Easy Dairy-Free Grandma’s Fruit Salad

Easy Dairy-Free Grandma’s Fruit Salad

My grandma made fruit salad for us growing up and it was always my favorite because she put a few marshmallows in there.  My mom was always trying to eat healthy so marshmallows were a rare treat in our house.  I made this yummy salad with my three year old today because she ate most of it last time we made it and I needed to use up both rainbow marshmallows (bought by the oldest on a whim) and coconut cream from when I made Cauliflower Coconut Curry earlier in the week.




One of the best ways to save money on groceries is to reduce your wasted food to almost nothing.  So many people forget about food in their pantry/fridge and don’t find it until after it has gone bad.  I always try to use up ingredients by using them in multiple meals throughout the week and to use leftovers from recipes right away.  We also have a smaller fridge in our kitchen so that we can’t store too many leftovers at once and have leftovers for lunch every day and a couple of nights a week for dinner.  We have gotten way better about reducing our food waste over the years using these strategies.


Leftover Coconut Cream


I had my daughter help me make the salad because she loves to cook and this recipe is great for kids to help with. There really isn’t a way to mess it up and mixing is my daughter’s favorite cooking task right now so it was right up her alley.  Since the baby can’t help I found something for him to do while we made fruit salad.  He has gotten better at using a spoon over the last month so I set him up with some sensory play using dried beans, dried peas, a couple of bowls and a spoon.  This sort of activity requires that the kid does not put the small pieces in their mouths so it is important to wait until they are able to keep things out of their mouth without constant supervision if you are giving it to them while you are preoccupied.  My son just turned 14 months and I am just starting to be able to do these types of things with him.  He loved it and didn’t start throwing beans on the floor until near the end so it worked out perfectly. I have reused these beans and peas many times with my daughter so there were a few paper clips in there. Ha! I also gave him one of these scoopers  because he wanted to be like his sister but he was a little young for it.


Sensory play with beans and peas.


I opened the can of fruit cocktail and drained it over a bowl so that my daughter could drink the juice.




Next I had her practice scooping by transferring the fruit cocktail into a mixing bowl with a large spoon.  She loved doing scooping with her brother!




Next we added the marshmallows and my daughter stirred.





I scooped about a half cup of the coconut cream into the bowl and had her stir.  Make sure to mix the coconut cream first so it isn’t lumpy. I was a little sleepy so I also put some in my coffee which is a great dairy-free substitute for cream.




Then we added a bit more coconut cream and stirred it really well to complete the fruit salad.



It was lunch time so I made wraps with leftover pork loin sliced thin, lettuce, mayo and mustard.  The fruit salad was a refreshing end of the week treat to go with our lunch.  To change things up you could also use cool whip/whip cream if you can do dairy. You could also add some coconut flakes or fresh cut fruit to the salad.  I made it with fruit cocktail because it was fast and easy and my daughter didn’t have to wait for me to cut up a bunch of fruit.  Having a bit of canned fruit on hand is also great for an emergency kit or for if you can’t make it to the store but be sure to use it before it goes bad or it will just be money down the drain!



Happy cooking!


Grandma's Fruit Salad

April 15, 2017
: 4
: 15 min
: 15 min
: Easy

Fruit salad like my grandma used to make, only dairy-free!


  • 1 can of fruit cocktail
  • 1/2 to 1 c coconut cream
  • 1/2 c rainbow mini marshmallows
  • Step 1 Open the can of fruit cocktail and drain for about 10 minutes.
  • Step 2 Transfer fruit cocktail to a medium sized bowl and add the marshmallows.
  • Step 3 * Optional * Using a hand mixer, mix the coconut cream until smooth. This should only take a couple of minutes.
  • Step 4 Stir in about 1/2 cup of the coconut cream, add more until all of the fruit cocktail is covered but it isn’t soupy.
  • Step 5 Serve immediately. If you want your salad a little colder you can always pop the can of fruit cocktail into the fridge ahead of time to cool it down but you may need to drain it longer if you do this step. Alternately you could drain the fruit cocktail in the fridge if you have room!
  • Step 6 Enjoy!



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