Combine mangos, olives and nuts for a balanced meal.
A riot of colors too pretty to eat. That's what a fruit salad is. Just looking at one makes you want to throw a party so you can serve your own colorful creation. Apples, grapes and pear slices all dolled up with sprinkles of blueberries or raspberries. The question is: How do you know which fruits to include so the flavors complement, rather than compete, with one another? It's actually a breeze. You just need to know a bit about fruit categories.
Fruits Should be Complementary
Fruit salad is most palatable when it's made with fruits that commingle well based on their acidity level. Most fruits fall into one of three major categories: acid, sub-acid (medium-level acid) and sweet. It's simple to create a fruit salad that's neither too tart nor too sweet when you choose fruit from the same category.
Acidic fruit finds its best partner in other acidic fruit. Some top choices, and their most winning qualities, include:
- Cranberry - cleanses the urinary tract. Grapefruit - helps ease constipation. Kiwi - loaded with vitamins and great at purging sodium. Lemon - a detoxifier unlike any other. Lime - loaded with nutrients.
- Orange - a go-to source for vitamin C but also good at reducing inflammation.
- Pineapple - a reliable contributor to joint health.
- Pomegranate - another good choice for the urinary tract. Strawberry - suppresses вЂњbadвЂќ cholesterol. Tangerine - loaded with nutrients.
Sub-acid fruits bear the potential distinction of harboring a muted flavor one day and then a biting, almost sour taste the next. You can deal with these contrasts by serving them together:
- Apple - loaded with nutrients and good for the digestive tract. Blackberry - packed with nutrients that help build stronger bones. Blueberry - teeming with antioxidants.* Cherry - a foe of вЂњbadвЂќ cholesterol.
- Grape - the red varieties are especially rich with antioxidants.
- Mango - a digestive helper and a friend to the kidneys. Nectarine - also good for the digestive system. Peach - loaded with water and an effective diuretic.
- Pear - a good source of fiber.
- Plum - known for its laxative effect.* Raspberry - a vitamin and nutrient powerhouse.
Although we tend to think of all fruits as sweet, there's actually a sweet category that the following fruits fall into:
- Banana - well known for its potassium power but also efficient at burning fat. Date - packed with many nutrients, which belie its size. Fig - an effective intestinal cleanser.
- Papaya - equally good at providing digestive support and burning fat.
And We Can't Forget
If you're wondering where your favorite fruit - melon - falls on the list, it enjoys a category unto itself. It includes cantaloupe, honeydew, muskmelon and watermelon.
And two other fruit salad contenders - avocado and coconut - fall under the вЂњhigh-fatвЂќ category, albeit of the healthiest kind. This is the type of fruit you want to eat in moderation and use sparingly in a fruit salad.
Separating fruit by category can help you avoid creating a flavor clash among those in different categories. But this shouldn't stop you from experimenting and mixing things up - literally. Creating nothing but berry bowls for lunch can get dull.
Also, acidic fruit can be difficult for many people to digest. So loading up a salad with only acidic fruit may not be wise. In this case, add some sub-acid fruit to provide balance. Sub-acid fruit often benefits from sweeter inclusions, especially banana. With experimentation, you're bound to create a signature fruit salad to enjoy and be proud to serve.