There is a really good way to beat the winter blahs. And it’s called…Ambrosia. It’s a popular southern dish that makes it’s way to nearly every get-together (especially in the summertime because it is cool, refreshing and not a very heavy dessert). Basically it’s a fruit salad with sweetened coconut. Now I realize folks are on opposite sides of the fence when it comes to coconut, either you love it or you don’t. But the sweetened coconut is what makes this. It just isn’t Ambrosia without coconut. Have any of y’all seen “The Help”? That movie was fantastic. I give you fair warning though, it’ll have you crying in some parts and laughing hysterically in others. It caused a bit of controversy when it came out but I think the messages that were in it spoke to a lot of folks, including myself.
Aibileen had it right. You is kind. You is smart. You is important. And we should repeat those words to ourselves everyday and to our kids. Anyhoo, this dessert was featured in that movie. Sissy Spacek’s character asks for some Ambrosia and then promptly falls asleep while eating eat. I just love Sissy Spacek. She lives near me here in Virginia. Well, not real close, I don’t hang out at her farm or anything, but she’s a transplanted Virginia gal. And Robert Duvall lives in the country not too far from her. Yep, we got us some movie stars in these here hills.
As I was saying, this is a great wintertime treat too because it tastes like summer. And the bonus is that these are all ingredients you can get your hands on in the winter because most of them are canned. And you can throw in whatever fruits you prefer or have on hand.
I like to cut the grapes and maraschino cherries in half.
It makes everything bite-sized and easier to eat. But it’s totally optional if you are just trying to throw this together quickly.
- 1 8 oz tub of whipped topping thawed
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 20 oz can pineapple tidbits drained well
- 1 15 oz can mandarin orange segments drained well
- 1 cup red or green seedless grapes sliced in half
- 1 1/2 cups sweetened coconut flakes
- 1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
- 1 10 oz jar of maraschino cherry halves drained very well
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- In a medium bowl, combine whipped topping and sour cream.
- Add in coconut flakes and marshmallows.
- Then gently fold in pineapple, mandarin oranges, grapes and maraschino cherries and nuts (if using).
- Once combined, put some plastic wrap on it or put it in a bowl with a lid and refrigerate for about an hour before serving.
You can easily switch out most of these ingredients for sugar-free options.