“Can you eat the skin of a dragon fruit?” – A lot of people are still having big question marks on whether or not you should eat the skin of dragon fruit, and what are the reasons for you to do or not to do so.
Some believe that it is poisonous, and thus harmful to your body. However, some others believe that both your physical and mental health can be improved by eating dragon fruit and its skin.
If you haven’t heard of dragon fruit and the great benefits it brings about, or if you want to find out whether dragon fruit skin is edible, read on for some mind-changing knowledge about dragon fruit and its peel with this informative article.
The following parts promise to bring you lots of knowledge about dragon fruit and its nutritional properties. So, if you’re new to dragon fruit, the information below can give you an overall idea of what it is and what it brings.
Even if you already know about dragon fruit, don’t skip it because there might be quite a few interesting facts that you’ve never heard of, and they might come in handy at some time.
Dragon fruit (Pitaya) is a kind of tropical fruit of cactus species. It is native to the regions of Central America and southern Mexico, mostly cultivated in tropical areas around the world.
With the odd appearance of pink skin combined with green leaves shaped like dragon scales around the body and numerous tiny black seeds inside, dragon fruit may cause a strange impression, at first sight, making it a bit hard to think of it as an edible kind of fruit.
Despite looking exotic, dragon fruit has moderate sweetness, refreshing flavor in its taste, and a soft and juicy texture that appeals even to the pickiest. This, without a doubt, makes dragon fruit become so popular worldwide.
Besides the original pink-skinned and white flesh look, dragon fruit also varies in different types with distinguished appearances:
- Pink skinned with red flesh
- Pink skinned with purple flesh
- Yellow skinned with white flesh
Not only famous for its unique look, but dragon fruit is also well-known as a great source of nutrition that is essential for your body.
The fruit is loaded with a variety of important antioxidants such as flavonoids, betacyanin, and phenolic acid; which help protect your body’s cells, and prevent chronic diseases, heart-related diseases, and the aging process. (1)
Dragon fruit’s high concentration of fiber, iron, magnesium, vitamins, and prebiotics promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria as well as reduces blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
Interestingly, dragon fruit carries albumin, a protein that can rarely be seen in other kinds of fruit, giving it the ability to detoxify your body and preserve skin beauty.
With these excellent health-promoting properties, dragon fruit flesh itself is highly recommended in your diet daily; let alone the fruit’s peel, which provides a lot more. Scroll down to know why!
As mentioned above, dragon fruit skin isn’t a smooth surface but is covered with many leaves in dragon scales shape. With that being said, how are you supposed to eat this, not to mention what kind of chemicals it may contain?
The answer is YES, it is absolutely safe and healthy to eat, as long as you know the proper prep steps for this certain type of fruit. Still having question marks hanging over this? Continue reading for more evident information.
It’s a fact that dragon fruit skin is, similar to dragon fruit flesh, rich in vitamins, antioxidants, betacyanin, and fiber. (2) The superb advantages of these nutrients are no denying, which is already a good reason to stop putting the peel into trash pins.
Also, dragon fruit skin carries pectin, a type of fiber that reduces blood fat, boosts digestion activity, and maintains a healthy weight, thus promoting anti-obesity.
What’s even more convincing is that the fruit’s skin contains a significant amount of anthocyanin, which contributes to the peel’s vibrant color, making the skin the most nourishing part of dragon fruit.
What is the exact taste of dragon fruit? Keep reading, and you will get the answer. Unlike the flesh, dragon fruit skin is not quite flavorful. To some people, it is hard to eat the peel without some extra spices as it gives a bitter taste and a slimy texture.
Despite its distinct savory flavor, dragon fruit skin can still be used in different recipes, making it much easier for you to enjoy having dragon fruit skin in your daily meals. Read on to find out more.
Dragon fruit skin is undeniably influential to your health, but things can get in the wrong way if you have no idea about preparing dragon fruit skin to get it ready for consumption.
Do you know how to eat one properly? If it’s a NO, I’ve got your back with several tips on eating a dragon fruit’s skin the right way, leaving it no excuse to waste your fruit peels no more.
Let’s start with choosing your dragon fruit. In order to enjoy your dragon fruit to the fullest, it’s important that you pick the right ones to bring home!
Here’s the step-by-step guide on how to pick out the best dragon fruit:
- Step 1: Look for a dragon fruit that has good-colored skin. It should be in even, vibrant color and have shiny, smooth skin.
- Step 2: Avoid ones with traces of decay (of course!). Overripe or rotten dragon fruit may have these signs: lots of black blemishes on its skin, brown and dried out leaves, dried out stems, etc.
- Step 3: Check the ripeness of the fruit by giving a slight press onto the skin. If it’s very soft (overripe) or very firm (unripe), drop it off and look for another one.
- Step 4: If your dragon fruit is unripe, don’t store it in the fridge just yet. Leave it for several days at normal room temperature and wait for it to ripen.
To make your pitaya peel experience the way it should be, these steps are for you to stick to:
- Step 1: Choose a dragon fruit following the direction above.
- Step 2: Wash it thoroughly under light water to rinse off the dirt.
- Step 3: Chop off all of the leaves and peel off the thin outermost layer of the fruit skin.
- Step 4: Cut it in half, separate the flesh and the remaining skin for different ways of consumption, or you can eat the whole fruit altogether.
- Step 5: Enjoy your healthy fruit snack!
While the flesh is richer in flavors and satisfactory for your mouth, dragon fruit skin can taste pretty bland. Some people may like it that way and enjoy the taste of it.
But if you’re not one of them, I’m here to share with you some delicious yet simple recipes that are very easy to follow.
A fast and easy way to consume savory flavored fruits is to toss them into a blender. You can’t disagree with me about that, can you?
- Dragon fruit skin
- Condensed milk
- Unsweetened milk/ Water
- Cut the dragon fruit skin into small pieces.
- Prepare your blender, put the ingredients in all at once, and blend well.
- Add in a few ice cubes up to your taste.
And you’re done! Only 5 minutes for a refreshing smoothie. Easy peasy, right?
Another healthy beverage from pitaya skin is a milkshake. If you love this kind of drink, you can’t miss this one!
- Dragon fruit skin
- After blending dragon fruit skin, turn off your blender.
- Add in the yogurt and blend well.
- Pour the mixture into a glass and add honey for a sweeter taste!
But first, desserts. If you are the kind of person who always has room for refreshing and simple desserts, this jelly recipe will not disappoint you. It is a light sweet treat, so no worries about fat and calories!
- Dragon fruit (flesh and skin)
- Agar agar powder
- Sugar/ syrup/ any kind of sweetener you prefer
- Cut dragon fruit skin into small pieces.
- Boil up 250ml of water along with the diced dragon fruit skin you prepared. Wait until the boiling water is the color of the peel, then take out the skin pieces.
- Add 100g of sugar and 20g of agar agar powder into the boiling water. Stir until they’re all dissolved, and turn off the heat.
- Pour the mixture into containers. Add in diced pitaya flesh (optional).
- When completely cooled down, the jelly can be served immediately, or it can be stored in the fridge for future use (up to 3 days).
Can’t say no to a dragon fruit dessert!
Teas using dried leaves, herbs, flowers, or fruits have been used for centuries. Aside from the health benefits contained, it is an energy booster – a perfect alternative to caffeine. The same goes for dragon fruit skin tea.
As for this recipe, you will have to spend some time sun drying the dragon fruit skin before using it to brew tea. Other drying methods using an oven or dehydrator can work well.
- After separating the peels out of dragon fruit, place them under sunlight for 4-5 days. Remember to protect them from dirt and insects by placing coverage.
- Once it is completely dried, transfer it to an airtight container for future use.
- Like how you brew any other kinds of tea, pour hot boiling water into a teapot containing a number of dry dragon fruit peels. Cover up the teapot and let it steep for a few minutes before serving.
- Add honey or sugar for enhanced flavors (optional).
Have a cup of homemade tea from pitaya peel every day for better body and mind!
If you’re a fan of salads like me, try out my go-to salad from pitaya peel. This one is super simple and takes no time.
- Dragon fruit skin
- Bell peppers
- Sesame oil
- Slice your dragon fruit skin and peppers into thin strips.
- Put the slices into a bowl, add in your seasonings and make a good stir.
- Before serving, add sesame oil, and you’re good to go!
This is a Chinese recipe that uses pitaya peel and yam – a kind of potato that is often found in Asian markets. If you happen to have yam at your local store, why not give it a try with this unique recipe?
- Dragon fruit peel
- Olive oil
- Apple cider vinegar
- White sesame seeds
- Cut the dragon fruit skin into thin strips.
- Steam the yam for 10 minutes and remove the peel. Cut the steamed yam into thin strips.
- Turn on heat at the lowest temperature, add in the oatmeal and stir until golden.
- Add a pinch of salt, olive oil, apple cider vinegar, and honey onto the pitaya peel strips, and yam strips, then make a good mix.
- Add clean lettuce and fried oatmeal into a salad bowl, then place the mixed peels and yam on top.
- Sprinkle fried white sesame seeds before serving.
There are a few other methods that will definitely give you a hand in reducing dragon fruit skin waste, unless you like the taste of dragon fruit skin or if you’ve had enough of it in your diet.
Remember what I said about dragon fruit skin’s beauty benefits? If dragon fruit skin carries so many skin health-boosting nutrients and has been used in a wide range of beauty products, why not use them as a sheet mask that is right from your kitchen?
- Put your chopped dragon fruit skin into a blender and blend well.
- After it is even out and there are no signs of lumps, add in unsweetened milk or yogurt, then stir the mixture.
- Use the face mask immediately to take full advantage of it.
Make sure you cleanse your face before applying the mask! Let it sit for 10-15 mins and wash off with water. Do this once or twice a week, and all you will see is a glow, smooth, brightened, healthy skin.
DIY face pack from dragon fruit peel gives you an instant glow!
From the beginning of its origin, dragon fruit skin has always been used as a natural food additive for coloring. Leave your chemical colorants aside because you now know how to create organic food color yourself from dragon fruit skin.
- Blend your dragon fruit skin until smooth.
- Spread it out on baking paper. The thinner the layer, the easier the process.
- Put the baking paper sheets into your food dehydrator’s trays. If you don’t have one, the sun drying or oven drying method will do.
- Turn on the heat at 70 degrees Celsius (for ovens, choose the lowest setting) and leave it for 10-12 hours. The final products should be completely dry and crunchy.
- Break them into small pieces and put them in your grinder. Grind until they turn into powder.
Dragon fruit skin powder can be used as an alternative to red food coloring, which shows up in measurable food recipes, especially desserts.
If stored in a proper airtight container, the powder can last about 6 to 12 months, depending on the temperature. Lower temperature can extend storage time, so it’s best to keep your jars of powder in the refrigerator.
No longer do you have to spend money on food colorants. The homemade pigment is a game-changer!
There are lots of shampoos on the market that use pitaya peel as the main ingredient. It is a fact that dragon fruit skin is advantageous for your hair, but do you know that it also helps reduce dandruff and promote healthy scalp?
Local Chinese people have been using this method of dandruff and scalp treatment for a long period of time, and it’s not at all a difficult process.
- Crush the juice out of a dragon fruit’s skin
- Smear the juice on your head and give yourself a good head massage
Check out the result after several uses!
As mentioned above, dragon fruit skin turns out to be the most nutritious part of dragon fruit, due to its high concentration of anthocyanin. To further your knowledge of dragon fruit skin, I’ll reveal everything you need to know about anthocyanin.
For centuries, this kind of pigment has been used as natural food color and natural remedies throughout human history and is considered one of the best ingredients to cure any disease.
To date, anthocyanin extracted from plants and fruits is widely used not only in the medical or pharmaceutical industry but also in the cosmeceutical field.
Anthocyanin has a considerable capacity for antioxidants and performs a super effective antioxidant activity, which results in the prevention of immune deficiency, inflammation, cardiovascular disease, or even cancers. (3)
It as well creates positive changes in your organs, especially gut health, leading to better-organized body working orders.
Alongside the advantages it provides as a normal antioxidant compound, anthocyanin plays a crucial part in protecting your eyes inside out. It maintains and improves eyesight, especially your night vision, by keeping free radicals from causing eye-related problems.
Anthocyanin consumption also encourages athletic performances by reducing muscle soreness and speeding up injured muscle recovery process.
It prevents oxidative stress and creatine kinase level from increasing. (Creatine kinase is an enzyme found in your muscle, heart, and brain; the leak of which during muscle injury can cause vast inflammation in the heart or heart attack).
By blocking free radicals from damaging your skin under sunlight, anthocyanin is a perfect natural sunscreen.
Using cosmetic products with a high level of extracted anthocyanin provides a better shield from the sun, which helps protect your skin against UV rays – the key to anti-aging enhancement.
Moreover, due to productive stabilization in collagen after long-term usage of this nutrient, your skin is guaranteed smoothness, much fewer wrinkles and free from collagen breakdown.
Another beauty benefit of anthocyanin is hair beauty, as it decreases hair loss by strengthening your hair structure, maintaining elastic fibers, and defending external harms.
What’s more, anthocyanin’s effects on mental health can’t be doubted:
Anthocyanin strongly influences the flow of blood and oxygen to your brain, which leads to better concentration, more productive learning progress, and lower rate of memory loss.
Studies have shown that this nutrient can also improve cognitive function, reducing cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease in older adults.
Having insomnia is no longer an issue in your life now with the help of anthocyanin. Consuming anthocyanin-related food or products betters your sleep patterns by increasing melatonin levels, a natural hormone produced by your brain to control your sleep cycle.
Anthocyanin protects your emotional well-being by lifting your mood, and fighting anxiety and depression. This is attributed to anthocyanin’s ability to activate and stimulate your brain’s limbic system, which is responsible for emotion control.
Below you will find answers to our most common concerns. Should the answers you’re seeking for are not included, don’t hesitate to leave a comment at the end of the page!
Improve Your Overall Health Just By Eating
You are what you eat, indeed. Anything you consume every day has an enormous effect on your physical and mental condition. Hence, having a balanced diet that involves eating a variety of veggies and fruits is highly recommended.
Increase your fruit intake wisely by choosing fruits that provide numerous nourishing nutrients, and I can assure you that dragon fruit and its skin can absolutely do the job.
Make sure your diet contains dragon fruit or dragon fruit skin (fresh, cooked, or from supplements) on a daily basis, and you will experience positive changes in your body after a short period of time.
Should you have any other ideas on how to use dragon fruit skin or any other information to provide, leave a comment down below to share with everyone. Also, if you think that your beloved ones have no clues about edible dragon fruit skin, share this article on your social platforms in order for them to expand their knowledge and make good use of it. Thank you!
- Edul.eu. 2021. The benefits and uses of red dragon fruit in food consumption.
- Ifrj.upm.edu.my. 2010. Antioxidant study of pulps and peels of dragon fruits.
- Ncbi.nlm.nih.gov. 2020. Anthocyanidins and anthocyanins: colored pigments as food, pharmaceutical ingredients, and the potential health benefits.
Table of Contents
- Let’s Get To Know About Dragon Fruit
- Is Dragon Fruit Skin Edible?
- How To Safely Enjoy Dragon Fruit Skin?
- Recipes Using Dragon Fruit Skin
- Other Ways To Make Use Of Dragon Fruit Skin
- Dragon Fruit Skin’s Secret
- Improve Your Overall Health Just By Eating