Fruit salad makes for a great dessert as well as a healthy snack. We have a bowl of it sitting in the fridge most days. Having it there makes it easy for everyone in my family to grab a healthy snack and I much rather they eat a bowl of this than some cookies or candy bars. Here are some simple tips to make sure your fruit salad turns out perfect every time you make it.
Keep It Simple – Don’t try to get too fancy with your fruit salad. You really want the individual pieces of fruit to shine. Stick to no more than five different types of fruit and keep the dressing simple as well. More on that in just a second or two…
Use Fruit In Season – When you are picking the fruits to use in your salad, stick with the ones that are in season and pick pieces that look fresh and tasty. The only exception would be if you use dried or canned fruit. They can make yummy accents to your fruit salad, but the bulk of the fruit you use should be fresh. In other words, feel free to sprinkle a few raisins or some chunks of canned pineapple in your salad, but keep the rest of the fruit fresh for best results.
Don’t Overdress It – Let’s get back to the issue of dressing. A fruit salad dressing should be simple, light and slightly sweet to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruit. You don’t won’t it to overpower the fruit though. I like to mix a little lemon juice and either sugar or honey. The lemon juice gives a nice tartness, but more importantly it will keep the fruit from turning brown. The sugar or honey will balance out the tartness of the lemon while drawing natural juices out of the fruit. If needed, you can add a splash of water or fruit juice to stretch the dressing. In the summer, you may want to add a little chopped mint to the dressing as well.
Be Colorful – Your fruit salad should look as good as it tastes. A simple way to accomplish just that is to choose fruits in a wide variety of colors. A salad bursting with colors will also be bursting with flavor. Just imagine mixing some red apples, purple grapes, green pears, yellow or pail white melon and orange slices. A great way to make sure your fruit salad is colorful is to leave the skin the fruit whenever possible and of course only when the skin is edible. This will also give your fruit salad some nice texture.
Skip The Berries – For the most part, stay away from berries for your fruit salad. They quickly disintegrate and make a big mess of the rest of your salad. The only time I use berries is if I know we will eat all of it right away. Even then I usually try to keep the berries whole, with the exception of strawberries which can be sliced without ruining your salad right away.
Don’t Overchill – While it’s perfectly fine to store fruit salad leftovers in the fridge, you want to make sure you don’t chill it too much before you serve it. The fruit will develop its full flavor potential at room temperature. In the summer time, it’s fine to serve the salad slightly chilled. Even if you store it in the fridge, be sure to take it out at least 30 minutes prior to serving it.
Make It Fresh – Fruit salad isn’t a dish that you can easily make ahead of time. Make it fresh and don’t be tempted to cut the fruit ahead of time. It will quickly lose a lot of its flavor. A perfect fruit salad is made right before you eat it. This way every single bite will be bursting with flavor and vitamins.