Trees give us so much: clean air, clean groundwater, shade, rain, temperature regulation, wood for our buildings and fires, and fruit salads for our bellies. Fruit isn’t the only tree part that is delectable and nutritious. Often tree seeds, also known as “nuts”, and sometimes the bark and sap of trees are also edible and a healthful part of a whole food plant-based diet. Here I’m sharing a recipe that is made from 100% trees. Seven Trees Fruit Salad is a delicious way to enjoy nutrient-rich, fiber-full, hydrating tree fruits.
The 7 Trees of Seven Trees Fruit Salad
Besides being simply delicious this salad is sure to please the tree-hugger in you. The seven trees that give us the delicious ingredients in this recipe are amazing givers of nutrition. The recipe here makes one small bowl full of fruit salad, ideal for a single person. You can easily multiply the quantities for more people.
1. Pear: To start with select a nice looking crisp pair. A crisp apple or persimmon also works well as a crunchy base to this fruit salad.
2. Mandarin: Next we add juicy sweet citrus to our fruit salad. I prefer using mandarins. One large or two small mandarins work for the single serving recipe. Mandarin trees are quite abundant producers. They can produce up to 6,000 fruits per tree for over 50 years once mature.
3. Lime: Lime adds a nice nutritious tang to top off our fruit salad. Simply slice and squeeze the juice from one lime on top of your diced pears and mandarins. Besides adding a nice flavor to the mix, the acids in lime will help preserve the freshness of the pear and prevent it from turning brown so quickly.
4. Date Palm: Date fruits are a super-sweet when dried. Dates grow abundantly in large clumps in the canopy of the food forest. These productive palm trees do well in dry climates such as where we live in Southern California. The trees can produce up to 200 pounds of dates every year for several decades.
For this recipe I include 4 dates because I designed the recipe for four students working in a group. Part of our experience sharing this recipe is starting date trees from the pits of the dates. It’s super easy and a fun hands on science experience for the students. Four dates makes a super sweet salad. You could use less dates or substitute with raisins or dried cranberries if that’s what you have on hand.
5. Coconut: Coconuts grow on another type of palm tree that grows in warm climates. These beautiful trees produce about 50 coconuts each year for about 75 years! For this recipe we use dried shredded coconut. I make sure to purchase the 100% coconut product with no added ingredients. The Trader Joe’s brand is affordable and very fresh and tasty. For this recipe we use 1/4 cup of shredded coconut which adds a nice crunch. If you don’t have shredded coconut on hand you can substitute with chopped walnuts, almonds, or hazelnuts.
6. Sugar Maple: Seven Trees Fruit Salad also includes tree sap! Maple syrup is the boiled down sap of the Sugar Maple Tree that only produces the sweet stuff when it grows it cold northern climates.
A hole is drilled in the trunk of a mature sugar maple tree to harvest the sweet sap inside.
Maple syrup comes from the sap of the Sugar Maple Tree. a hole is drilled into the tree’s trunk and the sap drains into a container.
In this recipe we use just 1/2 a tablespoon of maple syrup which makes this salad extra sweet. The salad is still delicious without the maple syrup. You could also try a drizzle of peanut butter or almond butter instead.
7. Cinnamon: Tree bark is our last ingredient we will add to spice up our fruit salad. If you didn’t already know, that spicy cinnamon flavor you love comes from the inner bark of a tree. The outer bark layer is stripped away and the inner bark is harvested.
Not only is it fun to know that you are eating tree bark whenever you sprinkle some cinnamon on your fruit salad, but it’s also nice to know all the great health benefits that cinnamon provides.
Cinnamon is a spice known for its positive medicinal benefits. Cinnamon has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-microbial properties. It’s also known to prevent gum disease, neutralize odor, and it’s full of nutrients too!
Seven Trees Fruit Salad is one of the recipes I enjoy making with students because it celebrates some amazingly nutritious giving trees.
This is a great simple fruit salad to enjoy for breakfast, desert, or an anytime nutrient-packed snack. Keep scrolling for the simple recipe below. Enjoy!
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