Hello Everyone! Today’s recipe as you can see is a very vibrant one indeed; but colour aside, the dragon fruit (or also known as pitaya) has many health benefits. For starters, it is low in cholesterol and even though the fruit does have small amounts of fat because of the many seeds in the edible part of the fruit, it has little to no unhealthy cholesterol producing fats. Dragon fruits also contain high amounts of vitamin C that provide you a rich balance of nutrients. These are only some of the health benefits that dragon fruits have to offer and you can head on over to Natural Food Benefits for further information.
The Pitaya is the fruit of several cactus species and are originally native to Mexico, and are now cultivated in East Asian, South Asian, and Southeast Asian countries. It is commonly know as the dragon fruit as it traces back to its Asian names, for example: the Thai kaeo mangkon (แก้วมังกร) (dragon crystal), the Vietnamese thanh long (green dragon), and the Chinese huǒ lóng guǒ (fire dragon fruit) or lóng zhū guǒ (dragon pearl fruit) to name a few. The dragon fruit comes in three different colours; a red-skinned fruit with either white or red flesh, or a yellow-skinned fruit with white flesh. With the red-skinned fruit, you can’t tell the colour of the flesh unless you ask the man or lady who sells them at the local markets, otherwise, supermarkets usually label them according to the colour of the flesh.
I cannot remember if I’ve touched on what a calamansi is on a previous blog, but I’ll give a brief description on what it is for those of you who don’t know. The calamansi citrus is like a cross between mandarin oranges and kumquats. The flavour is slightly sweeter than a lime, but has the taste of a sour orange. The fruit is grown throughout Southeast Asia, primarily in the Philippines and Malaysia, and is an ingredient used to flavour dishes and make them taste truly authentic. Other than that, it can be sipped on its own as a refreshing drink.
We bought these brightly coloured fruits in the market 2 weeks ago and we didn’t know what to do with them besides just eating them. Then I remembered that a had a red dragon fruit smoothie when I was back in Sydney and decided to turn these fruits into a drink of my own. I searched for recipes online and found one that had the addition of lime and other ingredients in it. I think at the time that I wanted to make this drink, I didn’t have any of the ingredients in the pantry but I had calamansi; and so I decided to give that a go and combine just the two. It tasted really good! The mild sweetness of the dragon fruit paired wonderfully with the sourness of the calamansi.
PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME — | SERVES 4
- 2 red dragon fruits, skins peeled* and cut into chunks
- 2 cups ice
- 1/4 cup cold water
- Juice of 5 calamansi
- Mint leaves, to garnish
*First slice the fruit into quarters, lengthwise, and then you can peel back its skin easily.
- Combine all the ingredients, except the mint leaves, into a blender.
- Blend until smooth. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with mint leaves.
- Serve and enjoy a refreshing drink in the summer sun!
PS: Consumption of significant amounts of red-fleshed dragon fruit may result in a harmless pinkish/reddish colouration of the urine and poop.
– Ally xx