Comprised from The Prepared Pantry Magazine “Country Home Kitchen.” To sign up for a free subscription to the magazine click here.
Simple Fruit Salads
One of the marvels of our time is that we can buy fresh fruit year around. Sometimes not all fruit is available, but there is always enough to make a good fruit salad.
Sometimes simple is better. Fresh fruit is so good that you don’t want to overwhelm it with other ingredients or too many flavors. Two or three fruits are often just right, especially if you choose fruits of different colors or textures. Prep the fruit, toss them in a bowl with a little lemon juice, and then add a bit of sweetener (the lemon juice helps keep many fruits from turning dark). Here are our favorites:
Cinnamon sugar. Mix a teaspoon of cinnamon with two tablespoons of sugar. Sprinkle it over the fruit. If the fruit includes peaches or nectarines, consider just a touch of nutmeg.
Cinnamon vanilla sugar. We sell a cinnamon vanilla sugar blend that works perfectly. You can also toss your fruit with a teaspoon of vanilla extract or rum flavoring and add cinnamon sugar.
Mint sugar. Mix about one tablespoon of fresh mint with about 1/4 cup granulated sugar in your food processor and pulse until the mint leaves are finely chopped to make a mint-flavored sugar.
Honey. Nothing is simpler than sweetening your fruit with just a touch of honey.
A Simple Fruit Salad
Mixed fruit salads should be easy and showcase fresh fruit. Any added flavors should be background flavors, a pallet for the fruit, and not mask the fresh fruit flavor.
For the Salad
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons honey or drizzle with cream syrup (recipe follows)
2 peaches, diced
1 banana, sliced
1 cup red or green grapes, cut in half
1 cup raspberries or strawberries (slice the strawberries)
1/2 cup coconut (optional)
1.Whisk together the lemon juice and honey in a large bowl.
2.Add the fruit and toss gently but thoroughly to coat.
3.Add the optional coconut, tossing gently.
4.Chill thoroughly before eating and store in the refrigerator.
For the Dressing
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 cup cream or half and half
3 tablespoons butter
1 dash of cinnamon
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
1.In a heavy saucepan, mix the brown sugar and corn starch together until the corn starch is well dispersed in the sugar. Stir in the cream.
2.Heat the sauce until it boils and thickens, stirring with a whisk. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter. Add the vanilla and cinnamon.
Simple Grape and Cantaloupe Salad
This is a simple fruit salad, yet very good and refreshing. If you like cantaloupe, you’ll love this salad.
This salad is made with vanilla yogurt. Other flavors of yogurt can make for interesting combinations.
1/2 ripe cantaloupe, cut into melon balls
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved
1 stalk celery, bias sliced
1/4 slivered almonds
1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
Toss the melon balls, grape halves, celery, and almonds with the yogurt.
There are many Waldorf salad recipes. Most are made with mayonnaise. This one is a little different, made lighter with whipped cream and grapes instead of raisins (of course, you can substitute commercial whipped topping for the whipped cream).
We think of Waldorf salad as a harvest-time salad but all that is really required are good crisp apples. You can usually get good apples year-round but if you don’t have good apples, don’t bother making a Waldorf salad.
3 cups coarsely chopped apples, about 3 medium apples
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup grapes, cut in half
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup mayonnaise, or to taste
1/3 heavy cream, whipped
salad greens or lettuce
1. Toss the apples with the lemon juice, sugar, and salt to coat (The lemon juice will help keep the apples from turning dark. If you were making a Waldorf salad with mayonnaise only, the acidity in the mayonnaise would do the trick). Add the grapes, celery, and nuts.
2. Fold the mayonnaise into the whipped cream. Fold the apple mixture into the whipped cream mixture. Serve on greens.
A Yankee in Paradise Salad
This is a great fruit salad! It’s a medley of tropical flavors-bananas, pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts-with a Yankee favorite, strawberries, thrown in. We tossed it with coconut cream syrup but you can use whatever you choose.
2 pounds strawberries trimmed and sliced
1/2 ripe fresh pineapple sliced and cut into chunks
1 cup green grapes sliced lengthwise
2 or 3 bananas, sliced
2/3 cup macadamia nuts
1/3 cup Lawford’s Reserve Coconut Cream Syrup or other sweet dressing
Toss the fruit and nuts together. Add the cream syrup just before serving.
Note: This salad is best if prepared just prior to serving. The fruit can be cut and stored in the refrigerator in individual bowls.
Frosted Strawberry Salad
This is an absolutely delicious gelatin salad.
It makes a great, cool summer salad and a perfect salad for the holidays. It’s made with strawberries, pineapple, bananas, and cream cheese. No wonder it’s good.
For the base layer:
1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
2 cups apple juice
3 cups sliced fresh strawberries (about 1 1/2 pounds before trimming and slicing)
1 banana, sliced
3/4 cup pecan pieces
2 3-ounce packages strawberry flavored gelatin
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons light mayonnaise
2 cups whipped topping such as Dream Whip
- Drain the pineapple and reserve the juice. Set the drained pineapple aside.
- In a saucepan, bring the apple juice mixture to a boil. Pour the hot juice into a bowl and add the gelatin. Stir to dissolve. Refrigerate until partially set.
- Beat the cream cheese and mayonnaise together until light and fluffy. Fold in the gelatin mixture. Fold in the whipped topping.
- Fold the pineapple, strawberries, sliced banana, and pecans into the remaining cream cheese mixture. Pour into an 8 x 13 pan. Chill until the top sets, about 20 minutes.
For the top layer:
Reserved pineapple juice plus water to make one cup
1 packet unflavored gelatin
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 cup whipped topping such as Dream Whip
- Bring the juice and water mixture to a boil. Dissolve the unflavored gelatin in the boiling water. Turn the heat down, add the marshmallows and stir until the marshmallows are dissolved. Set aside to cool until tepid but not set.
- Fold in the whipped topping. Spread the topping mixture over the fruit mixture. Chill for several hours before serving.
Marshmallow Pineapple Salad
30 large marshmallows (1/2 pound)
2 tablespoons milk
1 cup mild cheddar cheese
1 cup crushed pineapple, drained
1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 cup stiffly whipped cream
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1.Place the marshmallows and the milk in a double boiler. Cook slowly, stirring frequently, until the marshmallows are melted (You may also use a microwave oven. In the microwave, it takes from 1 to 2 minutes for the marshmallows to melt. Stir every 30 seconds). Let melted marshmallows cool slightly.
2.Add the cheese, crushed pineapple, and celery. Stir to distribute the ingredients.
3.Fold in the mayonnaise and whipped cream. Stir in the walnuts. Pour the salad into a glass dish and refrigerate until completely set up, about 1 to 2 hours.
Top of FormDennis Weaver has burnt food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking, available free in an e-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon for $10.
He loves to help people bake and is giving away Free Digital Cookbooks and Magazines. There is no cost or obligation. To sign up for the FREE subscription of “Country Home Kitchen” and other great E-books and giveaways, click here.
Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children.
To learn more about The Prepared Pantry, visit our website at www.preparedpantry.com