Spiriteds, did you get up at a quarter to coffee on Saturday morning, possibly in your pjs and stained wedding veil with a mug of creamer and some coffee to go with it? And all just to watch the Royal Wedding? It’s possible I did that. And then maybe also I watched parts of the rebroadcast for any details I might have missed the first time. To borrow from Jen Hatmaker, after that wedding I rededicated myself to a mission of love. As I was putting this Mango Berry Salad together that day, I thought to myself how beneficial it would have been to have had this ready sooner. After all, Harry and Meghan probably needed a salad suggestion for their wedding brunch, right? Like, they don’t have a whole team of people helping them with that, do they? And surely they aren’t getting tons of suggestions from adoring fans.
I am firmly the reason I can’t have nice things.
Early mornings, pjs, and stained wedding veils aside, I can say, without a doubt, this Mango Berry Salad is party-ready. Graduation parties? No problem! You can easily make multiple batches. Small gatherings? Um, yes, let’s do this. Mango Berry Salad looks adorable in little dishes and would be the perfect addition to book clubs and brunches. It will go where you go, Spiriteds, and it will taste amazing.
Also, Mango Berry Salad is extremely low maintenance, which is my kind of recipe. First, mix the fruit together in a large bowl, then transfer to a serving bowl, and lastly go lead your best life. If you end up with fruits of varying levels of ripeness, then add a splash of lime juice to the mix just before serving. I like to add a dash of honey (paleo) or agave nectar (vegan), too, for good measure. You could also bypass honey and agave nectar, and just add a dash of stevia (a little bit will go a long way). Stevia is perfect if your fruit is already the right consistency but just needs a little extra sweetness. If you aren’t sure which combination to choose, then I suggest the following:
- Set aside a few fruits in a small bowl. Add a smidgeon of lime juice.
- Taste-test and see what you think.
- If it’s still not quite right, then add a dash of honey, agave nectar, or stevia. Pick the one with the flavor you most enjoy.
- Stir and taste-test again. For a regular batch, I typically use about a teaspoon of lime juice with a tablespoon of honey or agave nectar. For stevia, I’d use a few drops (if in liquid form) and “to taste” (if granulated), much the way one would add salt or pepper to a dish.
In addition to acting out their own weddings all weekend, Toodle and Twinkle are sinking their teeth into Mango Berry Salad, too. It’s full of fruits such as kiwi and pineapple that, like mango, are new to them and aren’t pink. The girls may be particular eaters, but I must say, they are nibbling their way through this salad with aplomb. Slow and steady wins the dinner race.
Perhaps Toodle and Twinkle will eat this at their own weddings? Probably not. By then, they’ll want something else entirely. But they both said they want to wear my wedding dress and veil. Bless. And did we each try on my wedding dress? We did, Spiriteds, and it was a scream. The girls absolutely did not understand what to do with the gown part of the dress. And I forgot how HEAVY it was.
Furthermore, did Toodle grab my garter and wear it as a headband? You bet she did, because when you have alopecia you can wear garters as headbands and it is totally fine. Rules of tradition just go straight out the window. Four-year-old Twinkle grabbed the corset-bustier thingy I wore that day (WHY DO I EVEN STILL HAVE THESE THINGS???), and paired it with a tutu to fashion her own “gown.” Spiriteds, I’m dead on the floor. Garters on the head? Bustiers as gowns? May these phases stick around for a while. Because, probably like the salad, by the time they get married, the girls will be on to other fashions.
In the meantime, I’m savoring every last bite, both of this Mango Berry Salad and these days while the girls are young and none the wiser about formal fashions. Because garters as headbands and bustiers as bodices absolutely take the cake in our house.
- 1 pound fresh strawberries, halved
- 6 oz. fresh raspberries
- 6 kiwis, peeled and halved
- 3 mangoes, peeled and diced
- 2 cups pineapple chunks
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice, optional
- 1 tablespoon 100% pure honey or organic agave nectar, optional
- Combine fruits in a large mixing bowl and transfer to serving dish. If necessary for a sweeter flavor, add lemon juice and sweetener of choice just prior to serving.
- Keep chilled and, for best results, enjoy within 24 hours.