Thursday, November 19, 2009


Sweet Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
This is a sweet fruit salsa to eat with those Cinnamon Chips. This is such a great family snack, a light dessert, or an awesome appetizer to take to a gathering. It would even be great on a brunch buffet. People are always surprised at the twist on chips and salsa and you can't beat that it's super easy to whip up. Just looking at this makes me excited for summer! Take this to your first pot-luck and be the coolest kid on the block.

So, when you were a kid did you ever read those "Choose Your Own Adventure" books? Like, "If you choose to enter the big scary building that says Do Not Enter then turn to page 47. If you choose to listen to your mother and go home for dinner turn to page 62..." and then you get alternate endings? Well this is a "Choose Your Own Recipe" post! I know, fun right? We like to keep things hopping around here.

I make this stuff a few different ways so as I was preparing to write this post I tried to get exact measurements and narrow in on the best way that I make it. But then I discovered that they're all good and everyone likes it differently anyway so I'm going to give you all your options and just let ya go crazy. Cuz Kate and I are crazy girls.

1. Choose Your Fruit
I choose fruit based on it's color. I love having something in just about every color of the rainbow! So here's some options (have ideas I missed? Leave a comment!):

Kiwi, Mango, Strawberries, Pineapple and blackberries

Red: Strawberries are my standard because they hold up really well, they're usually inexpensive, and everyone loves strawberries. But watermelon, raspberries or pomegranate seeds would be fun too.

Orange: Mango is my top choice because you all know how much I love mangoes! I usually put in a higher ratio of mangoes to other fruit, but that's just me. Peaches, nectarines, or orange segments would work.

Yellow: Pineapple! Fresh is best, but in a pinch ( my pictures here) open up a can. I guess nectarines and peaches can also be yellow.

Green: LOVE the bright color and great texture of Kiwi in fruit salsa. There's always honeydew too.

Blue/Purple: I go with price on this one. Blueberries or blackberries, whichever is cheaper! See my note about blackberries below.

In this batch I photographed, I used a little of everything, but there are lots of fun combos you can do. Look how gorgeous the kiwi and blackberries look together:

I really love Kiwi, blackberry, and Mango together too. It looks gorgeous and the flavor combo is really great too.

My berries were giant so I cut them in half, which I think make them look super cool. If you are using any type of berries, you'll want to stir them in at the last minute so they don't dye the whole salsa.

2. Choose Your Sweetener

Honey: I love the flavor of honey with fruit. I usually add a little no matter what.

Powdered Sugar: It dissolves fast and gives a light sweetness.

Brown Sugar: Takes longer to dissolve but adds an interesting flavor. Much deeper flavor than white sugar.

Granulated Sugar: What I use the most. It tastes good and makes a nice syrup with the fruit juices. Remember my life lesson about adding sugar?

Agave Nectar: If you want to use an alternative sweetener, you could try Agave Nectar (very low on the glycemic index if that concerns you) or a natural herbal sweetener like Stevia.

3. Choose Your Extras
You don't want to do all of these together- pick and choose!

Lime Juice: I always add lime juice. Just a few big squeezes. The fruit will give off a lot of juice so you don't want to add too much additional liquid, but a few squeezes of tangy lime juice adds a great flavor and makes it nice and tropical tasting.

Cinnamon: A few dashes of cinnamon goes great with the cinnamon chips.

Mint: I love a little chopped fresh mint in my fruit salsa. It reminds me of cilantro in regular salsa and makes everything so fresh tasting. But beware, a little goes a long way and if you add too much it will really overpower the taste of your yummy fruit. My husband hates it when I put mint in- he thinks it ruins the salsa and tastes disgusting, so you may want to go sparingly on that one!

Coconut: shredded coconut is especially yummy when you have tropical fruits like pineapple and mango in your salsa. Sprinkle some on top or stir it in, but either way do it just before serving or it will get all soggy.

Toasted Coconut: If you're taking this to a party, then add some toasted coconut on top for great presentation. People will go wild over it!

Ginger: I'm adding this from Kate's suggestion in the comment section. Great thinking! A little fresh ginger would be great. A little will go a long way. P.S. ginger + coconut = yum.

4. Eat it!
You'll want to chill the salsa first for maximum yumminess. Then serve with Baked Cinnamon Chips for dipping. Also fantastic over ice cream! Ooh, how about cinnamon chips AND ice cream. Now that's a party.

Fruit Salsa Recipes

Fruit Salsa RecipesleftquoteFruit salsa can have multiple uses such as served with sweet dippers like cinnamon tortilla chips or cookies, or use as topping on pound cake, or use as a sauce on fish or poultry. Lots of fruit flavors to choose from like mango, pineapple, apple, cranberry, cherry, pear and more. rightquote

Mpj042253000001 Q. Is the sweetness of a piece of fruit an indication of its nutritional value? I recently bought strawberries that looked delicious and sweet. When I ate them they were about as tasteless as I've ever eaten. I couldn't help wonder if their lack of flavor also meant they lacked the nutritional value of other sweeter/tastier strawberries. Or, does a bland strawberry simply mean it has less sugar and still has all the nutritional value of a sweeter strawberry?

A. This is a very intriguing question! Both sweetness and nutritional content will vary according to the variety of plant and where it was grown as well as the degree of ripeness and how long its been in storage. Unfortunately, I think a lot of the strawberries we get today were bred for looks and transportability, not for sweetness or flavor. That's why you can get beautiful looking strawberries that taste like styrofoam. (Although I've noticed that strawberries that smell good usually taste good!)

In our database, we only have one listing for raw strawberries and it doesn't specify just how yummy the fruit was that they analyzed. I presume the nutrient information represents an average cross-section of what you might find in markets around the country. So, everything that follows is an educated guess.

Intuitively, it seems as if riper, more flavorful strawberries would indeed by more nutritious. We know that other fruits, such as bell peppers, contain more antioxidants when they are ripe (red, or orange, for example) than when they are green. So I am tempted to guess that riper strawberries might also have more antioxidants than less ripe ones. They'd presumably also contain more sugar. I imagine the fiber content would be more or less the same.