Fruit salads have become a staple dish in many diets. People start diets with the goal of eliminating certain foods, but fruit is almost always allowed.
Because fruits are naturally rich in sugar and calories, many people feel confident eating fruit instead of other foods. However, just because something is allowed in a diet doesn’t mean it’s healthy.
There are two main problems with many fruit salads: hidden fats and carbohydrates, and limited variety. Hidden fats and carbs can come from sprinkles or dressing added to the salad, as well as the fruit itself.
Many fruits are high in natural fat, which adds to the calories in the salad. When people are conscious about their health or weight, they often only allow low-fat foods—but many of these salads contain hidden fat that people don’t notice!
The second issue is the lack of variety in the fruits included in the salad. Many only use one color of fruit (typically white or yellow), which does not provide many nutrients compared to mixed colors of fruit.
Definition of salad
A salad is typically defined as a dish containing mostly leafy greens, other veggies, and a diet staple: salad dressing. Usually, salads do not include fruits or proteins.
Some more unique salads may include those components, however. For example, an Asian style salad may have rice noodles or tofu instead of veggies and sesame oil and soy sauce instead of dressing.
Salads can be assembled with many ingredients, making them pretty versatile. Some people enjoy making Caesar salads with croutons on top- these are called Caesar salads because the anchoring ingredient is Caesar dressing.
Others like building mixed greens salads with various vegetables and toppings.
Examples of fruit to use in a salad
When creating your own fruit salad, you can choose any type of fruit you like. Most people prefer traditional fruits like oranges, strawberries, grapes, and bananas.
Some people also include coconut or even dried fruits like raisins or cranberries. There is no wrong way to make a fruit salad!
As said before, the best salads have a balance of fruits that taste good together. So, try experimenting with different flavors to see which ones you like best.
Some people are not fond of vegetables so they may leave them out. However, vegetables such as lettuce, carrot, or cucumber make a good base for the salad so you should include them.
The best way to keep your salad healthy is to use all raw fruit and vegetables. If you use canned or cooked foods instead, then your salad will not be as healthy due to the loss of nutrients.
Examples of oils to use
Oils you can use in your recipes include coconut oil, sesame oil, olive oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed oil. These oils have different flavors, so if you do not like one then you can avoid it.
Many of these oils are high in fat, so make sure to not use too much. Coconut oil is a semi-solid fat so it is easier to use in baking.
Using avocado oil in your recipes will make your food slightly green in color, which can be interesting. If you are not a fan of the color green then do not worry, your fruit salad is not covered in grass!
Any of these oils can be used interchangeably depending on what flavor you want your dish to have. For instance, if you want a more olive flavor then use more olive oil instead of another type of oil.
Baking: An important part of baking is knowing how to use ingredients correctly. Baking can seem easy but there are many steps that need to be done correctly.
Examples of spices to use
Spices are another key ingredient to fruit salad recipes. Depending on what flavor profile you would like your salad to have, there are many spices to choose from.
Some popular ones include: cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, cardamom, and cayenne pepper. Depending on the fruit in your salad, some may already have a spice incorporated into it which is nice.
For example, bananas already have a subtle hint of nutmeg so that can be skipped. Or if you prefer no spice, leave it out!
Some recipes call for mixing the spices into the yogurt layer of the salad or pouring them over the top just before serving. Either way is okay!
Note: When cooking with spices, it is important to note how much to use based on how strong they are. Some are stronger than others, so you must use less to achieve the same flavor.
Using bananas in a fruit salad
A trick to using bananas in a fruit salad is to try to limit the amount of yellow fruit they mix with.
This is because when bananas turn brown, they turn a dark brown color. This is due to the oxidation of the natural coloration of the banana.
When this happens, you can still use it, but it will look less appetizing. Many people have preferences on how ripe they want their bananas, so this tip helps those who over-ripen theirs.
An additional tip is to not mash the banana until it becomes liquid. This way, it will not dilute the other fruits in the salad and make it taste gross.
Using dried fruit in a fruit salad
A sneaky way to add more fruit to your fruit salad is by using dried fruit. Many people use dried fruit as a topping, but you can also mix it into the fresh fruit.
Dried fruits are dehydrated so they are extra delicious and flavorful. Some fruits are harder to prepare so drying them preserves their flavor and makes them easier to incorporate into dishes.
Mixing dried fruit into the fresh adds texture and complexity of flavor. This is a great way to use up leftover dried fruit you have lying around too!
If you do not like dried fruit or have run out, do not worry! A simple fruit salad is still very healthy. Using all fresh fruits is a good way to gauge how many different types of fruits are in the salad though. Mixing some vegetables in can also help fill people up without making them feel heavy after.
What you should look for in a fruit salad
Now that you know the basics of making a fruit salad, let’s discuss what ingredients you should include to make it healthy. Most fruit salads include some variation of citrus fruits, tropical fruits, and/or berries.
As mentioned before, citrus fruits are almost always included in fruit salads. Just make sure you do not add too many oranges or grapefruits as they are too strong taste-wise. A mix of oranges, tangerines, and/or nectarines is perfect!
Tropical fruits such as papaya, mango, and/or coconut can be added as well. If you do not like any of these flavors, then do not add them! Just make sure they are fresh.
Lastly, add some vegetables to your salad to up the health factor. Some easy options are cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, and/or olives.
What should be the size of the pieces?
When preparing fruit salads, you should be careful not to cut the pieces too small. This can lead to too many bites with only fruit, and not enough mixed ingredients.
There is no set rule for what the size of the pieces should be, but you should aim for slightly larger than pea size. This way, there is enough texture and flavor without being too much.
Too large of pieces can make the salad bulkier and unappetizing. It will also make it more difficult to mix the ingredients together. A good balance is needed for a delicious fruit salad!
Try cutting the fruits and vegetables into similar sizes so that they all fit well together. Also, try using some herbs as a garnish to add some flavor contrast.