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Picked From the Tree: Brenda’s Creamy Tropical Fruit Salad

I come from a long line of divine cooks.  Their recipes were written on hundreds of little cards and shared. Eventually some of those cards were passed on to me.  Every once in a while I like to pull one of those recipes from my ‘family tree’ and get all nostalgic.  ’Picked from the Tree’ is a series where I document those recipes from my family tree and maybe share a memory or two.


This recipe is also a fairly recent addition to our family tree.  It joined up about 7 years ago when my step-mom joined the family.  She’s not sure where the recipe started, but she remembers her mom making it frequently while she was growing up.

The salad is so creamy and tangy.  I love it’s use of tropical fruit as well.  You don’t see that very often.  We have it for almost every holiday or family get together now.  It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.   And you know the best part?  It’s basically a “dump” salad.  Just open some cans and add a little bit of cut up fruit and the sauce and you’ve got a deceptively “homemade” creamy tropical fruit salad.


Brenda’s Tropical Fruit Salad


  • 1 can pineapple tidbits
  • 2 cans Dole tropical fruit cocktail (it really does work best with Dole brand)
  • 2 smal cans Mandarin oranges
  • 1 large box Cook & Serve Vanilla Pudding
  • 1 large apple
  • 1-2 bananas


  1. Drain the pineapple tidbits, but reserve the liquid.
  2. Drain the rest of the fruit. You can save the liquid for another recipe (such as jello) but you will not need it for this recipe.
  3. Cut up the apple and banana(s).
  4. Mix all fruit in a large bowl.
  5. Put reserved pineapple juice in a saucepan with the pudding mix. Stir constantly until thick and "clear". It will actually be pretty yellow, but you'll know when you've hit it.
  6. Pour sauce over fruit and mix until well coated.
  7. Enjoy!


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