Fruit salad is a delicious treat that's easy to assemble for Christmas or any time of the year. Serve this gorgeous medley of crisp apples, pears, sweet grapes, berries, and kiwi as a wonderful side dish with poultry or fish, or as a nutritious, no-added-sugar dessert.
It's fun to choose red and green fruits when you make this for Christmas. Serve it in your most festive bowl to make it even more special! Of course, for any other occasion, you can be a little more relaxed about the colours of fruit that you choose. Or, you might like Fruit Cocktail Salad throughout the year.
If you'd prefer a creamy fruit salad, try my Fruit Salad with Whipped Cream. It makes a beautiful red and white presentation!
What does a fruit salad contain?
- Apples - fresh crisp apples, one red and one green (eg. Granny Smith)
- Pears - ripe pears, red (eg. Red Bartlett or Red d'Anjou) and green
- Grapes - seedless, red and green
- Kiwi - ripe and peeled
- Raspberries - rich red in colour to balance the green kiwi
- Honey - I like to use raw honey for its antioxidant properties.
- Maple Syrup - pure maple syrup
See recipe card for quantities.
How do you make simple fruit salad?
Combine the maple syrup, honey, and lime juice for dressing in the bottom of a large bowl. As you cut up unpeeled apples and pears, toss the chunks immediately in the dressing to coat them.
Cut large grapes in half. Peel the kiwifruit, slice it, and cut the slices into halves or quarters. As you prepare each item, add them into the mixing bowl with the apples and pears. Save some raspberries and dried cranberries to sprinkle on top.
For a special presentation, transfer the Christmas Fruit Salad to a nice bowl and top it with reserved raspberries and dried cranberries.
Hint: To keep your apples and pears from turning brown, toss them in some freshly squeezed lemon juice as you cut them up. Apples and pears contain an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase which reacts with oxygen when exposed to air, causing them to turn brown. The acidic nature of lemon juice inactivates this enzyme, and keeps the fruit looking fresh and white longer.
This recipe allows you lots of leeway for substitutions.
- Honey - If you don't have honey, use 4 tablespoons of maple syrup. This substitution also makes the salad suitable for vegan diets.
- Maple Syrup - If you don't have maple syrup, 4 tablespoons of honey will also work nicely in the dressing.
- Lime Juice - You could substitute lemon juice for the lime juice.
- Apples, Pears, Grapes - If you can't find a nice red apple and a good green one, use two of the same colour. The same goes for the pears and grapes.
Store the salad, covered in plastic, for two to three hours in the refrigerator. If you plan to do this, I recommend tossing the pieces of apple and pears in lemon juice as soon as you cut them, to delay browning.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Recipe FAQ's and Tips
Fruits in traditional red and green colours, such as red apples, pears, grapes, berries, and cranberries, along with green apples, pears, grapes, and kiwi are wonderful for Christmas.
Eating a salad made of fresh, raw fruit has a number of health benefits. Fruit is filled with fibre, antioxidants, and a variety of vitamins. Eating fruit salad regularly improves digestion, helps to protect your body cells and tissues from damage, and can help you with weight loss.
By changing the colours of fruit, it's easy to make this salad work for any occasion.
- St. Patrick's Day - Use all green fruit.
- Canada Day - Use all red fruit.
- Fourth of July - Red fruit with blueberries.
- Mother's Day, Bridal, or Baby Shower - Use fruit in the colours of the decorating theme.
Choose fruits that are in their prime. They should be ripe and tasty without being overly ripe.
Christmas Fruit Salad
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 red apple
- 1 green apple
- 1 red pear
- 1 green pear
- 1 cup seedless red grapes
- 1 cup seedless green grapes
- 3 small kiwifruit
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- juice of 1 lemon optional, to prevent browning
- Combine the dressing ingredients in a large mixing bowl.2 tablespoons pure maple syrup, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
- Optional: For extra freshness, squeeze the juice of one lemon into a small bowl.juice of 1 lemon
- Wash the apples, pears, grapes, and raspberries.
- Cut the apples and pears in half. Don't peel them. Remove the core and chop each half into bite-sized pieces. Toss them in dressing in the large mixing bowl.Optional for extra freshness: As you chop each apple and pear, immediately toss the chunks in freshly squeezed lemon juice in a small bowl to coat them completely. Drain them before adding them to the salad, but don't rinse them.1 red apple, 1 green apple, 1 red pear, 1 green pear
- Cut large grapes in half and add them to the apples and pears in the large bowl.1 cup seedless red grapes, 1 cup seedless green grapes
- Peel the kiwifruit, slice them, and cut each slice into halves or quarters. Add them to the salad.3 small kiwifruit
- Gently toss some raspberries into the salad, reserving some for the top.1 cup fresh raspberries
- Transfer the salad to a serving bowl, if you wish. Sprinkle remaining raspberries and dried cranberries over the top.¼ cup dried cranberries
- This salad offers a great deal of flexibility in the fruits you choose. Feel free to use more or less of any of them or to choose different colours depending on the occasion.
- Optionally tossing apples and pears in lemon juice will keep them looking fresher longer. This is especially helpful if you won't be serving the salad right away.