Nut and Fruit Ambrosia Salad

This is a perfect make-ahead salad for any day of the week. This recipe makes enough for about ten to twelve generous one-cup servings. It would be a perfect lite summer dessert salad to enjoy on a hot evening.

1/2 cup of coconut water or plain water
a scant 1 tbsp of pure maple syrup or a little less is fine, too
3/4 tsp of pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp of pink Himalayan sea salt, or to taste
1 cup of plain yogurt
1 cup of Farm Fresh Nuts Raw Cashews, soaked
1/4 cup of mini marshmallows
1 cup of Farm Fresh Nuts Raw Pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup of green seedless grapes, washed and sliced in half
1 cup of red seedless grapes, washed and sliced in half
1 cup of fresh pineapple chunks – You could use canned in a pinch.
1 cup of Clementine tangerine sections – That’s about 3 to 4 peeled and sectioned seedless tangerines.
two additional cups of mini marshmallows
1 1/2 cup of unsweetened coconut chips or flakes, more or less
optional fruit or nuts for garnish

First, we’ll make the homemade sweet sauce. Begin by placing the first seven of the listed ingredients into a blender in the order provided. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust salt or sweetness according to preference. Be sure to remember that this sauce is going to hold the fruit salad together and does not need to be overly sweet since the fruit itself is sweet. If you like, leave a few of the soaked cashews out of the sauce and toss them in the salad whole for added interest.

Next, place the remaining seven fruit and nut ingredients, including the marshmallows, into a large mixing bowl.

Pour the prepared sauce over the bowl of fruit a little at a time and gently stir until the sauce distributes evenly. Use as much or as little of the sauce as you like. Sometimes coconut is dehydrated and requires more of the homemade liquid to become rehydrated while other times, it may require a bit less. If you have any leftover sauce, use it as a lite topping for waffles or pancakes or even stir it into oatmeal or incorporate it into a smoothie. This sauce also makes a lovely drizzle on a plate of freshly sliced fruit.

Transfer the salad to a serving dish and garnish with additional fruit and nuts for a beautiful and inviting presentation. This salad will keep when refrigerated in an airtight container for at least three to five days or so though ours never lasts that long unless we purposefully stash it!

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