This instant no-churn ice cream recipe uses dragon fruit to give a unique taste and bright magenta colour. Fresh young coconut meat makes this dairy-free ice cream also oil-free. No sweetener is added as the dragon fruit and the cashews are enough to naturally sweeten.
Suitable for raw vegan, plant-based, sugar-free and paleo diets. Try before serving and add maple or coconut sugar to sweeten if you prefer.
Dragon Fruit Ice Cream Recipe
- Total time: 10m
- Yield: 4 servings
- Calories: 310 cal
- 1 Dragon fruit
- 1 cup / 150g Cashew nuts
- 1 Young coconut, meat only
- 1 tsp Vanilla
How to make
- Peel the dragon fruit, cut into chunks and freeze until solid.
- Scoop out the coconut meat and blend with the cashews and vanilla.
- Add a few drops of coconut water if the mixture is too thick to blend smooth.
- Add the frozen dragon fruit and blend until smooth and serve immediately.
Dragon Fruit Ice Cream Video
I first had dragon fruit a decade ago in Thailand where it was white, tasteless and full of seeds that got stuck in my teeth. It wasn’t until earlier in this year I tried a small piece of a magenta fleshed dragon fruit and it was a revelation. It was used as a garnish and was I surprised at that the fruit was so sweet and tasty. Similar to a very sweet version of a kiwi.
I’ve seen people use them in recipes and assumed it was more for the colour than the taste. Now I know they not only are a great alternative to beetroot for adding natural colour but also have a subtle sweet fruity flavour.
The ice cream wasn’t particularly set so was more of a whip consistency. This is mainly due to the ice box I had in Bali not being particularly powerful. If the chunks of dragon fruit are frozen solid you will get a nice mr whippy style ice cream similar to my Strawberry Cashew Ice Cream. To get a consistency that you can scoop return to the freezer in a wide dish for an hour or two.
Dragon fruit can also be called pitaya but I much prefer the literal name based on the scaley appearance of the fruit. If you’ve ever owned a cactus that has flowered you won’t be surprised to learn that this central American fruit grows on a cactus. Despite its prickly appearance the flesh inside the tough leathery skin is soft and sweet. The seeds are also very soft and do not give the ice cream a grainy texture. Dragon fruit seeds are similar to soaked chia seeds in consistency and contain essential fatty acids.
In the photos the ice-cream is served with fresh dragon fruit flesh sprinkled on top. It also works really well as a smoothie bowl topped with fresh tropical fruit and shredded coconut.
You just need the coconut meat/jelly inside a young coconut. These are often called a jelly nut or green coconut and are what’s left after you drink the coconut water. A mature coconut (the brown hairy type) has thick solid coconut meat that isn’t suitable for this recipe.