Thursday, September 6, 2007

Fresh Fruit Salad



A Cool and Tropical Delight

I never thought one day that I would ever like a fruit salad, let alone have and write my own recipe for it. But, ladies and gentlemen, here I am about to do just that. I suppose my taste buds have changed over time. I can honestly say that I love fruit salad – at least my “special blend” fruit salad.


I've had years preparing and serving this dish to many a populace. I now offer my personal and treasured recipe to you for your consideration and perhaps (should you care to prepare this cool and tropical dish), your consumption as well.


Ingredients:
Fruit – The following are my choices. I try to put in all of these for this dish. You may add or delete to your liking.
Apples – I like using red delicious apples.
Bananas
Peaches
Plums
Strawberries – Try to get these as fresh and as red as you can.


It's great that there's a strawberry farm so close to where I live where I can pick fresh strawberries from rows and rows. If you can ever get to a strawberry farm and pick your own, please, mark it on your calendar and take the time to go picking. It's lots and lots of fun. Bring the kids, your date, or your whoever.


Raisins – I prefer the “normal” raisin, not the golden raisin.


Besides the nice sweet taste of a raisin in this dish, I like the different textures in my mouth when I chew this meal. My tongue gently rearranges and positions the fruit in my mouth so I can masticate properly. (Aahh, the art of masticating is, I'm afraid, just about lost. But that's another topic.)


Coconut Flakes – The kind in a bag that is often used for baking cakes.

Granola Cereal – The brand I use is Heartland Granola Cereal (original), in a box.


I buy it from the local grocery stores in town. If you want, you can try buying it from a “health food” market where they have bins and bins of various grains. You may be able to find the granola cheaper at a place like that.


Almonds (natural) – Optional for some people. I like this in my fruit salad. You can use either the whole almonds or the sliced. Avoid the salted, coated or the fancy funky kind of almond. The plain natural almond is the best.

Yogurt – I get from the Publix grocery store in town their brand of the “fat free light” yogurts.


I use their vanilla flavor and one other flavor, either mandarin, strawberry or strawberry with banana. Not matter what I use, I always, and I mean always must have their vanilla flavor. It's the best vanilla yogurt I've tasted in quite some time and it blends nicely with all the ingredients.


But you may have a favorite brand of yogurt that you like to use. You have my permission to use whatever your taste buds prefer.


How To Make It:
Depending on how many people plan on eating this ambrosial dish, determines how much fruit you'll be slicing and how much of the other ingredients you'll be adding.


The following directions are for one serving, the serving size that I normally have. Remember this is not a snack dish. This is a full size meal portion. I eat nothing else after this fruit salad. I'm done.


1. First get the bowl that you will be eating this dish from. I use a glass bowl about 1-2 sizes larger than a normal cereal bowl, or the smallest mixing bowl I've got.
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2. Begin chopping, slicing, or cutting the fruit to comfortable bite size pieces and put them into the bowl. Here's the breakdown:

Apples – I use just less than a quarter of an apple.
Bananas – One whole banana.
Peaches – Less than one quarter, depending on the size.
Plums – Half or more, depending on the size.
Strawberries – Five or so, depending on the size. I like to de-core the strawberries before slicing.

Raisins – One box of mini-snacks. This is the real small boxes that come in a bag of 14 mini-snacks.


I recommend not cutting too much at first. If you are hungry when you start to cut, you may wind up putting way too much fruit in the bowl and then find out that you don't have the room in your tummy to eat all of it. Saving the leftovers and putting it in the refrigerator for another time loses that fresh taste when first prepared. I've done it often enough to know it just doesn't
taste the same.


So cut what you know you can eat. You can always add more of the fruit you
like best. The extra fruit you don't need can be stored in a zip lock bag and
put in the fridge.


3. Add the coconut flakes to the bowl. I sprinkle in about 1-2 tablespoons.


4. Now pour in the granola cereal. I like the “crunchy-ness” of granola so I put a nice coat over the fruit in the bowl.


5. Next, put in the almonds. If they are whole, I put in about 6-10. If sliced, about 1-2 full tablespoons.


6. Now add the yogurt. I'll use half of their vanilla flavor and half of one of the other flavors I mentioned. The extra I'll put back in the fridge for the next fruit salad I make.


7. Mix it all up making sure everything is fully coated with the yogurts.


There you have it, folks. This is a perfect refreshing dish for a hot steamy day, or if you just want to have a “no-meat meal” for a change.


So, from one fruit salad lover to perhaps another, Enjoy!



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