Hi friends! I am super excited to share this gorgeously fresh salad with you today. My Grilled Apricot & Cherry Salad With Citrus Coconut Dressing is epicly summer-tastic. It just tastes like sunshine! I have to tell you, ever since I committed to cooking fresh, and sticking to it, it has made such a difference in the way I feel. I have more energy, and I just plain feel better about myself. It’s amazing what sticking to a goal can do for your mindset.
The thing is, it’s not just a goal for me anymore. I am determined to make it my lifestyle. Not just something I strive to do and have to constantly concentrate on, but just a part of who I am and what I naturally do. (I’m almost there…)
I really have been excited about fresh food. One thing people ask me all the time is, “Do your kids really like the stuff you cook?” The answer is Yes. For the most part they will eat what I cook. I don’t EVER cook separate food for my kids (although I may supplement their meals with additional carbs or meats if I’m cooking low-carb or vegetarian). People sometimes don’t believe me I think. Let me tell you, I KNOW the daily battle that it is to even get your kids to eat anything… I am waging that war myself on a daily basis. The thing that matters is consistency. If your kids think that you are going to let them choose what they want to eat, they may never learn to love fresh foods, because they won’t make the right choice on their own at first. You have to help them with that choice. They are only kids… Of course any kid is going to pick mack-and-cheese, fishy crackers and dessert for dinner if you let them. Seriously though, we have to be the adults in the room and teach our kids how to eat healthy and make good choices. Later on they will start making those choices for themselves once they know how much better it tastes and feels.
I am really passionate about feeding my kids a variety of fresh produce and healthy food. (Can ya tell?) I have been thinking about it a lot this week because my Father-in-law, Phillip Muir, just testified to the Senate Agriculture Committee in Washington D.C. on Wednesday morning in support of the school lunch laws that require healthy food options in school lunches. He and my hubby are constantly working with local schools to help get salad bars in schools and have fervently fought for the minimum half a cup portion of fruits or vegetables that should be required in the school lunch program. I am so proud of these awesome guys standing up for something that is so important to the health and well being of our kids! Woot woot!
To read an article about this hearing click here: Produce Industry Weighs In At Senate School Nutrition Hearing
I served this lovely salad to my 6 and 2 1/2 year old and they both ate quite a bit of it! I promise you, your kids will eventually grow to love things like salads, vegetables and all kinds of fruits if that is what is served to them every day. Their palate will adapt and they will begin to WANT those things. I promise.
My daughter used to give me the worlds hardest time at meals about everything that was on her plate. I would persuade her to have “eating adventurers” with me and try the new things. Sometimes she would hate it, sometimes she would get a big grin and admit that she loved it. I remember the first time she ate salad (at a restaurant) she literally threw up. I’m not kidding. It was horrific and so embarrassing. I was mortified, but it just makes me laugh now. I am so proud of my sweet little girl, because do you know what one of her favorite things to order off a menu is? Caesar salad. I swear if you are consistent and don’t cave to the silly idea that, “My kid doesn’t like that” lie that is spread all over the globe you’ll succeed. No kid automatically likes salad for the most part. It is a taste that has to be adapted to until they learn to love it. It is worth the work. It’s an investment in your kids healthy future! You can do it!!!
Back to this yummy salad. I was too lazy to fire up the grill just to do these cute little apricots, so I seared them on the griddle. It was so easy-peasy! They were so juicy and sweet. I was loving it!
Aaah… I love summer fruit! Aren’t they pretty?
So, what has been your experience with feeding kids fresh produce? If you have any questions or need some advice I am more than happy to help! Parent power!!! Ha ha. Love you guys! Thanks for reading along with me. Grab the recipe for this Caramelized Apricot & Cherry Salad With Citrus Coconut Dressing below. Enjoy!
- 4 cups little gem lettuce (or lettuce of choice), chopped
- 4-6 apricots, halved
- 1 cup red cherries, halved
- ½ cup dried blueberries
- ¼ cup sliced almonds
- 1 cup shaved, sweetened coconut, toasted
- For Citrus Coconut Dressing:
- ⅓-cup coconut oil
- ½ cup fresh orange juice
- Juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup shaved, sweetened coconut
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For Citrus Coconut Dressing:
- In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat add coconut oil. When it is melted add orange juice, lime juice, sugar and coconut. Whisk well until dressing is emulsified. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cool a little.
- For Salad:
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Line pan with ½ tablespoon of butter and place apricots cut side down. Cook until apricots caramelize.
- Arrange salad starting with chopped lettuce, top with apricot halves, cherries, dried blueberries, toasted coconut and sliced almonds. Drizzle with citrus coconut dressing! Season with salt and pepper and enjoy! Can be served warm or at room temperature.