Fresh Tips to Make Fruit Salad Delicious
Want to make your fruit salad even better? Psst... here's how.
There's nothing like the sweet flavor of mixed fresh fruit at a celebration or a barbecue, especially during the summer and fall. Any way you slice it, fruit salad can go with the appetizer, the main meal or the dessert. It can be dressed-up or dressed-down, served in a watermelon or in a bowl.
The best way to make fresh fruit salad is to go to a co-op, roadside stand or farmer's market to pick the fruit fresh — if there is one in your area. If not, pick a variety of fruit in season. Really any fruit can be used in a fruit salad. Besides the well-known homegrown variety, don't overlook cherries, raspberries, blackberries, figs, nectarines, plums, mangoes, pomegranates, papayas, pears and mandarins.
You should have at least 4-5 fruits in the salad. Think of the tastes and the colors and how they complement each other. For example, watermelon, cantaloupe, green grapes, pears and peaches make a nice mix. Really there is no right or wrong way to make it.
Buy the fruit just before the party, preferably the day before because most fresh fruit only has a shelf life between 2-5 days. Most fruits (but not all) are stored in the fridge, but away from other veggies, especially because they can absorb stronger smells like garlic and onion.
Steps to Making the Salad
Before you begin, the first thing to do is to clean the fruit well under cold water to remove any dirt or residue, and dry it well with paper towels. Peel, seed and cube the fruit into bite-size pieces or use a melon baller. Just as an FYI: apples and pears brown once you cut them. Keeping the skins on will help. Bananas get a little mushy, so add bananas, apples and pears last.
Use a glass bowl to keep the fruit fresher than plastic. Placing the bowl on top of two ice cube trays will keep it colder if it is hot outside. Once you have added all of the fruit, gently toss it. Also, keep the salad fresh by adding 1/2 cup of citrus juice — like pineapple, orange, grapefruit or lemon — at the end. The citrus works like a preservative. Store the salad in the fridge until you are ready to serve it. Garnish with edible flowers or orange rinds.
It's Over the Top
Finish off the fruit salad by adding great toppings before serving. Some yummy choices are whipped topping, ice cream, vanilla pudding or yogurt. Sprinkle some wheat germ, crushed cereal, coconut, chopped nuts, walnuts or almonds on top. Or use a fruit dip recipe, like fruit-flavored cream cheese mixed with marshmallow cream and blended with whipped cream. It's easy and tastes better than the store bought.
Sweet fruit salad on a hot summer day will quench your thirst or satisfy your sweet tooth. Elegant or casual fruit salad just works.