If you’re from the South, chances are you’ve been to many a potluck where ambrosia salad graced the table. In fact, at any given church fellowship, there might even be two or three versions of it!
Funny thing, I checked into the history of ambrosia and realized I’m a little lax on my knowledge of Greek mythology. I had no idea that the word ambrosia is the name of the magically delicious food that helped the Greek gods maintain their immortality. (Now, that’s what I call a pretty serious health claim!)
Yet, I can’t help but find it a bit ironic that this dish named after a mythological superfood has so many health faux pas with its processed marshmallows, red-dye laden maraschino cherries, and oftentimes cool whip. Ouch!
The good news … you can create a healthier version using homemade dairy or non-dairy Greek-style yogurt combined with wholesome fresh fruits and unsweetened coconut.
Of course, there’s only one food that can truly bring eternal life (John 6:35-69). Thank you, Lord!
When it simply comes to enjoying the familiar taste of Southern-style ambrosia, this real food version is a satisfying treat that provides a great dose of probiotics, as well as a healthy boost of nutrition!
This healthy ambrosia salad yogurt parfait, can easily be transformed in an ambrosia fruit salad by simply doubling or tripling the ingredients as described in the recipe below. Enjoy!
- 1 cup homemade dairy or non-dairy Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup mandarin orange sections (learn how to section an orange)
- 1 cup fresh diced pineapple
- 2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
- Optional: 1 tbsp crispy walnuts or pecans
- Optional: 1-2 tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes for garnish
- If desired, toast 1-2 tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes to use as garnish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, honey and vanilla. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add the orange sections, pineapple, shredded coconut and nuts, if desired. Toss to combine.
- Fold the yogurt into the fruit and top with toasted coconut flakes. Absolutely delicious!
Recipe Variation: For a classic ambrosia-style fruit salad, double or triple the amount of fruit in this recipe, but keep the yogurt, honey and vanilla measurements the same. This will result in a delicious creamy fruit salad perfect for summer entertaining!
P.S. Feel free to add or substitute fruits, as desired. Some delicious options include: Kiwi, red grapes, cherries, etc.
We just made this and used raw sour cream – yum and still healthy!
Most definitely a great option! 🙂
This looks delectable! I really want to make this!
Thanks so much, Elsie! xo
Question for you. I am a complete new beginner to this “health stuff.” Recently our eyes have been opened to how horrible regular food is. What book(s) do you recommend for complete beginners? Money is very tight and it’s scary to compare the costs of healthier versions…for example…I can get salt for about 40 cents…but the healthy sea salt is much more expensive than that.
Thanks so much!
Hi, Angell. I know what you mean about realizing the shocking reality that our food system is so broken and coming to realize how expensive it can be to eat healthier. My advice is to always start slow. As far as books go, three of my favorites for beginners to the Real Food Lifestyle are “Real Food,” “Nourishing Traditions” and “One Simple Change.” You can find those here (just scroll down to “real food resources” and look for the titles, click on them and you can read about them at Amazon): http://thenourishinghome.com/favorite-books/
I also recommend reading this article on how to build a real food budget: http://thenourishinghome.com/2012/03/8-tips-for-real-food-on-a-budget/ as it also provides advice on how to start slow and formulate a game plan (making goals) for healthy eating. By going slow, you will be less overwhelmed as you learn this new lifestyle and you’ll also be able to better track and manage its impact on your budget.
Hope this helps! Many blessings to you, Kelly 🙂