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Enjoy a taste of paradise with this Tropical Fruit Salad. Layered with fresh fruit and lightly sweetened coconut chia cream, this easy recipe is fun, pretty, and healthy. Make it in individual glasses or in one decorative bowl to serve for breakfast, brunch, snack, or even dessert.
Layered Tropical Fruit Salad
This bright and fresh fruit salad recipe is so much fun to make and eat! Layers of your favorite tropical fruits give it the colors that will remind you of sunrise in paradise. Or maybe a sunset, I suppose, but when I think of fruit salad, I think of a bright and healthy way to start your day! You can certainly change up the fruit to whatever you have available or what looks best in the store, and you don’t have to layer it. The layers just make it look extra gorgeous, and remember, we eat with our eyes first.
But whatever you do, don’t skip the lightly-sweetened coconut chia cream. It takes just an extra couple of minutes, and it’s really what transforms a fairly basic fruit salad into something special. The light coconut flavor gives this a totally tropical island vibe, and by adding the chia, you get a creamy, luxurious texture.
So whether you are planning your Mother’s Day brunch menu, want a healthy dessert, or are just trying to pretend that your days are filled with sun, sand, and surf, you need to make this!
This recipe is very flexible. You can use your choice of sweetener depending on whether you want to make it strict vegan, refined sugar free, or even lower in carbs. And while I love the combination of flavors the the colors of a tropical sunrise from these fruits, feel free to substitute any with what you’d like to use.
For the coconut chia cream:
- Light coconut milk – You’ll need one can.
- Sweetener – You can use powdered sugar, a powdered sweetener like Swerve, honey, or maple syrup.
- Pure vanilla extract
- Chia seeds
For the layered fruit salad:
All of the fruit should be chopped into small chunks of similar sizes.
- Oranges – Use fresh oranges or canned mandarin oranges in juice that have been drained.
Make the coconut chia cream. In a small bowl, stir together the coconut milk, your choice of sweetener, vanilla, and chia seeds. Set aside in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes to thicken. You can even prepare it the day before you plan to make or serve the fruit salad.
Prepare the fruit. Wash, peel, and cut the fruit into small chunks about the same size. Use a serrated knife to remove the peel, including the pith, from the orange, then cut between the membraned to separate the orange into segments. Keep all of the fruit separate.
Layer the fruit salad. Divide the chopped banana between eight glasses or bowls or one decorative serving bowl or trifle dish. Follow with the pineapple, mango, oranges, and strawberries. Divide the coconut chia cream between the eight dishes, gently laying it on top of the fruit.
Besides the fact that it is perfect for the colorful ombre effect, by putting the bananas on the bottom and then letting the juices of the pineapple and oranges flow down onto them, it helps keep the bananas from turning brown.
Storing Fruit Salad
Keep your tropical fruit salad covered in the refrigerator until you are ready to serve it. While you can prepare it the night before, it is best to enjoy it within a day or two.
Make it a Meal
Fruit salad makes a great snack or a light and healthy dessert. But I especially love serving it with brunch. Here are some of my favorite brunch dishes to pair with this tropical fruit salad.
- Have a Stack. There isn’t much better than a breakfast of fruit salad and Almond Flour Pancakes.
- Scramble some Eggs. Keep that tropical taste going with easy Hawaiian Scrambled Eggs.
- Go Sweet and Savory. This is a light way to balance a hearty and satisfying breakfast of Gluten Free Biscuits and Gravy.
- Make Toast. Whether it’s Gluten Free Bread, Gluten Free English Muffins, or Gluten Free Plain Bagels, some toasty carbs with a smear of butter are perfect.
If cutting a bunch of fruit seems like a time-consuming tacks, here are a few of my favorite gadgets to make it quicker and easier. A Strawberry Huller makes prepping strawberries a breeze. One of the best tools, a Mango Splitter takes the hard work out of cutting the fruit away from the pit. Slice that pineapple in no time with a Pineapple Corer. And I always love my Serrated Utility Knife for easily segmenting an orange.
Layered Tropical Fruit Salad with Coconut Chia Cream
- In a small bowl, stir together the coconut milk, powdered sugar or honey, vanilla, and chia seeds, and set aside in the refrigerator for at least a half hour (you can do this before you start cutting the fruit, or even the night before).
- Divide the chopped banana between eight glasses or bowls. Follow with the pineapple, mango, oranges, and strawberries.
- Divide the coconut chia cream between the eight dishes, gently laying on top of the fruit.
- Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Can be prepared the night before.