I recently made a dragon fruit smoothie but once you start having fun with dragon fruit it doesn’t want to stop! So now I made a slightly different and more “spoon able” version: a dragon fruit smoothie bowl - also called a pitaya bowl.
What is a smoothie bowl?
Think smoothie, only thicker. The main difference when making a smoothie bowl is that you use less liquid in order to achieve a thicker final consistency. Just as with a drinkable smoothie, once you have the proportions down you can play with ingredients and mix-n-match until you find your favorite combination.
What is dragon fruit?
Dragon fruit is a tropical fruit native to Mexico and Central America. Its taste is like a combination of a kiwi and a pear.(Healthline)
Dragon fruit, also known as Pitaya, comes in several varieties. Although it can be quite difficult to find near me (US – Midwest) I was once fortunate to find 3 different varieties at a local grocery store. 2 of the varieties appear very similar externally: the skin is bright pink with green scales. They appear to differ only in size, as one is noticeably larger than the other. The third variety has yellow skin with green bumps.
The internal pulp of these fruits shows even more variety.
The yellow skinned variety contains white pulp with large black seeds.
The larger of the pink varieties has white pulp with much smaller black seeds.
The smallest fruit, which has exactly the same color skin, contains a bright magenta-colored pulp. It also contains small black seeds, but you honestly don’t notice them in that amazingly colored pulp.
What does dragon fruit taste like?
As mentioned above, the taste is most commonly described as a combination of a kiwi and a pear. In addition to using in a smoothie bowl, dragon fruit is a fun addition to a fruit platter or on a fruit and yogurt bowl. I have also eaten it just scooped straight from the skin. To me, the yellow skinned variety tastes slightly sweeter than the others when eaten alone, but the larger seeds are definitely more noticeable.
Pitaya smoothie packs
Fortunately for us all, it is becoming more common to find dragon fruit smoothie packs in grocery stores. I found these once at the same store that had 3 varieties of dragon fruit. There was something special about that day because I have not seen the magenta variety since nor has that store had the frozen packs.
A more reliable source for the frozen packs is Whole Foods. It really is a great way to get the bright pink pulp without second guessing whether you picked the right variety at the store. Each pouch contains 3.5 ounces (100g) of bright pink fruit puree.
I stayed with a similar flavor profile to my dragon fruit smoothie. Tropical fruits work very well and in addition to the mango I decided to add some banana and pineapple. Yum. I also used coconut milk this time as I was really craving tropical tastes.
Here is the list of ingredients I used:
- Dragon fruit (frozen pitaya puree)
- Banana (frozen slices)
- Mango (frozen chunks)
- Pineapple (frozen chunks)
- Coconut milk
How to make this pitaya smoothie bowl
Since a smoothie bowl is expected to be thicker than a smoothie, it is important to start with frozen fruit. I use a Pitaya pack and allow that to partially thaw. The other fruit I buy fully frozen or (in the case of the banana) I slice and freeze ahead of time.
The blending will be a little more challenging since you are using very little liquid. A high-powered blender will have no problem with this.
Don’t own a Vitamix? Me neither. Conventional blenders will work just fine, they might require a little more help. By that I mean, you will end up scraping the sides and re-blending a couple times to get a consistently smooth mixture.
I use my food processor which does a pretty good job, but it sometimes requires a “stop and scrape” step in the middle of blending. It just shows that blending can be accomplished with a variety of tools!
Blend all ingredients together until smooth.
This is the fun part!
Smoothie bowls, even more than a smoothie drink, just seem to be made for garnishes. Fresh fruit, like kiwi and pineapple, are completely wonderful. I like to add blueberries when I can as well. And if you can get your hands on some fresh dragon fruit, cubes or balls of it make a great garnish for your pitaya smoothie bowl.
There are so many ways to mix and match your pitaya bowl!
For the coconut milk – try coconut water, almond milk or even dairy milk if that is your preference
For the fruit – berries are always a hit in any smoothie. If you can’t find fresh dragon fruit or the frozen packs, try using frozen raspberries. It will give you a bright reddish pink. It won’t be quite as over the top as the pitaya in color, but you will be close!
Add protein – I didn’t add protein powder this time, but it’s definitely a great way to increase the “meal” value of a smoothie bowl.
A dragon fruit smoothie bowl is a great idea, any time of the day!
Dragon Fruit Smoothie Bowl (Pitaya Bowl)
- ½ banana frozen slices
- 1 cup mango and/or pineapple frozen chunks
- 3.5 ounce dragon fruit puree
- ¼ cup coconut milk full fat
- Add all ingredients to a blender or food processor.
- Blend to a smooth consistency, scraping the sides of the work bowl or jar as needed.
Nutrition values are estimates only, using online calculators. Please verify using your own data.