If you want to store your fresh dragon fruit longer, the freezer might seem like a logical place to start. While it can be done, it’s not always a great idea to freeze your pitayas.
Freezing dragon fruit seriously affects the consistency of the edible flesh, and will also negatively affect the taste of the fruit. While you can freeze a dragon fruit, it will likely turn to a pulp while defrosting.
This could still be used for making desserts, smoothies, juices, or jams. It won’t be possible to present it as fresh anymore. That’s where storing dragon fruit in the fridge is the preferred alternative.
How Long Can You Store Dragon Fruit?
Fresh dragon fruit can be stored in the freezer at or below 0°F (-18°C) for up to 3 months. In the fridge at 40° F (4° C), dragon fruit will last up to 2 weeks. Cut dragon fruit will only last 2 to 3 days in the fridge.
Be aware of the signs of ripeness for dragon fruit. Knowing when to eat the tropical delicacy is important to prevent it from going bad. If you’re unsure what to look out for when your fruits have gone bad, this article can help you.
Again, it must be noted that the best quality is maintained at room temperature or in the fridge. Only for certain uses will it make sense to store dragon fruit in the freezer for longer periods of time.
When To Freeze Dragon Fruit
With the knowledge that the quality of your fresh fruits will be affected by the freezing process (loss of consistency and flavor), it can be useful for long-term storage for specific uses.
Frozen storage can actually be beneficial for maintaining the maximum amount of nutrients long-term. If you’re planning on cooking or boiling pitayas for specific dishes, freezing is preferred.
Pre-freezing avoids the loss of nutrients during the so-called blanching process, which is when a fruit or vegetable is (usually) boiled. After freezing, nutrients are kept even after boiling.
Other logical moments where freezing dragon fruits makes sense, include:
- Making mixed fruit drinks, smoothies, or juices
- For processing in pies, pastries, cookies, sweets, or jams
- As an ingredient in desserts, especially ice cream
When NOT To Freeze Dragon Fruit
While freezing cut dragon fruit is possible, it cannot be denied that the quality of the fresh produce will deteriorate due to the freezing process. Do not freeze dragon fruit if you’re worried about the following:
- Major loss of consistency of the flesh
- Major loss of texture and firmness of the flesh
- Minor loss of taste, especially over time
If you’re looking to preserve the fresh dragon fruit as is, freezing it might not be a good idea. While it is true that the tropical delicacy can be stored longer at sub-zero temperatures, it won’t improve the eating experience.
If you’re looking to present the fruit in any way or hope to preserve it as fresh fruit, the freezer should be avoided. If you have a use in mind for the pulp, you should always cut up the fruit before freezing it to avoid a complete mess. You can use the fruit without defrosting it in smoothies and purees. For other uses, you should store it in the fridge.
Best Way To Store Fresh Dragon Fruit
A whole, unripe pitaya is best stored at room temperature to promote the ripening process. If you want to eat the fresh fruit soon, the best results are achieved without needing to cool the product. It’s a tropical fruit, after all, used to warmer temperatures.
Make sure to keep it out of the sun and away from moisture where possible. Your storage pantry will be a perfect (and hopefully dark) place to keep fresh fruits. You can safely store it in a fruit bowl as well, but keep it away from fruit rot.
For longer safekeeping of your fresh dragon fruit (maximum 2 weeks), fridge storage will be the next-best solution. If you wish to store an already cut fruit, wrap it in plastic foil and store it in the coolest part of the fridge for a maximum of 3 days. Always make sure to check for signs of fruit rot before consuming!
Freezing Fresh Fruits Is Possible
While it’s easier for other fruits to survive the freezing (and defrosting) process, it’s not completely impossible to freeze a pitaya. There’s no differentiation between the white, red, or yellow varieties in this regard. All will suffer from loss of flavor and consistency in the freezer.
Most fruits freeze well, the dragon fruit doesn’t freeze super well. But it’s not like it’s completely unusable either. It’s totally fine to buy already cut and frozen pitayas from the frozen department of the supermarket, but don’t expect superior quality similar to the fresh fruits.
In any case, if you decide to cut up and freeze your fruits, make sure to keep them separated where possible to avoid clumps that can’t be separated. Plastic Tupperware-like containers seem to work best for this use. Alternatively, simply use plastic freezer bags (those blue ones)!