Enjoy delicious pitaya bowls at home, without needing any frozen or fresh dragon fruit. These vibrant smoothie bowls use freeze dried dragon fruit powder to achieve the gorgeous deep magenta color. Simply blend with frozen fruit and pineapple juice, and you have a healthy breakfast or snack everyone loves!
Recently a new wellness cafe opened up in our area. My girls and I love it. We’ve had such a fun time trying out different items on the menu, including acaí bowls and smoothies.
One of the smoothie bowls available is made with pitaya, which is another name for dragon fruit. It’s so incredible – it’s definitely a best seller. Since being introduced to pitaya smoothie bowls at the cafe, I was determined I needed to learn how to make them at home (especially because they can be $10-14 each!).
What is Pitaya
While acaí smoothie bowls might be more well known, pitaya bowls share many of the same heath benefits, and are just as beautiful (totally Instagram worthy!).
Pitaya/dragon fruit is considered to be a superfruit, meaning it’s nutrient dense and high in antioxidants. Though indigenous to Central America, it’s considered a prized fruit by many. It tastes similar to a pear or kiwi, though my daughter thinks it tastes a little like passion fruit, too!
Pitaya Powder (Dragon Fruit Powder)
The flesh of dragon fruit comes in two different colors: either white, or red. The freeze dried pitaya powder is made using the red-fleshed dragon fruit, and is a deep rich magenta. In some parts of the world, ripe or frozen dragon fruit is hard to come by, yet this powder can easily be found online, or at your local health food store.
Caution: When making your smoothie bowl, be very careful with this powder – it can and will stain.
What is a Smoothie Bowl
A smoothie bowl is a smoothie eaten from a bowl vs. a cup, and is topped with many different toppings, like granola, fruit, honey, etc. Often, a smoothie bowl smoothie is thicker in consistency because you eat it using a spoon, instead of drinking it through a straw. They are beautiful to look at, and fun to decorate with your favorite toppings!
Smoothie Bowl Toppings
While there are tons of smoothie bowl toppings (don’t be afraid to use your imagination!), here are some of our favorite suggestions:
- Gluten-free granola (either store bought or homemade)
- Gluten-free oats
- Cacao nibs
- Chopped nuts
- Chia seeds
- Flax seeds or flax seed meal
- Honey, maple syrup, or agave
- Chocolate chips
- Chocolate drizzle
- Vegan caramel sauce
Sliced Fruit and/or Berries:
- Goji berries
How To Make Pitaya Bowls
Making a smoothie bowl is very similar to how you make a smoothie. You can use either a food processor or a high-speed blender – add the ingredients to the container and process until smooth (it will be like a soft-serve yogurt consistency). Pour in a bowl, and have fun decorating with toppings.
Tips For Pitaya Bowl Perfection
- You can use a high-speed blender or a food processor, though I definitely prefer to use a food processor. I can get a much thicker consistency with the food processor (and my family loves super thick smoothie bowls!).
- It’s best to eat the smoothie bowls right away, but if you do want to make them in advance, pour into airtight individual containers, and store in the freezer (without the toppings!). When ready to serve, pull them out 10-15 minutes prior. Top with toppings just before eating.
- This recipe is very forgiving and easy to personalize. Feel free to experiment with different frozen fruit, and/or juice. You can even add some honey (agave for vegan), dates, or more banana if you like it sweeter.
More Vegan Smoothies To Try
For the pitaya smoothie base:
- 1 cup frozen sliced strawberries
- ½ cup frozen mango chunks
- ¼ cup frozen pineapple chunks
- half a ripe banana
- 1 ½ tablespoons freeze dried pitaya powder
- 2-6 tablespoons pineapple juice
For the toppings:
- fresh fruit
- gluten-free granola
- shredded coconut
- maple syrup drizzle (or honey for non-vegan)
- To the container of a high-speed blender or a food processor, add the frozen sliced strawberries, frozen mango chunks, frozen pineapple chunks, banana, pitaya powder, and 2 tablespoons of pineapple juice.
- Pulse the ingredients on and off for 30 seconds to start to break them up.
- Now blend continuously, and add more pineapple juice as needed to aid the machine in movement, and to reach the desired consistency (you're basically shooting for a soft-serve frozen yogurt consistency).
- Divide equally into 2 bowls, top with desired toppings, and enjoy!
- You can use a high-speed blender or a food processor to make this recipe, though I definitely prefer to use a food processor. I can get a much thicker consistency with the food processor (and my family loves super thick smoothie bowls!).
- It's best to eat the smoothie bowl right away, but if you do want to make them in advance, pour into airtight individual containers, and store in the freezer (without the toppings!). When ready to serve, pull them out 10-15 minutes prior. Top with toppings just before eating.
- This recipe is very forgiving and easy to personalize. Feel free to experiment with different frozen fruit, and/or juice. You can even add some maple syrup (honey for non-vegan), dates, or more banana if you like it sweeter. My family and I always like to add sweetened granola and/or honey to the top of our smoothie bowls, so I rarely add more sweetener to the pitaya base.
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Did you make this smoothie bowl recipe? I’d love it if you gave the recipe a star rating, and left a comment or honest review below. Don’t forget to share your pics on Instagram! #allergyfreealaska or @allergyfreeak