Nectar and ambrosia: food of the gods. Ambrosia literally means ‘immortality’ in Greek. In the English language, it has been adopted to mean, something very pleasing to taste or smell.
In classic mythology only gods were able to consume nectar and ambrosia. Some believed that if you ate and drank these foods, you could live an immortal life. Then again, some believed that you would immediately perish. Lucky for us, they were wrong. This ambrosia salad won't kill you, but unfortunately it also won't give you immortality.
What is Ambrosia Salad?
Despite the mythical connotations the word ‘ambrosia’ has, ambrosia salad is just another word for fruit salad. It originates in America, likely in the south. Although recipes have been found that date as far back as the 1800’s, it rose to popularity in the 1960’s.
There are several ways to make ambrosia salad. You can make your ambrosia salad a healthy treat or add more decadent ingredients and serve it as a dessert.
Some commonly included fruits are oranges, pineapples, maraschino cherries, bananas, strawberries and grapes. Additions may include cottage cheese, whipped cream, pudding, yogurt, and mayonnaise.
But, most agree that the key to a true ambrosia salad is the coconut. It just wouldn’t taste as heavenly without that element.
Ambrosia salad is generally pretty simple to make. We’ve chosen oranges, pineapple and cherries for our fruit. These are perfectly complemented by whipped topping, marshmallows and, of course, delicious coconut.
Just combine the ingredients, and chill for a few hours or overnight before serving. Then look forward to a cool and delicious treat.
Although ambrosia salad might seem like the perfect dish to have on a warm summer’s day, it is actually a traditional Christmas dish. This may be due to the fact that the recipe was commonly included in Christmas cookbooks. However, it is also light and refreshing during the summer.
This is a combination that makes this ambrosia salad recipe perfect for any time of the year.
2 cans mandarin oranges, drained
2 cans crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup maraschino cherries
1 container frozen whipped topping, thawed
2 cups shredded coconut
2 cups miniature marshmallows
1. In a large bowl, combine the oranges, pineapple, cherries, whipped topping, coconut, and marshmallows.
2. Mix together well and chill 1 hour before serving.
Health Benefits of Ambrosia Salad
Even though this ambrosia salad recipe won't make you immortal, it's still got plenty of health benefits for you to enjoy. The mandarin oranges in this recipe come packed with over a quarter of your daily need of vitamin C. Vitamin C plays a famous role in boosting the immune system, but it's also critical for skin health.
If you thought the mandarin oranges in this recipe were healthy, they've got nothing on pineapple. Pineapple has an exorbitant amount of vitamin C and manganese. Manganese is critical to fat and carbohydrate metabolism. It also acts as an antioxidant and promotes growth.
Speaking of antioxidants, both mandarin oranges and pineapple are loaded with them. Antioxidants are one of the best things we can put in our body. Studies have shown that they actually have anticancer effects. Antioxidants have also been linked to a lower risk for heart disease and diabetes.
Shifting back to pineapple alone, studies have shown that people who eat this fruit have a lower risk for both viral and bacterial infections. Those who regularly consume pineapple also have a faster recovery time from common illnesses, suggesting that it does wonders to boost the immune system. If all of that wasn't enough, pineapple has anti-inflammatory compounds that may help improve arthritis symptoms.
So, this ambrosia salad won't give you everlasting life, but it can help give you a long life! The flexibility of this dish to be a side dish, a lunch, or a dessert means that there are plenty of opportunities for you to serve it. You and your family will quickly understand why ambrosia was said to be the food of the gods!
Do not take the content of this article as professional medical or nutritional advice. It's important to exercise due diligence when obtaining relevant information in matters pertaining to your health. Always consult with your healthcare provider before making any medical decisions.
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