It’s a great addition to smoothies, salads, and even ice cream. But it can also spoil quickly. Find out how to freeze dragon fruit so you can enjoy this tropical treat for longer.
While native to tropical areas, dragon fruit is available at most local grocery stores. And though you may see it stored simply on shelves in the produce aisle, it can ripen quickly once you get it home. So if you want it to last more than a week or two, you’ll need to freeze it.
In this article, I’ll walk you through how to freeze dragon fruit step-by-step, so you can store it and enjoy it for up to 3 months!
What is dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit goes by many names, including pitaya and strawberry pear, but its look is unmistakable. With leaves that resemble a dragon’s scales, this exotic fruit with a unique appearance grows on cactus plants, primarily in warm regions in Asia, Central America, and South America.
Dragon fruit is grown in four different varieties. Three are pink-skinned and one has a yellow exterior. The flesh can be white, red, or purple. And while this fruit looks unusual, it’s very versatile. Apart from smoothies and salads, it can be added to cocktails, salsa, grilled on skewers, or simply enjoyed raw.
What does dragon fruit taste like?
Dragon fruit has a sweet taste with a unique flavor that resembles a cross between kiwis, pears, and watermelon. It also has a slightly tart tanginess. The texture is a bit creamy and is very close to that of a kiwi, with tiny black seeds in the flesh.
How to freeze dragon fruit: step-by-step
In order to freeze dragon fruit, you first need to peel it and cut it up. While it can look intimidating with its prickly leaves, it’s actually pretty easy.
Step 1: Wash the outside of the fruit thoroughly.
Step 2: On a flat surface, slice the dragon fruit in half lengthwise.
Step 3: Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, similar to how you would with an avocado.
Step 4: Cut the peeled fruit into smaller cubes.
Step 5: Now you’re ready to freeze them. To do so, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the dragon fruit pieces on them in a single layer.
Step 6: Flash freeze the fruit cubes for a few hours until frozen solid.
Step 7: Transfer them to a freezer-safe bag or airtight container and label with the date you froze them.
⭐️ Frozen dragon fruit will last for up to 3 months in the freezer.
How to use frozen dragon fruit
Frozen dragon fruit can become overly soft and mushy if thawed out, so one of the best ways to use it is in smoothies. And you don’t even need to defrost it. Simply add the frozen pieces to the blender with your other ingredients.
You can do the same if you choose to make ice cream with it. Simply add the frozen fruit to the blender to puree it first.
How to store dragon fruit
Fresh dragon fruit can last up to two weeks if stored in the refrigerator. In fact, keeping it in the fridge will slow the ripening process, so it’s a good idea to refrigerate it if you want the fruit to last a bit longer.
Otherwise, you can simply keep unpeeled and uncut dragon fruit on a kitchen counter at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. It should keep for up to a week.
The shelf life of dragon fruit shortens considerably once you peel it, so you’ll need to store any uneaten, peeled dragon fruit in an airtight container in the fridge, where it can stay good for up to 2 days.
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How to recognize spoiled dragon fruit
To determine if your dragon fruit is beginning to go bad, look for these tell-tale signs of spoilage:
Texture. If the fruit is overly soft or mushy, it may be past its prime.
Color. If the flesh has become brown, it’s spoiled.
Skin. If you notice any splits or cracks in the skin, it is no longer fresh.
In any of these cases, your best option is to simply throw it away.
When shopping for dragon fruit, look for ones that have brightly-colored skin (a vivid pink for example) and smooth outer skin free of brown spots. Also, check for firmness. If the flesh is slightly soft but still firm then it’s ripe. If it’s hard, it’s unripe. If it’s too soft, it’s overripe.