You don’t have to visit the islands to make this quick and easy tropical fruit salad. The tangy, sweet and spicy fruit salad dressing lightly coats the juicy fruit. The whole tropical salad is ready with only 15 minutes of prep and it’s so good.
I love tropical fruit! From pineapple to lychee, guava to coconuts, carambola to calamondin. And there’s nothing better than putting them all together in a tropical salad, don’t you think?
Suggested Fruit For Tropical Salad
- Citrus (oranges, grapefruit, pineapple)
- Carambola (starfruit)
- Coconut (shredded)
- Dragon Fruit
The frustrating truth is that despite most people’s enjoyment of tropical fruit, those same fruit-lovers won’t always go to the trouble of preparing it – even if the “prep” is just peeling the skin from an orange to eat it. I have, in my own house, witnessed perfectly ripe kiwis, pineapple and bananas sitting on the counter attracting fruit flies and turning brown, while chips and cookies (which generally have a shelf life extending into the next millennium) are consumed with time sensitivity of a snapchat.
Laziness. The sheer effort of peeling or chopping seems an insurmountable obstacle to my family. To test my theory, I started putting clementines in my daughter’s lunch. Whole, unpeeled clementines. Mind you, a clementine’s peel comes off in approximately two seconds. There are no seeds. There is virtually nothing to get in the way of eating this fruit. Yet, day after day – those clementines came back in her lunchbox. Unpeeled. Uneaten. However, when assembled in a tropical salad (with a tasty fruit salad dressing) — where the only effort required was to CHEW, that same fruit was devoured.
Tricks To Getting The Family To Eat Fruit
It must be:
- Easy. Readily available. As in — requiring no more effort than to chew. Note: citrus fruit is much more enjoyable when it’s been supremed first.
- Colorful. Why do you think kids are drawn to Skittles and Nerds — and why toddlers mistake Tide Pods for candy? Those bright colors.
- Sweet. Buy fruit at its peak ripeness and prep it the same day to enjoy it at the height of its flavor.
- Fun. Keep it interesting with a myriad of different varieties of fruit. Also a simple fruit salad dressing can add even more oomph.
Ingredients For Fruit Salad Dressing
My family loves this dressing because it’s sweet and tangy with a bit of heat from ginger juice and jalapeño. If your group is sensitive to spice, omit the jalapeno, but don’t skip the ginger juice, it adds a great zing.
How To Make Ginger Juice For Fruit Salad Dressing:
- Grate the ginger on a microplane grater.
- Transfer the ginger to a fine mesh sieve and press the ginger solids against the mesh releasing the juices into a small bowl. (You can also squeeze the grated ginger in your clean hands over a bowl).
- Discard the solids.
Make The Fruit Salad Dressing
- In a small bowl combine the ginger juice with honey, lime zest and juice and jalapeños (if using).
- Microwave for a few seconds to loosen the honey enough to easily whisk the ingredients together.
- Whisk and set aside to cool.
Assembling Tropical Salad & Fruit Salad Dressing
- Combine your favorite tropical fruits in a bowl and dress with a few tablespoons of the dressing, but don’t overdress the salad. You want it to be lightly coated, not goopy.
- Toss to coat the fruit. Add more dressing if necessary.
- Serve the tropical fruit salad immediately. (If you want to make your tropical salad ahead of time, keep the dressing and fruit separate until serving, to prevent the fruit from becoming mushy (another key reason fruit goes to waste).
This tropical fruit salad is really good with yogurt and granola for a healthy breakfast or with a few cookies for a light dessert or snack. You could also serve it like a tropical salsa with grilled chicken, pork or fish.
You Also May Like These Tropical Fruit Salads & Desserts:
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Tropical Fruit Salad With Sweet and Spicy Dressing
- 1- inch knob ginger root peeled
- 1 jalapeño minced, divided (optional)
- zest and juice of half a lime
- 1/4 cup honey
4 cups of your favorite tropical fruit, cut into bite sized pieces - such as
- oranges supremed
- clementines supremed
- kiwi peeled and chopped
- strawberries stemmed and chopped
- carambola starfruit, sliced crosswise
- grapefruit supremed
- pineapple peeled and cut into bite sized chunks
- berries strawberries, blueberries, raspberries etc.
- bananas peeled and sliced
- guava peeled, seeded
- Use a microplane or fine grater to grate ginger onto a cutting board or into a bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer over a small microwaveable bowl. Transfer ginger pulp and any juices to the strainer. Press down on the pulp with the back of a spoon to capture the ginger's juices in the bowl. Discard solids.
- Add half the minced jalapeño, lime, zest and honey to the ginger juice.
- Microwave for 20 seconds on high. Stir. Microwave another 20 seconds or until mixture starts to bubble. Set aside to cool while you prep the fruit.
- Cut fruit into bite sized pieces and place in a medium bowl. Add the remaining minced jalapeño.
- If using citrus fruit like oranges or grapefruit, cut it into supremes. (If you're unsure about this method, I've found a You Tube link showing the technique.
- Toss the salad with dressing just before serving.
Yummy for dessert with some tea cookies or ice cream!