When fresh fruit isn't available and the kids want to get in the kitchen and make a fruit salad, show them how to make it with fruit from the frozen foods aisle. Grocery or specialty stores carry even the more unusual selections of fruit such as mango and papaya. It's fun for them to make a salad to coordinate with a party theme. Add ingredients that stray from from typical recipes, and let the kids' imaginations go wild. They can even make up their own fruit combinations.
Frozen berries are probably the easiest fruit to find at the supermarket. Mix sliced strawberries with raspberries and sprinkle them with powdered sugar. Or add blackberries to the mix, drizzle with orange juice and add fresh mint. For a red, white and blue salad, mix together blueberries, sliced strawberries and apple chunks. Mix lime juice with honey to drizzle over the fruit. After adding juice to a salad, let it sit for 15 minutes so it absorbs the flavor. If tiny ones are in the kitchen, let them add miniature marshmallows to the bowl.
Let the kids make a tropical salad and they can pretend they're sitting on a Hawaiian beach. Add fun toothpick umbrellas to the creation. Mix papaya slices and pineapple chunks and drizzle with honey. Combine kiwi slices and mango chunks. Garnish with fresh mint and lemon zest. For something even more tropical, mix together orange slices, pineapple chunks, banana, kiwi and grapes. Add shredded coconut and chopped macadamia nuts along with a splash of light ranch dressing and toss.
Buy a bag of frozen melon. Let the kids sprinkle the it with brown sugar for a delicious treat. For something even more decadent, drizzle hot fudge sauce over halved green grapes, honeydew and cantaloupe. For a light taste, mix this same combination of fruit, but instead of the chocolate, add finely diced cucumber and lime juice. The kids may be surprised at the tasty result.
Guidelines for Using Frozen Fruit
Some frozen fruit may be a bit soft or mushy when defrosted. To compensate for this, serve the fruit salad when the fruit is just less than completely thawed. This will help the fruit feel firmer to the palate. Frozen fruit can be thawed in the refrigerator for six to eight hours or under running water in less than an hour. Refer top the package instructions. Thaw only as much fruit as you need. Frozen fruit can also be used in pies, jellies and sherbets.
- University of Georgia: Safe Thawing
- "The New Basics Cookbook"; Julee Rosso, et al.; 1989
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