Exotic Fruit Salad with Vegan Cream Cheese Dip

I love fruit.  I eat a lot of it every day, but sometimes get tired of the same old thing so I thought, why not mix it up a little?  Let’s get fancy.  This exotic fruit salad with vegan cream cheese dip makes me feel like I’m at the beach.  It is fresh and sweet and creamy, a great recipe to bring to parties and impress the pants off of your friends, and is super easy to make.

Fruit Salad Ingredients:

  • 1 fruit Dragon Fruit, scooped with a melonballer
  • 1 small fruit Star Fruit, sliced
  • 2 fruits Kiwi, peeled and sliced
  • 1 16 oz carton Strawberries, sliced
  • 1 18 oz carton Blueberries
  • 1 6 oz carton Raspberries
  • 1 cup Pineapple, cut into chunks
  • Seeds from one Passion Fruit (use remaining seeds from Cream Cheese Dip below)
  • Lemon Juice from 1/2 of a lemon
  • 2 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Mint (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Wash fruit and pat dry. Add dragon fruit, star fruit, kiwi, strawberries, blueberries, pineapple, and passion fruit seeds to a large bowl.
  2. Combine lemon and pineapple juices and pour over fruit. Toss gently to coat. Add raspberries. Toss gently to coat.
  3. Garnish with fresh mint.

Cream Cheese Dip Ingredients:

  • 8 oz container Kite Hill Cream Cheese Spread
  • 1 9 oz container So Delicious CoCo Whip
  • ½ Tablespoon Pineapple Juice
  • Juice from 1  Passion Fruit (squeeze seeds with hands)
  • Mint (Optional)

Directions:

  1. Combine cream cheese, CoCo Whip, pineapple juice, and passion fruit juice in a blender. Mix until thoroughly blended. Place in a bowl and garnish with fresh mint.
  2. Enjoy right away or refrigerate.

 

Dragon Fruit

What the heck is that? I get that a lot.  No really.  I was at the store yesterday and had two in my cart and was stopped four times by people asking what they were and what they tasted like.  I love that people are curious, though.  Maybe they just might pick one up for themselves.  And they should!  Dragon fruits are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, polyunsaturated (good) fatty acids, B vitamins for metabolism, carotene, and protein.

Dragon fruits, or pitayas, are the fruit of a cactus and were originally native to Mexico.  The outside of the fruit has a vibrant red/pink skin which looks almost like a pineapple, with white seeded flesh inside.  You eat the flesh, which has a very mild, sweet flavor, almost like a melon or a not-so-tart kiwi.  To snag a ripe dragon fruit, look for bright, vibrant, even-colored skin.  If it has many blotches or a brown stem, it may be overripe.  Hold it in your hand and press with your thumb; it should be soft, but not mushy.  They are $7.99/pound at my grocery, and one weighed in at a little less than a pound.  For this recipe, I halved the dragon fruit and scooped out the flesh using my small melon baller.

 

Star Fruit

Star fruits, or carambolas, are cultivated in India and Southeast Asia.  The fruit has distinctive ridges, usually five, that run the length of the fruit, which resembles a star.

Ripe star fruits are yellow or a light shade of green with a bit of brown along the edges.  The entire fruit is edible.  It is crunchy and firm, and has a mild sweet and sour taste, almost like a mix between a grape, apple, and pear.  Star fruits are rich in antioxidants, potassium, and vitamin C.  The fruit was $2.50 for one.  For this recipe, I sliced using a mandolin.

 

Passion Fruit

Seriously one of my all-time favorite foods.  Technically a berry, it is native to South America, and is packed with a bright, tart flavor.  They are best when the outside is dark purple with lots of wrinkles.

When you pick one up and shake it, you should be able to feel all the goo inside slosh around.  That’s the technical description.  When you cut it open, scoop out the fruit with a spoon separating the insides from the white skin, if not already separated, but be careful not to scrape out the white skin, as it can be bitter.  The inside consists of sacs filled with juice and seeds, which are all edible.  The passion fruit is also a rich source of antioxidants, fiber, vitamins A and C, and various minerals.  One passion fruit was $2.50.

 

Kite Hill Cream Cheese

There are many different vegan versions of cream cheese out there and any will work in this recipe.  I particularly like this Kite Hill version.  It is very creamy and wait for it…soy free, which is awesome since I have been having such a hard time finding soy free alternatives.  Not all stores carry this brand yet, unfortunately, but many do.  My local Wegman’s does not have it.  My lovely mother was so kind as to pick some up for me at her grocery when she saw it on the shelf.  I definitely like Kite Hill for this recipe, but another option would work just fine.  From what I can tell from the internet, which is always right, the 8 oz tub is $5.99.

 

So Delicious CocoWhip

This cool whip alternative is better than the original.  It is coconut based and is dairy, gluten, and soy free.  My 9 oz tub was $3.99.

 

Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture using #gingerveganista on Instagram and tag @TheGingerVeganista or Twitter and tag @GingerVeganista or Facebook and tag The Ginger Veganista.  Can’t wait to hear from you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s