One of the things I’ve always been obsessed about is Greek mythology. (Ahem, a cat named Zeus?) In mythology, ambrosia is the food of the gods–and may actually confer immortality to humans who eat it. But all the poets defer actually describing ambrosia–and sometimes the gods annoint themselves with it, like some sort of fragrance.
In traditional American food, ambrosia is a kind of tropical fruit salad made with pineapple, mandarin oranges, maraschino cherries, and coconut. It’s usually associated with the South, and often overly sweet–not particularly something ethereal and divine-like. This is a much lighter, more refreshing version without added sugar or juice (except coconut water), and made with fresh peaches, blueberries, and cherries. The star of the show is fresh coconut–this makes it 100% better than using shredded coconut from the store. (See here for detailed instructions on how to open, carve and peel fresh coconut). Once you have the creamy, succulent fresh coconut shavings, the rest of it comes together quickly and tastes so refreshing and sweet–perfect light dessert for late summer. It would make a lovely, un-fussy but elegant end to a dinner with friends, or even as breakfast!
A note on coconut: Yes, it is high in saturated fat and calories, but it’s also a very nutrient-dense and biodynamic food. Both coconut meat and water are excellent sources of potassium. Coconut also provides zinc, iron, magnesium, copper, and B complex vitamins. It’s even a great source of protein! Also, the main fatty acid in coconut, lauric acid, is shown to be antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal. Finally, unprocessed coconut is such a healthy and satiating food, with its aroma and creamy but firm texture. So go ahead and indulge without guilt! 🙂
Ambrosia with Peaches, Berries, and Cherries
Meat from 1/2 fresh coconut, cut into shavings
2 white peaches, cut into 1″ chunks
About 12 cherries, pitted and cut in halves
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup fresh coconut water
1. Hammer around the equator of the coconut until it cracks, pour the water into a bowl and drain completely before opening it up. Use a paring knife to cut into the flesh (like cutting pizza slices) and removing chunks. Peel the brown skin with a peeler or a knife.
2. Put coconut slices, peaches, cherries, and blueberries together in a large bowl, preferably glass. Pour the coconut water over the top. Chill in the fridge for about an hour, then serve.
Also see: Vegan GF Blackout Cookies
Photo: Peaceful Dumpling