Pitaya, commonly known as Dragon Fruit and nicknamed Honolulu Queen, is a tropical superfood that's surprisingly easy to find in markets across the US, and it takes center stage in this unique smoothie recipe.
Buy any kind you want- there are 3: red skin with white fruit, red skin with red fruit, and yellow skin with white fruit- all similar in taste and incredibly easy to use. Cut in half, then scoop out the soft flesh with a spoon- it's that simple! Speckled with edible black seeds, this strange looking brightly colored fruit from a cactus species is unexpectedly mild in it's flavor- just slightly sweet, and comparable to kiwi in its texture. Depending on the type you use, this simple 3 ingredient smoothie will fall somewhere on a magical color spectrum of cotton candy pink to an electric fuschia. The color alone will have you in a brightened mood, but the flavor combination and texture is just incredible, not to mention packed with nutrients for a superb health boost.
I thought to make this smoothie when we recently harvested an abundance of yellow and sugarbaby watermelons from our garden, and I wanted to experiment with creating a watermelon drink that wouldn't be too overwhelmingly sweet.
Rather than use highly sweet banana for thickening, I thought dragon fruit would help add body and smoothness while offering a milder taste for balance. I threw in a handful of strawberries for good measure, and the result was perfect! All three fruits happen to be filled with antioxidants, excellent for skin health, and for fighting free radicals. This amazing trio also coincidentally boasts significant amounts of vitamin C, offering a terrific immunity boost.
While each of these fruits are fat free, low in calories and super hydrating, watermelon is also high in lycopene, a nutrient that according to the USDA "correlates with reduced incidence of certain types of cancer." In their Agricultural Magazine, the association explains also that "lycopene levels in fat tissue—an indicator of lycopene consumption—have been linked with reduced risk of myocardial infarction (heart attack)". It came as a surprise to me to read that "on average, watermelon has about 40 percent more lycopene than raw tomatoes". This smoothie is a flavor and nutrient combo you can't miss!
1/2 1 dragon fruit
1 cup watermelon
5 frozen strawberries
Blend the above ingredients in a high speed blender until smooth. Enjoy!