Dragon fruit is also known as a pitaya. This exotic fruit grows only in the tropical region of the world. It has a mildly sweet taste to it that’s packed with nutrition. Dragon fruit can be eaten raw, used to make fruit smoothies, desserts, and even sauces. Due to their high liquid content, these fruits don’t usually last very long once they are harvested. Therefore, most will wonder how long they will last.
So how long does dragon fruit last? At room temperature, dragon fruit will last 2-3 days. In the fridge, the fruit will last for 2-3 weeks. In the freezer, the fruit will stay fresh for up to a year.
Above is just an estimated time of their shelf life. Other factors such as storage temperature, when it was harvested, and where it’s stored will determine their actual shelf life.
In this short guide, we’ll go through how long the dragon fruit lasts, proper ways to store them, and how to tell when they go bad. If this is the information you’re looking for, keep reading.
Dragon Fruit Shelf Life
|Whole Dragon Fruit last||2-3 Days||2-3 Weeks||3 Months|
|Cut Dragon Fruit last||1-2 Hours||2-3 Weeks||1 Year|
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At room temperature, 2-3 days is usually how long they will last. However, if the temperature is hot, it may start to go bad sooner.
On the other hand, cool temperatures will make the fruit last longer. If your home has the air conditioner on throughout the day, expect them to last about a week.
For this fruit, it’s best to not cut them unless you’re ready to eat them right away. Keeping dragon fruit that has been cut at room temperature will make them go bad really quickly. Unless you’re going to eat them within an hour, it’s best to store them in the fridge.
In the fridge, dragon fruit will last for 2-3 weeks. The cooler temperatures of the fridge will slow down the ripening process of the fruit. You can either store the entire fruit in the fridge or just the flesh of the fruit.
A whole dragon fruit stored in the fridge will last 3 weeks or even more depending on how cool your fridge is. Keeping them in the crisp section of the fridge will keep them from ripening.
Fresh-cut dragon fruit should be stored in a resealable plastic bag or an airtight container. Storing them this way will help keep the fruit fresh for about 2 weeks.
The freezer is usually the best place to store dragon fruit for long-term storage. Fresh whole dragon fruit will last about 3 months in the freezer. To keep them fresh longer for up to 1 year, cut them and flash freeze them first.
How To Store Dragon Fruit
If you’re not planning to eat the dragon fruit right away, it’s best to not cut or peel them. By doing so, you’ll shorten their shelf life significantly.
If you’re planning to eat it within a couple of days, storing them on the kitchen countertop or the pantry is fine. Just make sure to avoid direct sunlight and other heat sources. The heat will cause the fruit to ripen quickly which will shorten their shelf life.
To store them at room temperature, simply keep them in a basket or container. Make sure to not cover them with anything. The thick rind of the fruit does a great job of keeping the fruit fresh.
In the fridge, whole dragon fruit can be stored in the crisp section of the fridge. When storing them there, make sure to not put apples, bananas, or any other fruit that produces ethylene. Doing so will prematurely ripen the dragon fruit.
Another way to store dragon fruit in the fridge is to cut them into pieces. You can either store them with the rind attached or just the flesh only. In the fridge, store them in an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
Can You Freeze Dragon Fruit?
For long-term storage, freezing dragon fruit is the best option. Since the fruit is made of mostly liquid, it will be easy to freeze.
It’s not recommended to freeze as a whole fruit even though they have a thick rind. More than likely, with the constant opening and closing of the freezer door, the fruit will start to get freezer burn.
However, if you’re planning on using it within a couple of months, you can freeze the whole fruit. Any longer than a couple of months, the fruit may get a severe freezer burn.
Instead, to keep them fresh longer, freeze just the flesh of the fruit. To keep their texture, you’ll need to flash freeze the dragon fruit.
The only downside to freezing dragon fruit is their limited uses. Frozen dragon fruit can’t be eaten fresh as it will become mushy and watery when it thaws. However, it will be great if you’re using it as a puree. You can make delicious fruit smoothies or a dessert out of the frozen dragon fruit.
How To Freeze Dragon Fruit
- Wash the dragon fruit thoroughly with water to remove any dirt and contaminants that may be on the fruit.
- Use a sharp knife and slice the fruit in half.
- Take a spoon and carefully scoop the flesh out. Alternatively, you can simply peel the skin off the flesh.
- Put the flesh onto a cutting board and cut the fruit into squares. They can be cut into any size you want.
- On a clean tray, place a sheet of baking sheet on it.
- Gently place the cube of dragon fruit onto the sheet. Make sure to keep them from touching each other.
- Place the tray of dragon fruit into the freezer and flash freeze them for about 1 hour. It may take lesser or longer depending on how cold your freezer is.
- Once it’s frozen, take them out of the freezer and transfer the dragon fruit immediately to a freezer bag. Allow an inch of space at the top of the bag so you can seal it.
- Label the bag with a date and place it at the furthest part of the freezer. If you have a lot of dragon fruit, you can stack them on top of each other to save space.
How To Keep Dragon Fruit Fresh Longer
Dragon fruit is one of those fruits that start to ripen right away after it’s harvested. Most of these exotic fruits are shipped from other countries and it will take a couple of days to even a week to reach the store. By the time it gets to the grocery stores, some may get damaged and some will ripen to the point where it’s no longer good to eat.
Therefore, at the grocery store, since the fruit doesn’t come with an expiration date, you should know what to look for. Choosing a good quality dragon fruit along with proper handling and storage, the fruit can last for a very long time.
Buying Dragon Fruit
At the grocery stores, look for the best quality dragon fruit. Usually, by the time they get to the grocery stores, the fruit has already ripened. The appearance of the dragon fruit will tell if they are good or not.
The color of good quality dragon fruit will be a bright magenta color with brightly soft spikes on them.
The skin of the fruit should be smooth and have no blemishes or large dark spots. If the dragon fruit has wrinkles on the skin, it means that the fruit is starting to go bad. If you’re planning to eat it within a day or so, it’s fine. However, if you’re going to store them for later, it’s best to not choose them.
The last thing to check is the firmness of it. Pick one up and gently squeeze it all around. The fruit should be firm and not give in. If it gives in a little or the skin breaks open, it means the fruit is going bad.
Handling Dragon Fruit
This exotic fruit has a thick rind, but don’t let that fool you. Improper handling of it will cause the skin to break or crack easily and cause the fruit to go bad quickly.
When handling the fruit, make sure to not press on it too hard or drop it. Sometimes, the fruit may have fully ripened and gentle pressure on it could break the skin open.
When storing the fruit in a basket or container, never put a lot of them together. A lot of dragon fruit in the same basket could put too much pressure on the ones on the bottom. All of this pressure will cause the skin to break open.
How To Tell When Dragon Fruit Is Bad
Due to a large amount of liquid content in the dragon fruit, improper storage will cause it to go bad quickly. Therefore, once the fruit is harvested, it’ll need to be consumed right away or stored in the fridge.
Even with proper storage, the fruit can still go bad. When they go bad, there will be signs to look out for.
The skin of the dragon fruit will usually tell if the fruit is bad or good right away. When the fruit goes bad, the skin will start to be wrinkled and loose. Also, it will begin to turn to a darker shade of magenta. The leaves on the skin will shrivel and turn dark green as well.
On the skin of the fruit, it may begin to crack or break open. If it does, more than likely the fruit will be bad and should be thrown away. Once the flesh is exposed to the air, it will start to rot.
Can I eat the skin of the dragon fruit?
The skin of the dragon fruit is a bit thick and soft. It may seem edible to eat, but you should never eat it. Most of these exotic fruits are farm grown which means they are polluted with pesticides. Eating a small amount of it may not cause any harm but will make your urine and poop reddish.
Can you eat dragon fruit raw?
Dragon fruit can be eaten in its raw form. Only the flesh of the fruit should be eaten. You can eat them fresh, make fruit smoothies, use them in a dessert, or even make a delicious dipping sauce out of it.
Can you freeze dragon fruit juice?
Yes, you can freeze dragon fruit juice. It’s as simple as pouring it into an ice cube tray or freezer bag. Just make sure you sanitize any surface that comes in contact with the juice before freezing.
Freezing will minimize the loss of nutrients and keep the juice from becoming cloudy. The downside is that it will change your dragon fruit juice into a solid.