Start your day with this naturally-sweet pink pitaya smoothie, made with red dragon fruit and fresh superfood ingredients for healthy, flavorful refreshment.
I've been in love with dragon fruit in my smoothies ever since I first tried the pink flamingo smoothie at Nekter Juice Bar. I'm not always willing to part with my coins for restaurant food, no matter how pretty in pink it is, so I started making pink dragon fruit smoothies at home. That's how this Barbie smoothie came to be! The name obviously comes from the bright, almost jarring pink color, which reminds me of those little plastic pumps by Barbie dolls would wear. But she's not just cute, she's full of the good stuff! Let's get into the details.
If you love starting your days with easy superfood smoothies, try these, too:
Pitaya Superfood Smoothie Ingredients
- Red Dragon Fruit (aka Pink Pitaya)
- Mango Chunks
- Lime Juice
- Fresh Mint
- Coconut Water
The star of this hot pink smoothie recipe is the red dragon fruit, frozen dragon fruit chunks, specifically. I pick them up at Target or Sprouts because I can only usually find fresh yellow dragon fruit near me. And don't even think about substituting white or yellow dragon fruit in this recipe. In addition to the pleasing pink color, red dragon fruit tends to be juicier and sweeter than white dragon fruit. What does dragon fruit taste like, anyway? Unripe dragon fruit actually has a very bland and slightly sour taste. Many people say that it tastes like nothing. Ripe dragon fruit, at its peak, is lightly sweet with a flavor that reminds me of watermelon, pear, and kiwi.
What are the Benefits of a Pitaya Smoothie?
Each of the ingredients in this vegan dragon fruit smoothies plays an important flavor, texture, and nutrition role. And the outcome is truly refreshment meets nourishment. I first thought about what fruit goes well with dragon fruit and went from there. Pitaya is high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins and minerals that support the immune system. Mango is similar and also rich in folate and copper. Strawberries add potassium and lime supports the digestive system and healthy blood sugar. Ginger has SO many benefits but I'll just mention here that it fights inflammation. Last but not least, the coconut water provides efficient hydration and a tropical twist of flavor.
Can you Flash Freeze Dragon Fruit?
If you can get your hands on fresh red dragon fruit, stock up and make it last forever to enjoy this recipe any time you want! Frozen pitaya will change color and texture as it thaws so smoothies and smoothie bowls are really the best way to use it. Here's how to freeze it.
- Line a sheet pan with wax or parchment paper.
- Peel the skin from the dragon fruit to expose its flesh. Here's a quick video on how to peel a dragon fruit.
- Cut the dragon fruit into bite-sized chunks.
- Spread pitaya chunks out onto lined sheet pan so that the pieces don't touch. This step prevents the fruit from freezing together in one big block.
- Place pan in freezer and leave for at least four hours.
- Transfer frozen fruit into a zipper seal storage bag. Seal and store in freezer.
How to Make a Red Dragon Fruit Smoothie
Brightly colored and flavored fresh summer smoothie with red dragon fruit, aka pink pitaya, berries, mango, and ginger.
- 1 ½ cup red dragon fruit
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 cup mango chunks
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 knob of ginger about one inch, peeled
- 1 ½ cup coconut water
- 6 mint leaves
Hull (remove leaves from) strawberries and peel skin from knob of ginger.
Add all ingredients to a blender and pulse until smooth and uniform (about one minute).
Enjoy immediately. Extra smoothie can be stored in the refrigerator up to two days but will separate over time. Shake or stir before serving.