With the weather getting warmer, that means one thing: summer is coming! One of the best things to eat in summer is fresh fruit salad. Nothing beats cooling off with refreshing, hydrating, and sweet fruit. Fruit salad is the perfect dish to bring to a party, to nibble on as a snack, or to serve as a light dessert. It’s also extremely easy to make as long as you know how to correctly store and properly cut the fruit you’re using. Despite certain health claims of the negative effects of fructose and carbohydrates, fruit is a sustainable, plant-based, energy-fueling food that helps the body thrive.With different fruits coming into season each month, your fruit salads can constantly change accordingly. Typically, fruit salad has a combination of berries, tropical fruit like pineapple or kiwi, and melon. While this combination is a classic to please any crowd, the sky’s the limit on how you can spruce up this summer treat to be more exciting and flavorful.
Here are three quick and easy ways to bring your fruit salad to life!
Switch Up Your Fruit
The easiest way to alter your fruit salad game is to to try out different fruits and fruit combinations. Berries, grapes, melon and pineapple all make great salad fruits because they are sturdy and their flavors pair well together. Be daring and try out some other exciting pairs. For a crunchy salad, throw some pomegranate seeds in. These little seeds will pack an antioxidant punch while also delivering popping flavors. For a tropical fruit salad, pass on the pineapple and kiwi and go for something a little more exotic. Try using lychee, a native Chinese fruit with perfumed, sweet flavors. Paired with grapefruit or orange, a lychee fruit salad would be fresh full of vitamin C. Native to southern Asian countries, dragon fruit would be another striking addition to a fruit salad. Dragonfruit has a slightly nutty flavor with a gorgeous exterior that will impress anyone.
How you prepare your fruit can also help spruce up your salad. Stone fruits aren’t often used in fruit salad, however the incorporation of these can be delightful. Stone fruits have large pits and can include peaches, nectarines, and plums. Cherries make an awesome stone fruit to use in salads as they are heart-healthy and naturally the perfect size. Preparing stone fruits by slightly warming or grilling can provide an ulta-unique fruit salad twist. Try these Grilled Fruit Kebabs for a summertime pleasure. Dehydrated fruit is another unusual way to give varied textures and tastes. Try using dried dates for a supreme plant-based bite!
Add a Boost
Who said fruit salad needs to only be made of fruit? To make this light snack into a heartier dish, try adding a boost of protein, fiber, or flavor. For a go-to pick-me-up, opt for sprinkling some chia seeds on your fruit. Chia seeds have amazing health benefits, will keep you full for longer, and can be found at nearly any grocery store nowadays. These seeds provide extra protein and fiber to make a more substantial snack that would be perfect pre or post-exercise. For a distinct tasty boost try mixing in herbs or edible flowers. Mint is an invigorating summer herb that pairs well with fresh berries. Basil is also an effortless herb to pair with fruits like watermelon or papaya. For a citrus and tart addition to your fruit salad try using edible flowers. Commonly found outside, dandelion, roses, or hibiscus are all edible and add a fragrant touch.
For a heftier fruit salad, adding grains is a sure way to feel satisfied. Try this Quinoa Fruit Salad for a revitalizing dish. Quinoa is full of complete protein and fiber, but is also light enough to leave you feeling energized. Quinoa is also a great option because it is naturally mild in flavor which helps brings out the fresh flavors of the fruit. For something sweeter, try sprinkling a handful of granola with your fruit salad. This Healthy Plum and Pecan Granola is free of artificial sugars and will enhance the already sweet tastes of fruit.
Dress It Up
What better way to dress up fruit salad than with a dressing? Salad dressing will help bind everything together and can help stop your fruit from browning. Agave or maple syrup bring out the sweet flavors of fruit, and can also serve as a way to make fruit salad a more decadent dessert. With a low glycemic index, agave serves as a plant-based alternative to honey. Just a little drizzle of these is all you need. This Watermelon Vinaigrette uses a combination of agave and Dijon mustard to balance out sweet and tangy flavors of watermelon, or for a creamier dressing, choose to use a plant-based yogurt as the base. Try this Cinnamon Coconut Yogurt trickled on a fresh berry fruit salad. These 5 Oil-Free, Dairy-Free Salad Dressings are also options for spiffing up your salad.
Reclaim this summer dish and spruce up your fruit salad! Try using new fruits and fruit combinations, preparing your fruit differently, adding a funky ingredient into the mix, or even dribble a little dressing on. Use these tips to make your fruit salads beautiful, delicious, and totally summer ready. For more salad inspiration check out these 7 Steps for Making Refreshing Summer Salads and these Vegan Mason Jar Salads.
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