Mix up your classic fruit salad with a light and zesty coconut dressing! This salad is a great dairy-free side to bring to picnics, BBQs, or just to enjoy as a healthy dessert.
Fresh fruit is one of summer’s most enjoyable treats. Ripe strawberries, fresh picked blueberries, can you really beat summer’s fresh produce?
You could always bring a bowl of fruit to a BBQ or picnic, but why not liven things up with a creamy fruit salad dressed up with coconut dressing?
This lightly sweet and zesty dressing is a quick and easy way to elevate fruit.
Many traditional fruit salads use sour cream or even mayonnaise, but I find those to take away from the fruit itself.
With a very light coating of coconut cream you can add a little flair to your dish while letting fruit remain the star.
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Choose your fruit!
When making a fruit salad the key is to have a variety of colors and shapes. Think of your fruit salad as a rainbow!
My go-to fruits are strawberries, kiwi, pineapple and blueberries.
Other options are melons like watermelon or canteloupe, grapes and even sliced apples. Canned fruit can be used if fresh is not available. I recommend choosing fruit canned in water or juices to cut down on added sugars.
I don’t recommend frozen fruits because they can get very wet in the salad.
If the fruit is very wet you will want to pat it with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Slice fruit into bite sized pieces for easy eating.
This coconut dressing is a lightly sweet, creamy dressing that takes a bowl of fruit and transforms it to a salad!
All you need is coconut milk, coconut cream, lemon juice and honey.
Coconut cream is solid, especially in colder temps. We’ll use the coconut milk to thin it to a pourable consistency.
The lemon juice adds tang and honey sweetens things up a bit. You can use maple syrup or agave syrup for a vegan option.
Pour half of the coconut dressing over the fruit salad. Transfer both the salad and the dressing to the fridge. Just before serving, pour the remaining coconut cream on the salad.
The colder the cream, the thicker it is. I like to pour half of it on just before serving so that it’s not all pooled at the bottom.
That being said, the pooling coconut cream at the bottom is so delicious, like cereal milk!
Serve topped with shredded coconut (optional!), fresh peppermint and ground cinnamon. The cinnamon, coconut milk and honey combine to make an almost horchata flavored dressing.
Looking for more vegetarian salads? Here are a few of my favorites:
- Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette
- Tahini Broccoli Salad
- Marinated Collard Greens Salad
- Peach Caprese Salad
- Spring Arugula Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette
Fresh Fruit Salad with Coconut Dressing
- 16 ounces strawberries quartered and tops removed
- 2 cups cubed pineapple see note #1
- 1 and 1/2 cups blueberries
- 3 medium kiwis skins removed, sliced into half moons
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- 1/2 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice from 1/2 medium lemon
- 1 tablespoon honey see note #2
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon plus more for serving
- fresh peppermint for serving
- Prep fruit: Rinse all fruit as needed before prepping. Remove tops from strawberries and slice the fruit into quarters, cut pineapple into one inch cubes, remove skin from kiwi and slice into half moons. Pat fruit with a paper towel as needed to remove excess water. Set aside.
- Make the coconut cream dressing in a medium bowl. Whisk together coconut cream, coconut milk, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon. Taste for sweetness.
- Toss together fruit and place in a shallow serving dish. Drizzle with half of the coconut dressing. Cover and transfer the fruit and the remaining dressing to the fridge. Let chill for one hour or until ready to serve.
- When ready to serve, remove from the fridge and drizzle with remaining coconut dressing. Top with optional shredded coconut, cinnamon and peppermint. Serve cold.
- Pineapple: I buy a fresh pineapple and cube it. One pineapple usually makes at leas 3 cups of cubes, so you will have leftovers. For a quicker method you can buy pre-cubed pineapple or even canned pineapple. If using canned, opt for pineapple canned in juices or water.
- Honey: This can be replaced with agave syrup or maple syrup for a vegan option.
- Leftovers: This salad is best served right away but will last in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- Other fruit options: Sliced in half grapes, cubed canteloupe or watermelon, and sliced apples are all great options. Raspberries and blackberries don’t hold up well in fruit salads but will work if you are serving immediately.