The Natural Gourmet: Pitaya-Cherry Smoothie Bowl

Meet pitaya, the tropical super fruit bursting into the hearts and breakfast bowls of health-conscious foodies around the world.

There’s a tropical super fruit that’s bursting into the hearts and breakfast bowls of health-conscious foodies around the world, whose name is pitaya.

Also known as dragon fruit, it’s similar in spirit to the acai berry—reigning champion of smoothie bowls—but pitaya stands apart with its flaming fuchsia color that’s every bit as nutritious as it is gorgeous. Beautifying and detoxifying nutrients are abundant in pitaya, packed into the magnesium-rich flesh as well as the tiny black seeds, which are rich with anti-inflammatory fatty acids. Just one serving of pitaya boasts a third of the daily requirement of Vitamin C.

For the uninitiated, smoothie bowls are much what they sound like, but the key is that they are slightly thicker and more substantial than smoothies, designed to be savored with a spoon and topped with an artful array of toppings that provide crunch and extra nutritional oomph, turning it into a justifiable breakfast. Stock up on packs of frozen unsweetened pitaya puree in health food stores; if unavailable, acai makes a delicious substitute.

See also The Natural Gourmet: Vegan Kale-Basil Pesto Video

Pitaya-Cherry Smoothie Bowl Recipe

MAKES 2 servings


  • 2 (3.5-ounce) packs frozen unsweetened pitaya puree
  • 1 banana, cut into chunks, frozen
  • 1/2 cup frozen cherries
  • 1/2 cup almond or coconut milk (can substitute with coconut water)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • A scoop of protein powder, or nut butter (optional)

Topping suggestions: cherries, sliced banana, bee pollen, chia seeds, hemp seeds, granola, toasted nuts, honey


  1. Break frozen pitaya into chunks and place in a blender. Add frozen banana, cherries, milk, and protein powder or nut butter, if using.
  2. Blend until smooth; texture should be thick but pourable.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and top with desired toppings.

5 Fool-Proof Steps for Fluffy Quinoa
Make Really Great Beans from Scratch
31 Healthy (and Tasty) Recipes from the Natural Gourmet Institute