A Thanksgiving Fruit Salad Is The Bright Fresh Dessert Your Guests Will Love

mix of various fruits
mix of various fruits - Amphotora/Getty Images

If there's one holiday in the United States known for its focus on food, it's Thanksgiving — the day in which many people show their thanks via a banquet-style meal. But, that traditional Thanksgiving meal can seem a bit much at times with an assortment of casseroles, pies, and of course turkey. Even many of the vegetables served like corn, potatoes, and peas contain starch. Consider lighting the load by serving a Thanksgiving rendition of fruit salad. Your guests and their stomachs may thank you.

Fruit salad can be a palate cleanser, a side item if you don't mind mixing savory with sweet, and even a dessert — replacing that apple or pecan pie. With such versatility, a Thanksgiving fruit salad can be a conversation starter for all those distant relatives who come to visit. If turkey purists would forgive us, the fruit salad can even be the centerpiece at the table if you prefer, making for an alternative take on the holiday.

Due to the increased carbs and sugars, many people experience a post-Thanksgiving meal grogginess. This is only worsened if all of your sides are full of starches. For that reason, fruit salad can be the break that your taste buds need before diving back into more dressing.

Read more: 12 Vegetables And Fruits That Used To Look Very Different

Fruits To Include In Thanksgiving Salad

apples on a tree
apples on a tree - Photosbypatrik/Shutterstock

If you're making a Thanksgiving fruit salad, then you should use fruits that are in season for the fall and winter months (sorry strawberry fans). This will add a nice festive touch and prevent your fruit salad from clashing with more seasonal dishes. Fortunately, you have plenty of fruits to choose from, meaning you can make your Thanksgiving fruit salad truly unique.

The fruit that comes to mind when thinking about this holiday is, of course, cranberries. This may be a good option if you want to add a bit of tartness to your fruit salad. Cranberries were a Native American superfood and became associated with Thanksgiving over the years, making them an obvious pick. Likewise, if you want to give your fruit salad a bit of a crunch, then consider apples and Asian pears. They'll add a bit of sweetness to the dish without overwhelming other ingredients.

If you're looking for ingredients that stand out, then consider throwing some figs and kiwi into the mix. Both fruits will add to the variety of the dish. Their softer textures should contrast well with the harder textures of both the pears and apples. Of course, these are just some of the fruits you can add. Feel free to experiment.

History Of Thanksgiving Fruit Salad

fruit salad
fruit salad - Lauripatterson/Getty Images

There are many different ways to make a fruit salad for Thanksgiving. For one, you can combine the fruit with any mix of your choice. Whipped cream, mayonnaise, or honey are all viable options that bring different flavors to the table. The holiday recipe is a variant of a Southern staple that's been fixed for years during Thanksgiving and Christmas. We're talking about ambrosia, of course.

The difference between Thanksgiving fruit salad and ambrosia lies in the lack of a cream. Ambrosia is a type of fruit salad mixed with either whipped cream or mayonnaise. It's also sometimes served with sour cream as well. Likewise, ambrosia is traditionally fixed with oranges and pineapples, not the fall seasonal fruit that Thanksgiving fruit salad calls for. The recipe's origin traces back to the late 1800s, and during the 1900s, it wasn't uncommon to see the fruit salad at Christmas or Thanksgiving. For some families, the recipe has become a bit of a tradition during the holiday season. Whether you're fixing ambrosia or a different variant, consider making fruit salad this Thanksgiving.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.