It all started with my Mama's gumbo recipe!

Tropical Fruit Salad, A Mama’s Invention

Tropical Fruit Salad, A Mama’s Invention

Tropical Fruit Salad

This tropical fruit salad is so typical of my mama’s delectable kitchen inventions. The citrusy fruit dish gives a light lift to any meal and is a long standing family favorite that comes from the knack Mama has of concocting recipes off of the top of her head. Along with this fruit salad I especially recall her delicious creamy seafood casseroles. They are so original that they never quite come out the same. This makes getting her to recollect a recipe a challenge at times, but after a little prodding she always comes through. You may have a mama or grandma like this, or you may be one of these kitchen inventors yourself.

With Mother’s Day quickly approaching I want to honor my mama and all of you mama readers, and readers with mamas, by featuring this salad of hers. Mother’s Day always seems to soften my heart and bring with it a sting in my eye and a pain in my gut. I guess it really started when I became a mom myself and strengthens as I see my daughter and daughters-by-love become mothers themselves. And the strengthening gains as I experience more love for and from my own mama throughout the seasons of life. Where would we be without our mamas? One thing for sure is that we wouldn’t have recipes like this tropical fruit salad to prepare and pass along to others.

Tropical Fruit Salad

The invention of this salad began the same way I think most family recipes begin. My grandma’s original fruit salad recipe was made and re-made until my mama tweaked it into becoming her own tropical fruit salad tossed with a lemon, pineapple and orange sauce.

Tropical Fruit Salad

The use of the microwave helps to add ease in preparation for her recipe. Mixing the juices for the sauce with cornstarch and sugar in a bowl and cooking them on high until thickened is the first step before setting it aside to cool. Combining canned and fresh fruit in a large bowl with nuts is next. The final step is adding the cooled sauce to the fruit mixture then trying to restrain yourself from eating it before it has time to get cold in the refrigerator.

Tropical Fruit Salad

I hope you enjoy this salad and even if you can’t spend time with your own mama this Mother’s Day, take the opportunity to bless some other mother’s heart God puts in your path.


Tropical Fruit Salad, A Mama’s Invention

A salad with tropical fruit and a citrus sauce that adds a lift to any meal or can stand alone as a cool dessert.

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings



2-15 ounce cans tropical fruit, drained

1-14.5 ounce can peach slices, drained

1-15.25 ounce can pineapple tidbits, drained and juice saved for sauce

1-11 ounce can mandarin oranges, drained

2 apples, cored and cut into bite-size pieces

2 bananas, sliced

1 cup pecans, rough chopped


1/2 cup orange juice, frozen concentrate

1/3 cup pineapple juice, from canned pineapple tidbits

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons cornstarch


For sauce, add all ingredients into a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high, stirring every minute or two until sauce is thickened. Set aside to cool. Add all of salad ingredients into a large bowl and toss with cooled sauce. Cover and place in the refrigerator to chill. Serve and keep refrigerated.


I peel one of the apples so the salad is not quite as crisp (the unpeeled apple adds color) and I cut the peach slices in half. Place hot sauce in another bowl and put it in the freezer to cool faster.

Motherhood is more than a stage—it’s a lifelong calling from God. With it He gives us hearts that love deeply, hands that serve tirelessly, and vision to see His blossoming image in the precious ones
entrusted to our care.  Author Unknown

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