Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Chilling Time: 2 or 3 hours
Serves: 6 to 8 servings
When things get hot in the summer and the humidity goes through the roof, heavy food is very unappealing. This is when you need a light, refreshing salad to just take the edge off of the hunger without overloading your system. Our recipe for Cool and Creamy Summer Fruit Salad is just the thing to satisfy your cravings on a hot summer day. Cool, sweet, colorful, and refreshing, this salad will cool you off when the temperatures outdoors are unbearable. Keep a bowl in the fridge for the kids to snack on after they come in from the outdoors.
Historians say that even the ancient Greeks and Romans enjoyed mixtures of various fruits mixed up into a salad. Around the mid to late 1800s, American cooks began experimenting with various fruit salad recipes, sometimes using canned fruit, but often incorporating local seasonal fruits as well.
It wasn’t until the early 1900s when the modern concept of a fruit salad really began to come into its own. Around 1920, the concept of a “Candle Salad” became a popular kind of fruit salad. Cooks from this era placed a lettuce leaf in a small fruit dish and topped it with a canned pineapple ring. They then placed half of a small banana standing up in the hole in the center of the pineapple ring. To the end of the banana, a maraschino cherry was affixed with a toothpick. The whipped cream was piped around the base of the banana. The idea was that the banana was a candle and the cherry was the flame. The strange presentation of fruit was considered a salad!
Around the 1950s, salads of all kinds became popular, but these salads relied more on processed concoctions than mixtures of fruits and veggies in their natural states. These recipes often featured canned fruit and gelatin. It wasn’t unusual for the salad to be packed into a shaped mold and used as a colorful, decorative, and edible centerpiece.
Toward the end of the century though, fruit salad began a transformation that reflected the joys of fruit in its more natural state. Cooking fruit or smothering it in a weird gelatin mixture fell out of favor in exchange for enjoying fruit closer to the way that nature intended it. This fruit salad reflects that spirit.
Even though fresh fruit is best, one nice thing about using canned fruit in a fruit salad is that it is usually easy to find no matter the season.While our fruit salad recipe does use canned fruit, you can substitute fresh fruit if you desire. In fact, any of the fruit in this recipe can be swapped out or added to if you have tasty fresh fruit on hand. So if you have wonderful peaches in season in your area, substitute the sliced peaches for oranges. Or if blueberries are more readily available in your area, substitute them for the strawberries. If you decide to use fresh pineapple, simply purchase two cups of pineapple juice to create the sauce.
Creamy Fruit Salad Recipe
- 2 cans pineapple, packed in 100 percent juice (20 ounces each)
- 2 cans mandarin oranges (15 ounces each)
- 1 box cook and serve vanilla pudding (3-ounce size)
- One cup berries (we used strawberries)
- ¼ cup chopped nuts
- 1 cup vanilla yogurt
- ¼ cup chopped nuts
Step 1: Open the cans of mandarin oranges and drain them, discarding the juice. Place the oranges in a large mixing bowl.
However, when you drain the pineapple, reserve the juice. Put the reserved pineapple juice in a measuring cup, and add enough water to make two cups of juice. Set the juice aside.
Step 2: Stir the drained pineapple into the mandarin oranges in the mixing bowl.
Cap the strawberries and slice them into the bowl of fruit. Add the nuts to the fruit mixture, but don’t worry about stirring it up yet.
Step 3: Put the reserved pineapple juice into a medium-sized pot. Over medium heat, whisk the pudding mix into the juice.
Whisking every few minutes, bring the pineapple juice to a boil. When the mixture has reached a full boil, remove it from the heat and allow it to cool, about 15-20 minutes. Whisk the vanilla yogurt into the pineapple juice mixture.
Step 4: When the pineapple juice mixture has completely cooled, gently drizzle it over the fruit in the fruit bowl.
With a large wooden spoon, gently turn the fruit mixture so that the nuts and the sauce are fully coated with the sauce. Cover the fruit bowl with a layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate for three to four hours. Serve. Store leftovers in the fridge, tightly covered for up to three days.