The Everyday Chef: Dairy-Free Ambrosia

Need a delicious party favorite that dairy and non-dairy eaters will enjoy? Look no further! My dairy-free ambrosia is creamy, tasty and easy to make! Now that the holidays are behind us I’ve been busy working on recipe modifications because just before Christmas, I found out that I’m lactose intolerant. This meant major adjustments for the holiday menu (not to mention life going forward!). Some foods I made anyway and just didn’t eat, like smashed potato skins and cheesecake. Albeit frustrating it wasn’t the end of the world. But ambrosia is amazing, and I had a tough time finding a dairy-free recipe that made me happy. Until now. No one will know it’s dairy free! Try it at your next party.
Dairy-Free Ambrosia Recipe
Serves 8

(reserve liquid from drained fruits)

  • 15oz Can Pineapple Tidbits – drained
  • 8oz Can Mandarin Oranges – drained
  • 4 oz reserved fruit juice
  • ½ Cup Maraschino Cherries
  • ½ Cup Mini Marshmallows
  • ¼ Cup Coconut Milk
  • ½ Cup Coconut Cream
  • 2 TBSP Cornstarch
  • ¼ Cup Granulated Sugar
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • ½ Lemon, squeezed
  • ¼ Cup Shredded Coconut Unsweetened – toasted
  • ½ TSP Vanilla Extract
  • 1 TBSP Powdered Sugar

Refrigerate coconut milk can overnight. Be sure to purchase full-fat, not light versions. This will separate the coconut milk from the coconut fat that will rise to the top of the can.

Gently turn can over and open from the bottom. Remember, the coconut fat will have floated to the top and hardened. By turning the can over the coconut milk can be drained out. Reserve coconut milk and leave coconut cream in the can. Keep very cold.

In a medium sauce pot, combine reserved coconut milk, granulated sugar, cornstarch, salt, four ounces of reserved fruit juices, and a squeezed half lemon. Whisk vigorously to combine.
Bring to simmer stirring constantly until mixture thickens. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.

Fold drained pineapple, mandarin oranges, cherries, marshmallows, and coconut into the thickened juices. Mix gently. Place in refrigerator.
In mixing bowl – scoop out coconut cream (the fat). Whip at medium speed until coconut cream breaks down into smaller bits. Scrape down sides and drain off any liquid that separates. Keep whipping until creamy.

Increase speed to high and whip to soft peaks. Add vanilla and sugar. Mix until just combined.
Fold coconut whipped cream into fruit mixture. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

Nutrient Analysis
Calories: 197 kcal, Protein: 1 g, Carbs: 36 g, Total Fat: 5 g
Sat Fat: 4 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Sodium: 45 mg, Fiber: 2 g

Photo Credit: Andrew Dole

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