Pitaya VS Dragon Fruit: Whats the difference?
Fruit is a large part of eating a balanced diet, and one that is often preferred to its vegetable counterparts. Perfect in smoothies, as a part of a marinade, or as a quick snack with you need a little sugar, fruit offers numerous benefits, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Most Americans are used to eating more traditional fruits, like bananas, strawberries, and blueberries, but the world of fruit is much more expansive than the average consumer believes.
Non-native fruits, like the pitaya and the dragon fruit, are colorful, flavorful, and are exceptionally alluring in both appearance and flavor, offering unique health benefits beyond what a handful of berries can provide. Popular in smoothies, on ice cream, or as a dressing or sauce, these fruits are taking the health world by storm.
Pitaya vs. Dragon Fruit: Is There a Difference?
Despite their similarities, the pitaya and the dragon fruit are actually different fruits. The pitaya is a member of the Stenocereus genus and grows on column-like cacti. Boasting a bright color and a refreshing, sweet, and acidic flavor, the pitaya has a rough outer skin and smooth, seeded inner flesh that can be eaten alone or blended into a dish.
The dragon fruit, on the other hand, is a member of the Hylocereus genus, a variety of night-blooming cactus. Also known as the pitahaya, which may be at the root of the pitaya versus dragon fruit confusion, the dragon fruit is similar in size, flavor, and color to the pitaya. Both are able to add amazing color and flavor to a recipe, making them a fan favorite in everything from breakfast smoothies to post-workout supplement shakes.
Flavor and Health Benefits
Often described as tasting like a cross between a kiwi and a pear, both the dragon fruit and the pitaya are crunchy and mild flavored, offering a refreshing alternative to exceptionally sweet fruits, like raspberries. Like many fruits, the skin is not consumed; only the inner flesh is edible and can be used in recipes.
The true advantage of both of these fruits, however, is less in the flavor and more in the nutritional benefits. They are both low in calories and very low in cholesterol, making them a better alternative to a bowl of Cheerios for breakfast. Dragon fruit and pitaya also offers high levels of fiber and antioxidants, as well as Vitamin C and Vitamin B. These fruits have also been linked to a lower risk of diabetes and arthritis.
Making the Most of Your Fruit
So, what can you do with a dragon fruit or a pitaya? Amazing in sauce recipes and delightful eaten fresh, dragon fruit and pitaya are also a delicious and beneficial addition to a smoothie or juice blend. Offering a refreshing experience, numerous health benefits, and a pleasing, neutral flavor, dragon fruit or pitaya can be easily mixed into hundreds of dishes.
Frozen pitaya can be an easy way to preserve and use pitaya in recipes, especially in smoothies. Available in frozen pitaya smoothie packs for easy use, juice and smoothie bar owners can easily add pre-processed fruit to any mixture for easy blending. Frozen pitaya also makes an excellent base for a frozen pitaya bowl, a smoothie alternative eaten out of a bowl using frozen blended pitaya mixed with other fruits.
However you choose to eat it, fresh or frozen pitaya and dragon fruit make a delicious addition to almost any recipe. A strong ingredient in anything from salad dressings to nutrient-rich juice, these amazing fruits deserve a spot on your shelf. Whether you prefer fresh, frozen, or a mix of both, bringing pitaya or dragon fruit into your concoctions is the best way to keep your customers coming back for more.
Produce Services of Los Angeles, Inc. carries wholesale dragon fruit, fresh and frozen pitaya, as well as a full line of other fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables.
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