Dragon fruits are exotic tropical fruits. They are also known in some parts of the world as Pitaya. They are expensive and hard to come by. The bold name of this fruit is accompanied by a beautiful outer flesh and exquisite innards. You might be a little bit disappointed with the subtle flavor that has failed to match the striking appearance.
Dragon fruit is a great addition to early morning smoothies or shakes. It is extremely healthy as it contains vitamin C and antioxidants. The red-fleshed ones make an absolutely stunning drink and an awesome addition to smoothies. Dragon fruits are great to have on hand but, unfortunately, they do not have a long shelf-life. Can you preserve dragon fruit by freezing it?
Can you freeze dragon fruit? Yes, you can. Freezing can help to greatly prolong the shelf-life of the dragon fruit. However, the freezing action affects the texture and taste of the fruit slightly. The fruit becomes mushy and quality reduces over time.
Dragon Fruit has a short time in between fresh and rotten. So it is essential to pick the best storage method possible to keep it well preserved.
How to Freeze Dragon Fruit
To store Dragon Fruit long term, you need to freeze it. There are certain measures you need to put into place, to make sure that your Dragon Fruit freezes properly. In easy and short steps, here’s how to freeze Dragon Fruit.
Step 1: Slicing
It is not advisable to freeze your fruit as a whole. The best way to freeze dragon fruits is by cutting them into slices or cubes. So, how do you go about this?
Rinse the fruit, and with the aid of a sharp knife, cut the fruit into halves. Cut the halves into thirds, then gently remove the peel. Slice the thirds into small bits about the size of a teaspoon. After this is done, it is time to move on to the next step.
Step 2: Pre-freezing
If you skip this part of the freezing process, the sliced parts would clump together. This could make the fruit way mushier upon thawing and could be one hell of a mess.
Place the slices individually on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper. The parchment paper is to ensure that the slices do not stick to the baking sheet. Maintain enough space between the slices so that your primary aim would be achieved. Freeze these slices this way overnight or for a few hours. Just give it enough time to freeze through and through.
Step 3: Storage
After pre-freezing the slices, all that is left is to properly store them for freezing. You would need airtight freezer bags or containers and a sharpie for this part. Place the pre-frozen slices in the airtight freezer bags and eliminate as much excess air as you can. Then use the sharpie to mark the date of storage on the bags. You can use labels if you are using a Tupperware container.
This way, your expensive dragon fruit can be preserved for months, to be used in a variety of recipes that don’t require the fruit to be firm.
How to Defrost Frozen Dragon Fruit
If the final destination of your frozen dragon fruit is to serve as a condiment in a smoothie then there is no need to thaw. Just pick the number of slices you would need and blend it with your mix.
Frozen dragon fruit can also be used for pureed foods because of how mushy the fruit becomes after freezing. It is advisable to use the fruit in its frozen state. However, frozen dragon fruit can be thawed by leaving it overnight in the refrigerator.
Can You Eat Dragon Fruit Raw?
For most people, dragon fruit is eaten raw. But dragon fruit can also be grilled. This is done with the use of skewers and can be accompanied by another fruit like pineapple.
How to Recognize Rotten Dragon Fruit
The presence of dull skin color is the first indication that dragon fruit is no longer fresh. As the fruit starts to lose its freshness, the color begins to fade away. However, this is not a sure indication of rotten dragon fruit.
If you notice a dull color you can cut open the fruit to see if it is still edible. If the flesh has turned into a brown color then you should throw out the fruit. Cracks and splits in the skin can also indicate that the fruit is rotten. But you can always cut it open to be sure.