I mean no disrespect to any mothers or grandmothers out there in regard to my post title today. I’m just not a traditional ambrosia person. For me, the name alone conjures up a vision of canned fruit mixed with “whipped topping” (what IS that stuff anyway?) and sugar-laden flaked coconut – not exactly healthy. (I believe during my childhood I had versions made with instant pudding…)
The following recipe is my BIG FAT version of ambrosia. Lately, I’ve been a little obsessed with this dessert. It’s so simple to make and refreshing. I’ve served it to a variety of guests who all gave it the thumbs up. One friend even thought the sauce was yogurt-based. But don’t worry – it’s completely dairy free. This dish would be beautiful served at a holiday buffet, baby or wedding shower brunch, or just when you’re craving something sweet but don’t want all the guilt.
As an aside, I have to apologize, yet again, for not posting very often. Baby is 8 1/2 months old now. She’s crawling, pulling up, walking around the house while holding onto anything she can get her hands on, and taking up all of the energy I ever thought I had. (She’s worth it though…)
With that in mind, is it just me, or have you ever had one of those days when you think you’re doing pretty well keeping all the plates spinning? I mean things are crazy-busy in life, but you’ve got it ALL under control, baby. You’re showered, hair done and makeup on. In fact, you haven’t looked THIS good since you sported big hair and acid wash jeans back in 1992. Not bad for an old lady. Kids are taken care of, house is clean. You got it goin’ on!
I had one of these days recently. In the midst of it all, I decided to run to my local health food store for some grocery shopping. I mean NOTHING could break my stride on this day, people! After strolling around the store, shopping, and getting an almond milk chai tea latte from the familiar coffee barrista in the store, I get in the car and realize I’ve had dried baby food stuck to my pants the WHOLE time.
Yeah. I still got it…
- 1 cantaloupe melon, seeded, peeled and cut into chunks
- ⅓ to ½ of a pineapple, cut into chunks
- 2 cups grapes, sliced in half
- 2-3 oranges, peeled, sectioned and cut in half or thirds
- 1 cup pecans
- ½ cup shredded unsweetened flaked coconut (optional
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked 3 hours
- ¼ cup water
- 2 tablespoons coconut milk
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Place pecans on a parchment-lined baking sheet and toast in the oven at 250F until lightly toasted. Keep a watch so they don't burn.
- For the sauce, drain cashews and pour into a high-speed blender.
- Add coconut milk, honey and vanilla and blend until very smooth.
- Place in a sealed container or pint-sized glass canning jar.
- Add all fruit to a large bowl. Pour dressing on top of fruit and toss to coat.
- Top with toasted pecans.