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Can't tell a fruit by its cover

Flavors, like fashion, can be trendy and right now the hottest trending flavor is Dragonfruit.

Intriguing or intimidating?

Its appearance is a show stopper, the flavor familiar yet tropical and its nutritional value all combine to make it a well-rounded addition to every shopping list.

Hailing from the cactus family, dragon fruit is also known as pitaya or strawberry pear (a sneak peak to its flavor).

What the numbers mean

All dragon fruit varieties are rich in betalains, a large diverse group of antioxidants which help prevent oxidation of LDL cholesterol and flavonoids which, in turn, can help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Similar to other tropical fruits such as Caribbean Red papaya and red guava, red-flesh dragon fruit gets its color from lycopene, a powerful antioxidant which may contribute to the prevention of some cancers.

Aside from these phytonutrients, a 3 1/2 ounce serving of dragon fruit provides 30% of the RDI for Vitamin C, 3 grams of fiber and only 50 calories.

Now that's a great nutritional deal!

Ready to roar!

When soft to the touch, dragonfruit is ready to enjoy.

The leathery-like skin can be peeled back or cut in half.

Scoop out the red or white insides peppered with tiny edible seeds then slice and dice for the dish.

Don't toss the shells. They make adorable serving container.

Ideas for enjoying dragonfruit

While the exterior may look wild and unfamiliar, the flavor is mildly reminiscent of a strawberry, kiwi, pear blend.

This familiar flavor profile means it can work in so many different ways; blended in a smoothie, diced in a fruit salad or in cereal, sliced in a tossed green salad or slightly warmed in a fruit compote.

What are you waiting for?

Considering dragon fruit's awesome flavor, nutrition functionality and versatility, what are you waiting for? Take the plunge and hit the sweet spot and build exotic yet accessible new recipe ideas.

To your health,
Donna Shields

About the author, Donna Shields
As a registered dietician, Donna uses progressive nutritional science to achieve good health through a flavorful lifestyle.