Pitaya, aka dragon fruit, is a staple in Central American diets, and now the bright magenta-hued fruit has made its way north.
Aside from its good looks (that color!), pitaya is loaded with nutrients. While the whole fruit isn’t always easy to find in stores, it’s readily available frozen, and just as beneficial for you that way: One 100g packet is a good source of fiber and magnesium, and also lends vitamin C, iron, and B vitamins, all for 60 calories. (You already know that brightly-colored fruit and vegetables are loaded with health-boosting antioxidants.) It’s a perfect base for smoothies and smoothie bowls, like this one:
It’s certified organic by the USDA, and founder Chuck Casano is also on a social mission in Nicaragua, where he sources much of the fruit, scoops it out and freezes it in a solar-powered factory, then uses the discarded skins for compost. All that, and he employs local single mothers, too.
You can also find pitaya in many juice bars, or, if you prefer dried fruit, so you can snack on it or cut it up and sprinkle it on oatmeal or a salad. And if you do find it at a market near you, don’t be afraid to slice in and give it a try—despite pitava’s wild looks, its taste is mild and lightly sweet and tart.