Last Saturday I found myself making some poached eggs to go over a toasted English muffin for breakfast. I was particularly hungry so I knew I needed something more to pair with it. And it needed to have some flair, not just the usual piece of fruit or yogurt I’m happy to have with breakfast. So the wheels in my head turned and my gaze stopped at the fruit bowl over on the dining room table. Fruit salad! To which I credit my sister-in-law Michelle for bringing fruit salad back into my realm of thought as she served up a strawberry apple based fruit salad several weeks back.
Mangos? Check… they just started going sale for $1 each at the mega mart. Bananas? Yep. Oranges? Yes. The Cara Cara’s add the perfect color balance to the dish! I liked where this was going. Tropical accents for a sunny Saturday morning.
Plain greek yogurt for the binder and a drizzle of honey for sweetness and a layer of depth.
Being satisfied with what I gathered for the salad, I mixed everything together and enjoyed. I intended to make enough to serve two but it ended up being just enough for me.
As good as it was I knew I could do a bit more with it. Like toasted walnuts and coconut! Toasting does a really good job of heightening the flavor profile of the ingredient. Especially with nuts. The gentle heat releases its natural oils. It’s pretty easy too… you can either doing it in the oven or on the stove top. The stop top method is slightly faster (I do it all the time) but I find the oven method does a better job at evenly toasting.
Let’s take a look at what each method produces with the walnuts and coconut.
It didn’t seem to make a big difference with the nuts, though I think with you are less likely to burn them if you opt for the oven. If you look closely you can see I let them sit a little too long on the stove top method.
Now the coconut? Huge difference! You have to be extra watchful with the coconut too. It turns quick!
It’s up to you how you want to toast them. Or if you even want to toast them at all.
It all comes together nicely in the end. The nuts are mixed in with the fruit and yogurt. The coconut gets sprinkled and the honey is drizzled on top.
I know the final shot isn’t so great. It is kind of amazing how the addition of the yogurt blurred and muted the brightness of the fruits. And the lighting was a beast as well. Oh well, I still have a long way to go in food styling and photography.
Saturday Morning Fruit Salad
- 1 medium banana
- 1 mango
- 1 navel orange, segmented
- 1/4 cup non-fat plain greek yogurt
- 1/4 cup toasted walnuts
- 4 generous teaspoons of honey
- 1/4 cup toasted unsweetened coconut
Peel and cut the banana, mango, and navel orange into bite size pieces. Place into a medium sized bowl. Fold in the greek yogurt and walnuts.
Spoon 1/2 cup of salad into 4 small serving dishes. Top each dish with a tablespoon of toasted coconut. Then drizzle each dish generously with 1 teaspoon of honey.
To toast coconut, oven method: Preheat oven to 325°F. Line baking sheet with parchment and scatter coconut. Bake for 6 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes. Coconut turns quick so keep an eye on it.
To toast walnuts, oven method: Turn oven up to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment and scatter nuts. Bake for 8 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes.
For stove top method, heat a small pan on medium heat. Add ingredients and stir frequently till golden, about 5 minutes.
Makes 4 – 1/2 cup servings or 2 – 1 cup servings. The latter being the more realistic serving size. But if you are serving lots of other food the 1/2 cup makes sense.