February 1, 2010
As much as possible I like to eat either what I can grow or find locally. There occasionally comes a time in the middle of winter when I give in to the less green options, especially when the pineapples start showing up from Central America, and the oranges and pomegranates are harvested in Southern California. So for a special treat recently with snow on the ground the icicles falling, Mason and I put together a colorful winter fruit ambrosia. His small hands were quite adept at separating the pomegranate seeds from their membranes after I opened it up for him. After slicing off the top off a pomegranate, you can usually see it has five sections separated by membranes that can be slit down with a knife and pulled open for easy access. If you can’t find a pomegranate, dried cranberries are a good substitute.
For chunks from a fresh pineapple, slice off about ½ inch of the top and bottom, then stand the fruit upright. Using a flexible, serrated knife, slice off the skin following the curve of the pineapple, cutting off as many of the dark brown eyes as possible with each downward slice and leaving as much fruit as possible. (You can always nibble out any good bits left attached to the removed skin). If you don’t get all the eyes with the first cutting, a shallow “V” cut can be made diagonally around the pineapple following the pattern of the eyes to lift them out. For pineapple chunks, cut the whole pineapple lengthwise into quarters, slice out the core, and chop into chunks.
We added fresh organic navel orange chunks and slices of a banana to the bowl along with some unsweetened shredded coconut, plus a touch of almond extract. The juices from the fresh fruit dress the mixture. This is definitely kid friendly food, as illustrated below. Mason has a pomegranate juice beard.
Winter Fruit Ambrosia
Yield: 8 to 10 cups
2 oranges, peeled and chopped
2 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1 banana, sliced
1/2 cup fresh pomegranate seeds or dried cranberries
1/4 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (optional)
This makes a wonderful winter fruit treat since all these fruits should be easy to find seasonally in a supermarket. It can be made a day ahead without the banana, which can be sliced and added upon serving. Serve as a salad, snack, or dessert.