Dessert Salad and Other Healthier Ways to End a Meal

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A dessert salad is one of the simplest treats to make. A common sight in buffets, potlucks, or any other handaan, the dish consists of gelatin, fruits, veggies, whipped toppings, mayonnaise, and other tasty ingredients.

The great thing about many salads is you can prepare them ahead of time. Though many include sweet ingredients in the mix, salads make for nutritious sides and desserts. Rather than dumping your homemade creation in a large punchbowl or plastic container, consider plating them in an appetizing way. Here are a few tips to help you present a dessert salad.

Basic Plating Tips for a Dessert Salad

Take note of these simple plating techniques to help you perfect your dessert presentation.

Make use of color to brighten up the dish.

A well-prepared creamy fruit salad is delicious but not exactly spectacular to look at. A mound of ingredients coated in white cream doesn't always appear appetizing when served. 

Address the lack of wow factor by adding color. In this case, you can use vibrant serving dishes. You can garnish with berries, a bright sprig of mint, and any other element that brings a pop of color. Just make sure to use food elements that complement the dish's flavor.

Play with texture.

Adding a variety of textures introduces visual interest to any dish. It also makes eating it more enjoyable. Take rocky road ice cream, for example. You get the sweetness from the dessert, the fluffiness from marshmallows, and the crunch from the nuts. The combination of textures is an effective way to excite the taste buds and all other senses.

Boost the standard dessert salad recipe with ingredients like shredded coconut, crushed cookies, granola, cubed cake, and meringue.

Consider functionality when selecting a serving platter.

When selecting a container, always consider functionality. For instance, if you put a dessert that would melt on a plate, it eventually becomes difficult to eat. Creamier desserts would work better when portioned out in bowls, cups, or parfait glasses.

Tall drinking vessels, goblets, wine glasses, and mason jars are other alternatives for serving sweet and creamy salads.

Introduce a focal point.

Dressing up a fruit and vegetable salad can be challenging. Unlike a slice of cake with syrup drizzle or a dusting of confectioners' sugar, a dessert salad requires more creativity. How about using cookie cutters on watermelon or honeydew to form unique shapes? A focal point would create interest and draw the eye of the diner to the plate. 

Be careful when adding garnishes.

Don't forget to consider the overall flavors of the salad. Some dessert salads aren't all sweetness. Seafoam salad is a perfect example. Variations of its dressing include cream cheese, whipping cream, and Lady's Choice Real Mayonnaise. That said, selecting garnishes should be about flavor just as much as it is about presentation.

As a rule of thumb, always use edible ingredients when garnishing food. Also, select garnishes that you can eat with ease. Whole walnuts for a Waldorf salad might look attractive but are challenging to pick up with a fork. Lastly, if the chosen garnish has no function, the dessert can do without it.

Keep the structure in mind.

Height plays a significant role in attracting the attention of diners. Towering cakes draw the eye up and leave people wanting to get a taste. When plating salads, think about adding height. Pile fruit and vegetable salads instead of spreading them out on a plate. Tall ramekins and glasses are just two examples of containers you can use. The same rules go for a creamy sweet macaroni salad or a marble potato salad.

Think outside the box.

Aside from the usual selection of chinaware and glassware for serving dessert salads, you can opt for unique options. Chocolate cups, cookie shot glasses, and hollowed-out fruits can hold and serve food. Not only are they pleasing to the eye, but they are also edible. Watch the delight in people's eyes when they see your unique presentation. Watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and pineapples are other examples of tasty fruit serving dishes.

Two Unique Sweet Salad Ideas to Try

Are your guests no longer finding buko salad exciting? You're in luck! Here are two unique salad options to make for your next salu-salo.

Ambrosia salad

Two margarita glasses filled with ambrosia salad, with mini mallows scattered around

Assemble this classic American salad by combining fruits (fresh or canned fruit cocktail) with mini marshmallows, desiccated coconut, and nuts. Dress the salad in whipped cream, Lady’s Choice Real Mayonnaise, and sugar to taste. Refrigerate and then serve in margarita glasses.

Seafoam salad

A bowl of seafoam salad garnished with crushed pistachios

This fluffy green salad is hard to miss. Another salad from the U.S., the recipe uses canned pineapples, cream cheese, lime-flavored gelatin, cherries, whipped cream, and mayonnaise. When you make this retro dish for your next potluck, expect guests to be asking for the recipe!

Remember: You don't need to spend on fancy dessert plates and bowls. Readily available serving containers at home can do the trick. The key is to practice your presentation skills and have fun with the salad dessert ingredients you are preparing.

And if you're wondering if the mayo is a prominent flavor in these salads. It is not. You and your guests wouldn't even notice it there. Instead, you get an extraordinarily creamy and delicious dessert salad to cap off any meal.

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