I love the way that necessity leads to creativity and wonderful discoveries, like this crunchy hemp coconut fruit salad.
We went interstate last weekend for my sister’s wedding, so I had the opportunity to play with eating raw vegan while travelling.
My original plan was to do a partial fast while we were away – in other words, eat simply, mostly green smoothies, drink lots of water and don’t fret too much about eating.
But then the idea of not eating seemed a bit too much, so it evolved into Plan B, which was to drink green smoothies and eat as much fruit as I liked – a great idea given that we’re going into summer and were heading closer to the equator – the perfect time for an abundance of fresh fruit.
So I got myself a Tribest personal blender that I could take with me, and practiced making mini green smoothies beforehand.
I had my recipe perfected and everything.
Sounded great in theory.
In practice, my routine was so out of whack that I just ate completely haphazardly.
All vegan, mostly raw, but fasting? Nope.
But out of that chaos emerged this wonderfully crunchy hemp coconut fruit salad, so it was a blessing in disguise.
What I love about this recipe is that you can make it in 5 minutes flat, with no special equipment required.
In fact, you could make up a pre-mixed blend of the hemp, coconut and sunflower seeds, pack a selection of your favourite fruits, and then make it up on the spot.
That definitely works for me.
And to be honest, I’ve always found fruit salads to be a little insipid.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a good fruit salad. But sometimes, they just don’t quite satisfy.
And that’s where this raw crunchy hemp coconut fruit salad comes into its own.
The seeds and coconut add a wonderful texture to the fresh fruit AND they give it enough density and richness to perfectly hit the spot.
Because when you look at it, you’re still eating mostly fresh fruit. With just enough crunch and flavour to make it a hearty meal.
And I just love the way the coconut and seeds coat the fruit pieces, like you’re eating a bowl of little fruit snacks.
There’s something magical about the hemp-coconut-sunflower fuzz that covers each sweet and juicy chunk of fruit.
The perfect combination.
- 1 med (200g) mango
- 1 med (100g) banana
- ½ punnet (125g) strawberries
- 2 tbsp* (13g) shredded coconut
- 2 tbsp* (22g) hemp seeds (hemp hearts)
- 2 tbsp* (26g) activated sunflower seeds
- Peel the mango, remove the seed and dice the flesh.
- Peel and slice the banana and add to the mango.
- Dehull the strawberries, dice and add to the mango and bananas.
- Add the coconut, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds and mix thoroughly.
- Serve immediately.
Need: Board & knife
* Australian tablespoon (20 ml)
- I’ve eaten this hemp coconut fruit salad for breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s light enough and yet filling enough to eat at any time of day, so it’s a great addition to your raw food recipe arsenal.
- You can change the balance of fresh fruit in this recipe to suit what you have on hand, or your tastebuds. Just use your favourite fruits, or whatever’s in season. The thick juice of the mango does coat everything beautifully, which helps the seeds and coconut to stick, so try to include something that does the same thing, like maybe persimmon or plum.
- You can easily add more (or less) of the coconut and seeds. There’s a sweet spot in this recipe where if you add too little, it doesn’t have the right crunch and you almost don’t notice them in amongst the fresh fruit. And if you add too much, it makes for too much chewing and the nutty flavours can start to overpower the more subtle fruit ones. But it’s still pretty forgiving, so tweak it to suit your preferences.
- I love the sweet edge that coconut adds to recipes. You can buy it ready dried and shredded like I do, or you can make your own by grating and dehydrating the flesh from fresh coconuts. (Especially handy if you make your own fresh, raw coconut milk and need something to do with your leftover pulp.)
- Hemp seeds (also called hemp hearts) are one of the best plant sources of protein and essential fatty acids. I love them and I add them anywhere I can.
- Activating your sunflower seeds is optional. You might be able to buy activated sunflower seeds from your local health food shop, or you can just soak them in water overnight (8-12 hours) and then dry them in a dehydrator for about 12 hours (or until dry). It’s best to store them in the fridge after activation, because they don’t keep as well once they’ve started to germinate.
- And if you can’t be stuffed activating the sunflower seeds, just add them raw. It’s definitely better than not at all.
- Another thing I love about this hemp coconut fruit salad recipe is that it’s nut-free, did you notice? It wasn’t intentional. I just happened to have coconut, hemp seeds and sunflower seeds handy, and it worked so well that I’m not going to change it. Raw and nut-free. Awesome.
- I haven’t actually tried storing this salad yet – mostly because it’s way too yummy not to eat it all as soon as I’ve made it. You’d need to store it in the fridge for sure, and I’m guessing that the coconut, hemp and sunflower would soak up some of the delicious juices, making them less crunchy but extra sweet.
- This recipe makes 2 medium serves (or one very large serve), and you can easily scale it up (or down) to suit the number of people you’re making it for.
Well, they say necessity is the mother of invention, and I think she shined bright with this one, because this recipe came out of thin air.
Take one raw vegan on holiday, add a plentiful supply of fresh, colourful fruit and finish with a coating of crunchy goodness.
Doesn’t get much more amazing (or simpler) than this.
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Have an awesomely crunchy day!
~ Nikki, Eating Vibrantly