My mom has several recipes that just slay me. They make me think of childhood, when I gobbled them up, and if I could have them daily, I probably would. Chicken and dumpling being the first (I haven’t found a restaurant version that equals hers) and frozen fruit salad being another. When she made frozen fruit salad, usually in the summer, it disappeared giant chunk by giant chunk. Made with a lot of ingredients, some hard to come by, this was a truly special treat. I made it once since we got married, but trying to track down things like powdered Dream Whip made it a little too complicated for me.
And then, standing in my kitchen last week with a bag of marshmallows (not because I was eating them out of the bag or anything), I had a craving for frozen fruit salad and a revelation: I think I could make this a lot simpler. Stupid simple, even.
Here was my brilliant idea: Greek yogurt. I guess it was more part brilliant idea and part what’s in the fridge right now. (Are you seeing a trend of me making things from whatever is on hand? I am a creature of convenience.) All I needed was fruit.
The fabulous thing about this is that you could really use any kind of fruit that freezes well. This wasn’t a great week for fresh fruit sales, so I got a can of the mixed fruit cocktail (in juice, not syrup) and used that. I can almost taste bananas, strawberries, mandarin oranges, and berries, so you can guess the next time they are on sale, I’m making this again. But the fruit cocktail worked just fine.
With Greek yogurt instead of a bunch of sugary, creamy things, you have a little less sweet and a little more tang. With the marshmallows, there is definitely sweet and this tastes like desert. But you’re also getting protein and can even make it fat free. (I would suggest using the unflavored yogurt. Check the cartons for sugar content—some of these are loaded with unnecessary sugar!) My kids all loved this and so did I. While not the totally amazing dessert my mom used to make, it takes three ingredients (if using the can of fruit) and about five minutes. Even Cooper (who hates most foods) liked this.
- 1 bag marshmallows
- 1 carton plain Greek yogurt (24 ounce)
- 1 28 oz can fruit with juice, not syrup (or fresh fruit)
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together the marshmallows and Green yogurt. Add in the fruit, with some juice if you'd like. Mix well and put in a glass pan--with this recipe, I used one standard size and had enough for a smaller one. Freeze overnight. Or, if you can't wait, a few hours until it's frozen. Thaw a few minutes before cutting.
What foods remind you of childhood? Are there any recipes that have traveled down through your family?