Posted by onbalancefitness on:
Have you had it with fruit salad? You know the kind: melon, some grapes and maybe a few strawberries thrown in for the "wow" and "color" factors. I'm with you. The standard fruit salad we see out there is dull and, quite frankly, tasteless. It doesn't have to be that way, though. It's time to bring the fruit salad to maturity.
There's no reason to be boring (talking about your fruit salad). That's not to say you can't include the ingredients listed above; especially the strawberries. However, there are lots of varieties of fruit that combine well and can handle the tossing required to mix it all. It's not like you need to attact the thing when you stir it up.
Fruit isn't the only thing to use, either. Try adding some fresh herbs and nuts. Then use a little dressing made just for your creation. Lemon juice works really well and prevents "browning" of the fruit as it sits, waiting to be served. There's plenty of room for your imagination. Here are some ideas:
Use stone fruits: those with a pit. Nectarines, peaches, plums, and apricots are full of flavor.
Go seasonal for the real "wow" factor: taste. While we still have some peaches and nectarines out there (gotta love California!), some fruit at the height of its season includes apples, pears, figs, star fruit, and pomegranates.
Herbs to consider: basil, mint, sprigs of rosemary (do not chop, add as whole sprigs for smell and slight flavor), or fennel.
Add some crunch. Nuts are great with salads. I like walnuts, pecans or toasted soy nuts.
Use those spices! Chili peppers (or simply chili powder) can add a great kick. Try adding a small jalapeno; chopped fine. Don't use too much.
Add some leafy greens and vegetables. There's no reason not to make your salad a combination of greens and fruit. Romaine and spinach work well. Celery and carrots are good stand by additions. Beets add a nice crunch, but may "stain" the fruit. You can use the yellow and orange ones, instead. You decide.
Dressings: Below are a couple dressings I use. Mainly, I create one on the spot to fit the fruit mixture in the bowl. I always squeeze lemon juice over the salad to prevent browning and grind some fresh black pepper over the top. Just think of what you would like. Sweet, tangy, spicey... Then go from there and start blending some ingredients.
All in all, play with it. Good, fresh food is the best health insurance out there. Live it up!
Nancy Clayton: onbalancefitness.com
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon bland salad oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon lime juice
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon allspice
Heat honey in microwave for 10 seconds.
Stir in oil, juice and spices.
Pour over fruit and carefully toss to coat.
Nancy's Dressing (this goes all the way back to my childhood)
¼ cup oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
Mix all together. Grind fresh pepper over salad, pour on dressing and toss. Makes about ½ cup.
Raspberry Yogurt Dressing
¼ cup raspberry yogurt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
¼ teaspoon curry powder
dash garlic powder
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Mix and spoon over individual servings of fruit salad.