I created this recipe years ago in memory of my Grandma, who would make an Ambrosia salad for Easter when I was a child. I actually never liked her version with Cool Whip, possibly mayonnaise, and canned fruits (not my cup of tea even in my youth). However, the idea of a creamy fruit salad provides me with happy memories, and thus I created this healthier version of a creamy fruit salad that I now enjoy during my Easter celebrations. Keep this in mind when you think of food traditions you feel tied to. By choosing new recipes and new foods for your celebrations you are not giving up the memories from the past.
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight
5 Medjool dates, soaked overnight and pitted
1/4 cup canned coconut milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large mango
1/4 cup unsweetened coconut flakes, toasted
Drain the cashews and place them in a blender with the dates, coconut milk, and vanilla. Utilize the water the dates soaked in as necessary to achieve a very smooth cream in the blender. Ideally, you want it to remain thicker than a milk consistency, however, in some blenders, you may need to add more liquid to get a really smooth consistency. Add more water as needed.
Peel and cut all the fruit into bite-size pieces. Mix in a bowl and add the cream.
Top with toasted coconut.
Toasted Coconut Instructions
Preheat the oven to 325ºF. Spread the coconut on a baking sheet lined with a Silpat mat or parchment paper. Bake in the preheated oven about for 5-10 minutes. Better to take out a little early than too late.