I love my night sift coworkers, not just as team members, but as unique, fun people that I enjoy being around. At work we are all about patients first, so we decided we needed some time together when we are not scheduled for work. That means Girls Night!!! (We have no males on our night shift, so you see I am not excluding any guys). I am so excited because that means a few awesome things that are necessary in life; lots of laughs and cutting up, wine, and SNACKS. I just love snacks and being able to taste and discover new flavor combinations. I’m also a serious sucker for a buffet; putting tiny bits of everything on my plate to taste. Love IT! But, what snack to bring?! There are so many good ones in this world. After some thought and mental drooling over all those decadent Valentine’s Day desserts posts I’ve been seeing lately, I decided if I am going to be grazing, I may as well bring something on the healthier side. Fruit salad!
I am not sure why it is called a salad; it is all fruit with none of the leafy green stuff I mentally associate with salad. Nevertheless, this fruit salad is where it is at. It requires no cooking and only has 7 ingredients, a few of which are key to this recipe: cinnamon and a can of dark sweet pitted cherries in heavy syrup. I know, I know, heavy syrup?! That is so much sugar! But really, it is the only necessary non-fruit sweetener in this recipe, and it becomes diluted by all the other ingredients. Adding a dab of cool whip on top is really good too, though it knocks the healthy factor down a bit more. The syrup coats all the other fruits giving it a wonderful flavor and keeps the bananas and apples fresh for a good 3-4 days in the fridge. In case you are wondering, these dark sweet pitted cherries taste nothing like those candied maraschino cherries, which I don’t care for much. They taste more like those big dark cherries in the produce section. You cannot leave this ingredient out, and if you are having a hard time finding them in the grocery store, they are in the baking aisle by the pie fillings.
I learned the dark sweet pitted cherries bit from the fruit salad my momma makes. She also uses peach pie filling in her fruit salad, but that is more than a bit too much sugar for me.
- 1½ tsp cinnamon
- 1 can peach slices in pear juice
- 1 can of mandarin oranges in natural juices
- 1 can Oregon dark sweet pitted cherries in heavy syrup
- 3 large bananas
- 3 apples
- 1 pack of blueberries, about 1½ cup
- Pour out ¼ cup of juice from peaches in measuring cup, and add ¼ cup of juice from mandarin oranges to cup. Drain the rest of the liquid off the oranges and peaches.
- Put drained oranges and peaches in large bowl adding the juice set aside in the measuring cup
- Cut peaches to bite size pieces with fork or knife in the bowl
- Add cherries with all of the syrup from can
- Slice and add bananas
- Peel, cut up to bit size pieces, and add apples
- Rinse, drain, and add blueberries
- Add cinnamon and mix thoroughly
- Keep in fridge until ready to serve