bought one to check the taste, and it disappointed me. The texture and taste both were a letdown. Then, a friend invited me for dinner and served some fantastic salad and dessert containing the Dragon Fruit!! Everything was delicious, and I could not help but ask my friend for second helpings and some advice on how to tell when dragon fruit is ripe or not!!
Tips for Picking the Right Dragon Fruit!
My friend showed me a few dragon fruits lying in the kitchen and explained how to find out if it was ripe enough for use or not!! The dragon fruit is a type of cactus!! It is originally from Mexico and South America.
However, now it is accessible everywhere and more so in countries like Thailand and Malaysia. It has greenish and yellowish spikes on its body. It is a dense fruit, and the texture is creamy. There are small black seeds similar to a kiwi. Many people are unable to tell if a dragon fruit is ripe or not! It is difficult to know just by looking at it. Read on if you also find it challenging to find only the right dragon fruit.
1. Look at the color
Whenever you buy any fruits, its appearance is what attracts you at first. Like with most fruits, color is the first indication of a fruit’s ripeness. Unripe dragon fruits are green in color. This color slowly changes to pink. A bright pink skin with an even color tone is ideal. A few spots here and there is not a problem. However, a large number of spots and bruises will indicate an overripe fruit. It could also mean dry pulp or rotting in parts.
Nowadays it is common to find a perfect looking fruit which is not so good from inside!! This could be because of adding some chemicals. Don’t be fooled by only looking at the color. Also, check the leafy parts of the fruit. If the wings are turning brown or dry, then it is not a bad sign. It tells you that the fruit is ripe and ready! If you find the wings yellowish or reddish, it means that the fruit is still unripe.
In many stores, they don’t allow you to touch the fruits and keep them pre-packed. If you can touch then, it will give you a good idea about the ripeness of the fruit. Press gently yet firmly with your thumb. If you should feel soft and not mushy. It is very similar to checking other fruits like avocados and mangoes. If it is too soft, then it is overripe or already gone bad. If it is too hard, then it is unripe.
Unlike many other fruits, the Dragon Fruit does not have a powerful smell. It has a thick exterior, which makes it hard to get any smell. However, if you pay close attention and you have a good sense of smell, then you can pick a fruity and tropical aroma. There is a sweetness to the scent when it is ripe.
Now that you have some idea about finding out if the dragon fruit is ripe or not, let us take it one step further.
How Do You Pick the Right Dragon Fruit?
When are you going to eat it?
The selection should entirely depend on the time you are planning to eat it. If you want to eat it the same day, then go for ripe fruit, but if it is going to wait on the counter for a couple of days, then choose an unripe one. You can leave them at room temperature, and in two or three days, they will be ready. If you are buying fully ripe ones, then you should store them in the fridge. Otherwise, they may get overripe.
How are you going to use it?
How exactly are you going to use it? There are so many things that you can do with this fruit. You can eat it plain or use it in salads, smoothies, and desserts. You can get as creative as you want! For smoothies and shakes, it is better to choose a mature and fully ripe fruit. For salads, you should get a dragon fruit that is not fully ripe and has some crunch in it.
How do you store it?
A lot will depend on how you store it! Choose smaller dragon fruits if you cannot finish in one go. Never peel or remove the outer layers before storing them. If you can only have half of it and need to store the other half, then remove the peel and cut the pulp into pieces. Put it in an airtight container or a zip-lock bag after removing as much air as possible.
Dragon Fruits are full of vitamins and other essential nutrients. They also contain fiber, which is good for digestion. Include this fruit on a regular basis to get great results. It has anti-oxidants, which will reflect on your health and wellness.
The Dragon Fruit looks formidable but is quite easy to use. Just cut it into half or quarters with a sharp knife. Use a spoon to scoop out the pulp or take the pulp out and cut into any shape and size that you want for use in salads or any other dish.
Some people are happy with the tried and tested things in everything they do. However, it is good to come out of the comfort zone and give a chance to something new! Buy and use dragon fruits to go on a new food journey and discover new possibilities!!