Fruit Salad Balsamic Dressing – Fresh Fruit, Cheddar Cheese, Easy, Delicious and Healthy

This is a wonderful salad that I make at least two or three times a week. It consists of all fresh fruit except for the mandarin oranges. We happen to have a wonderful grocery store nearby with a fantastic produce department. This recipe may be difficult for those who do not have access to gorgeous, ripe, sensational fruit at their grocery store or farmer’s market.

Our produce market not only offers fresh fruit, but prepared fresh fruit in plastic containers that is very high quality such as berries, watermelon, cantaloupe, and fresh pineapple. We buy these containers often. They make great healthy snacks for kids and an easy fruit addition to a cereal breakfast.

This salad is incredibly easy, and my family enjoys it for breakfast just as much as for lunch or dinner.

Ingredients can vary based on what is available and of good quality. Because of the number of different fruits used, you do not need large amounts of any specific fruit to feed the family. It is basically a “sampling” of several fruit varieties. You do not have to limit yourself to these fruits, or feel that you have to use all of them. It is strictly a matter of choice and what is available.

Fruit Salad (Fresh Fruit except for mandarin oranges)

* Nectarines

* Strawberries, Blackberries, Blueberries (optional and if in season)

* Chunked honeydew or cantaloupe (prepared)

* Bananas

* Seedless Grapes

* Naval Oranges (those large big healthy Naval Oranges!)

* Kiwis (ripe kiwis, not squishy but they “give” a little when gently pressed)

* Apple Sections

* Mangos

* Mandarin Orange Sections (canned in juice)

* Hunk of Extra Sharp Kraft Cheddar Cheese

Balsamic Dressing

* ¼ cup orange juice

* ½ tablespoons balsamic vinegar

* 2 ½ tablespoons water

* 1 ½ tablespoons honey

* ¾ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

* ½ teaspoon salt

Place dressing ingredients in a jar, place lid on jar, and shake vigorously to mix. Chill thoroughly.

Wash fruit (except bananas and kiwis) and dry. When ready to eat, place salad plates on counter. Peel kiwis, slice and add to each salad plate. Repeat with bananas. Peel oranges and divide into sections, adding some to each plate. Slice apples leaving peeling intact. Slice nectarines, leaving peeling on the fruit, cutting chunks around the pit trying not to waste any flesh. Arrange nicely on the salad plates. Drain mandarin oranges, saving juice for a fruit smoothie or grilling sauce. Divide the mandarin oranges among the plates. Place grapes on the plates intermingling with the other ingredients. Slice chunks of cheddar cheese and place them on the plates. The cheese goes fast, so include 3 or 4 chunky slices. At this point, you can chill uncovered for a bit. When ready to eat, shake chilled balsamic dressing vigorously to remix and pour lightly over the entire fruit salad. Delicious!

Variation: if you are not a balsamic dressing fan, and I cannot imagine why you would not be, but if not, I will do my best to understand. You can omit the balsamic dressing. Instead, add a few dollops of quality vanilla flavored yogurt to the top of the salads. Dannon and Stonyfield are my favorite yogurts. Enjoy!

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