Okay, so when I was little, my mom used to make a fruit salad that I just loved every Thanksgiving. It basically consisted of fruit like bananas, apples, and oranges tossed together with Cool Whip.
Oh, there were some raw pecans in it too.
I loved that salad (and I use the term salad very loosely here), but I came up with a better, healthier version of it because have you seen the ingredient list in non-dairy whipped topping? *shudder*
I feel good about giving this to my grandkids or inhaling it myself after my morning run.
This recipe is so versatile. Use whatever fruit you want. I definitely would use bananas, because they’re just the best (unless you’re my cousin Shelly who thinks they come from the devil), but on this day I used kiwi, nectarines, and raspberries. Blueberries and banana would be the bomb, though. I want to make that, like, now.
I really love the crunch the cashews add. I picked up some coconut cashews from Trader Joe’s when I was out west and they were perfect. But raw cashews or roasted ones would work as well. For that matter, use your favorite nut. You’re the boss of your kitchen.
And I cannot get enough coconut whipped cream! I bought the actual cans of cream (not milk) at Trader Joe’s and you get a lot more bang for your buck because almost the whole can whips up as opposed to less than half a can of coconut milk.
So, yeah, basically this recipe is fruit, coconut whipped cream, and nuts. It’s simple, easy, healthy, and a great way to get raw fruit into your children’s tummies.
–Like I said, use whatever fruit you want. Melons like cantaloupe and honeydew are delicious in this. Watermelon would need to be eaten immediately because it’s water content would water the whipped cream down.
–Berries, all of them, would be awesome in this, too. Also, grapes.
–Use whatever nuts you like. I’ve been fond of cashews lately.
–I didn’t add this, but shredded coconut would be a great addition.
–I like to chop some fruit and store in containers. I also store my whipped coconut cream separately. Then I just toss it all together when I want a bowl of fruit salad. Also, I don’t use nuts for my 16 month old grandboy.
–Whipped coconut cream is so much more stable than regular whipped cream, and it will keep in the fridge a few days without deflating.
–For an alternate presentation, you can layer fruit and coconut cream into little jars. How happy would they be to pull this out of their lunchbox?
–I had trouble trying to figure out the nutritional value for the coconut cream. The results that I got from my nutrional website and what was on the back of the can varied greatly. So I am going to suggest that you use the information on the back of your can.
- 1 can full fat coconut cream or coconut milk, chilled in fridge overnight
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 1-2 tablespoons raw honey, depending on how sweet you want it
- Diced fruit such as nectarines, plums, grapes, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, kiwi, etc.
- Chopped cashews (toasted or raw, I used Trader Joe’s coconut cashews)
- Open well-chilled can of coconut cream or coconut milk and carefully scoop out the hardened part of the cream, reserving the liquid for smoothies or another use. (If you are using a can of coconut cream, most of it will be hard. If you are using a can of coconut milk, only about half the can or less will harden-the rest will be liquid.)
- Beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Drizzle in honey and vanilla extract and continue to beat until whipped.
- To make the fruit salad, place the desired amount of fruit in a bowl, then sprinkle with some chopped cashews. Add some coconut cream and gently toss to coat. Garnish with additional fruit and more cashews, if desired.
- For an alternate method, layer berries and/or fruit and whipped coconut cream in small containers like mason jars.