Skip the fatty cakes and serve a cool fruit salad at your next family gathering. When you are making a fruit salad, the hardest part is deciding which fruits to use. Base your ingredients on the theme of an event, such as an apple salad for a fall-inspired party. After you decide what kind of fruits to use, dress the fruit salad with a syrup or creamy mixture that enhances the flavours of the fruit.
Decide what type of fruit salad you want to make. Use pineapple, mango, guava, kiwi or star fruit for a tropical fruit salad. Look for different types of grapes, such as Concord, green and red, for a grape fruit salad; or varieties of apples, such as McIntosh, red delicious and granny smith, for an apple fruit salad. Add only melons - watermelons, musk melons and cantaloupes - for a melon fruit salad. Pick colour-contrasting fruits for a salad that resembles a rainbow, or use different fruits that are all the same colours, such as strawberries, cherries and red grapes, for a rosy red fruit salad.
Use whole fruit for the freshest salad possible, and if you plan to use any of the peels or rinds as part of the salad, such as serving the salad in a bowl made from a watermelon rind. Replace fresh fruit with canned or frozen fruit to make a fruit salad when fresh fruits are not available, such as during the winter months.
Determine what type of dressing you would like to add to the fruits based on dietary restrictions, taste preferences and fruits in the salad. Blend in a dressing made from nonfat yoghurt mixed with honey for a low or nonfat fruit salad. Add a canned pie filling, such as peach or cherry, to the fruit salad for a one-step sweet dressing that will hold the fruit salad together. Toss the fruit with whipped cream and sprinkle ground cinnamon over the mixed salad for an airy dressing that is ideal for hot summer months.
Slice solid fruits, such as pineapple, apples or pears, into 1-inch pieces and use a cookie cutter, such as a star or flower design, to form shapes with the fruit. Scoop out fruits, such as watermelons or cantaloupes, using a melon balling tool to create uniform balls of fruit.
Layer the fruit salad and place fruits with the strongest flavour, such as citrus fruits, as the bottom layer as the flavours can overwhelm the other fruits. Mix the fruits all together if all of the fruits are relatively mild in flavour. Arrange the fruits without the dressing mixed in, if you are making this salad in advance, and serve the dressing separately or toss just before serving.
Serve your fruit salad chilled in a large serving bowl, preferably glass so the salad is a vibrant display at your meal. Alternatively, repurpose the fruit rinds for serving bowls, such as half of a pineapple shell as a boat-shaped dish or orange rind halves as single-serving bowls.
You can use an overturned glass cake platter that is used for serving punch for serving your fruit salad. Consider adding nuts or seeds, such as walnuts or poppy seeds, as a finishing touch to the salad for texture just before serving.
Do not use overly ripe fruits in a salad that you are not serving immediately, or the fruit may rot before the dish is served.