Fruit salad, yummy yummy! Fruit salad, in my tummy! I’m not the only one who sings this every time they hear, “fruit salad,” right?? Okay, phew! I’m not alone. 😀 I am so excited about this uber easy recipe for Creamy Fruit Salad because I. Love. Fruit. Like, really really love it – I have to keep myself from eating too much before I get a belly ache type of love. In fact, one Summer during college I tried being a raw vegan where I primarily ate fruit. DON’T try it. That was just stupid.
It’s recently started to warm up here in the PNW so I’ve been trying to spend a lot less time cooking, and more time whipping up easy oven-free options. There’s nothing worse than cooking in an oven during the Summer without air conditioning. It becomes a sweaty mess. So, lately we’ve had lots of salads, like this Berry Kale Salad, pre-grilled chicken, and fresh fruit. Doesn’t sound so bad, does it?
Picnics, BBQs, Potlucks, Parties
One thing I love about fruit salad is that almost everyone enjoys it, so it makes the perfect dish to bring to a party. I find the key to a good fruit salad is variety. Everybody loves a good mix of different fruits, my favorites being grapes, raspberries, banana and pineapple.
To make fruit salad a little more interesting than just fruit, I like a creamy dressing to add more flavor and make it more like dessert. Now, if you hate coconut you can use heavy whipping cream in this recipe. The canned coconut milk does not add a strong coconut flavor, plus it’s dairy-free for any folks that are avoiding dairy. You just never know at friends and family get togethers anymore!
Whipped Coconut Cream
I have a couple tips for making whipped coconut cream because trust me when I say I have failed a time or two…or three, or four.
- Not every can of coconut milk is equal, so go for the full-fat variety. Low-fat will not have enough cream to whip up!
- Choose your brand wisely. I’m a fan of Native Forest and Thai Kitchen. These brands work for me every time. I also like the canned coconut cream from Trader Joe’s, but their full-fat coconut milk does not whip up nicely.
- Chill the can of coconut milk overnight, or for at least 4 hours. This will give you a thicker cream consistency.
- Chill your mixing bowl and the beater attachments in the freezer for 30 minutes – 1 hour.
- Using a hand or stand-up mixer, beat the coconut cream from the can (not the liquid) for 2 minutes on medium-high speed.
You can sweeten your whipped coconut cream with 1-2 teaspoons of sugar or liquid sweetener, but I find the fruit adds plenty of sweetness to this dish! I prefer to add just a dash of vanilla extract and lemon zest for flavor, and voila! Your fruit salad is almost ready to devour!
Assembling the Fruit Salad
This might seem intuitive – just put the fruit in a bowl and stir in the coconut cream, and your done! Wrong. Fruit salad can go from creamy, soft, and plump…to a soupy mess. We want fruit salad, not soup. To prevent the fruit from losing too much liquid it’s important to choose your fruit wisely.
- If you use any canned fruit, drain the fruit well and mix the fruit salad together right before serving.
- Pineapple, kiwi, melon, citrus fruits, mango, and stone fruits (peaches, plums, nectarines) release more liquid than berries, grapes, apples and bananas. Use a mix of both types of fruits to avoid overdoing the fruits that have more juices.
- It’s okay to cut the fruit up ahead of time, just don’t mix all of the fruits together until a couple hours before you are ready to serve the fruit salad.
- You can whip the coconut cream in advance, just store it in the fridge and mix it in with the fruit when you are ready to serve your Creamy Fruit Salad.
Creamy Fruit Salad (Dairy-Free)
- 6 large strawberries, sliced thin
- 1 cup grapes, cut in half
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 banana, sliced thin
- 2 kiwis, sliced thin
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 green apple, cubed
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk (such as Thai Kitchen or Native Forest)
- ½ lemon zest
- ½ tsp vanilla extract
- Refrigerate the can of coconut milk overnight.
- Freeze a medium sized mixing bowl and the beater attachments for at least 1 hour.
- Rinse the fruit.
- Cut the grapes, apple, kiwis, strawberries and banana.
- Add all of the fruit to a large bowl and set aside.
- In the frozen mixing bowl, spoon out the cream part of the coconut milk and set the liquid part aside. You can save the liquid for smoothies or soups!
- Add the vanilla extract and zest ½ of a lemon into the bowl.
- Using a handheld mixer or a stand-up mixer, beat the coconut cream mixture on medium-high speed for 2 minutes until soft peaks form.
- Gently mix the whipped coconut cream into the fruit salad to evenly distribute the fruit and coconut cream.
- Serve immediately or store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Items I Used in This Post
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