My love for ice cream continues as I have created a new flavor that I am head over heels about. It's dragon fruit! The first thing you might notice about this flavor is its pretty, pink color. You can always count on dragon fruit to add some vibrant and bold shades to whatever you are making.
Some of you know the facts about dragon fruit inside and out. And some of you may have never heard of it. That's totally understandable because it can be hard to find depending on your location. An important fact you should know is dragon fruit is also referred to as pitaya. And where does this special fruit come from? It grows from cacti. If you are lucky enough to come across one in your produce department, grab it and try one. Just slice it in half and you scoop out the insides and eat it. You may find it resembles kiwi in its mildly sweet flavor and texture. There are lots of little seeds that are incredibly nutritious. Sometimes you can find them in freezer packs in your frozen foods section. Those are commonly used to make pitaya bowls which are similar in concept to the acaí bowls.
Now for the health benefits. Dragon fruit helps to maintaining good heart health, digestion, and skin health. It's rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and calcium. Due to its high vitamin C content, dragon fruit is considered a flu-fighting, immune boosting powerhouse. It has more vitamin C than a carrot! It also ranks high on the antioxidant list of foods which also attributes to its immune boosting reputation.
As far as skin health, dragon fruit has also been known to help treat acne by blending the fruit with some water to create a paste. Then apply it to the acne infected areas and allow it to soothe your skin. It will also help prevent future breakouts. Another benefit to our skin is that dragon fruit can soothe sunburns. Simply combine dragon fruit with some cucumber juice and honey. The mixture will resemble an aloe-like consistency. Apply it to sunburns and you will find some relief.
You may be wondering where you can find some of the precious fruit! If you have an Asian market nearby, that would be my first stop. Otherwise, Whole Foods, New Seasons, or another specialty health food store is your best bet. Recently, New Seasons started carrying frozen dragon fruit. For this recipe, I used frozen dragon fruit that was cubed. If you happen to find it fresh, go for it!
I love the addition of cashews in this recipe. Not only does it add some health benefits, but it also adds to the creaminess. If you have an ice cream maker, that is your best bet for a nice, creamy treat. If not, you can let the mixture freeze in your freezer but it may not be quite as creamy. It's still delicious though and brings quite a bit of refreshment. The taste is mild, yet naturally sweet and satisfying.
2 cans full fat coconut milk
2 cups fresh or frozen dragon fruit
1/2 cup maple syrup, honey, or liquid sweetener of choice
1 cup raw cashews, soaked for 4 hours
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1. Place all ingredients into your high speed blender and blend until smooth.
2. Pour the mixture into your ice cream maker and churn according to manufacturer's instructions. If you don't have an ice cream maker, pour the mixture into a freezer safe, airtight container and place into your freezer until your desired firmness has been reached.
*Note- Using the ice cream maker yields a creamier result but the ice cream will still be delicious if you don't have one.