Central African Fruit Salad Recipe - Healthy Vegetarian Meal Option

Central African Fruit Salad

Central African Fruit Salad Recipe - Healthy Vegetarian Meal Option
Region / culture: Central African Republic | Preparation time: 20 minutes | Servings: 6


Central African Fruit Salad
Central African Fruit Salad

Central African Fruit Salad is a refreshing and colorful dish that combines a variety of fresh fruits with a tangy lime dressing. This salad is perfect for a light and healthy meal or as a side dish for a summer barbecue.


The Central African Fruit Salad is a traditional dish that has been enjoyed for generations in Central Africa. It is often served at special occasions and celebrations, as the vibrant colors and flavors of the fruits symbolize abundance and prosperity.


How to prepare

  1. Fill the bowls with a mixture of greens.
  2. Use any fresh fruits, such as coconut and chopped peanuts, in combinations like this:
  3. - Fresh pineapple cut into fingers, about 3 per bowl
  4. - Fresh mango in strips, about 2-3 per bowl
  5. - Avocado, dipped in lemon juice and cut into strips
  6. - Fresh coconut, cut into thin slices
  7. - Oranges (California type), thinly sliced with skins left on
  8. - Bananas, cut into chunks, thinly coated with mayonnaise and dipped in chopped peanuts (or coconut)
  9. - 1 pt (473 ml) basket of strawberries or any berries in season.
  10. Arrange the fruits attractively in individual salad bowls or in one large bowl.

Serve with Lime Dressing

Lime Dressing

  1. Grate the rinds of 4 limes and add the grated rinds with their juice to 1 qt (946 ml) of mayonnaise.
  2. Fold in 1 cup of whipped cream sweetened with 2 tbsp of sugar.
  3. Add a few drops of green vegetable coloring.


  • Add diced apples or pears for additional sweetness and crunch.
  • Mix in some raisins or dried cranberries for a chewy texture.
  • Drizzle honey or maple syrup over the salad for extra sweetness.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Use a variety of fresh fruits to add different textures and flavors to the salad.

- Make sure to coat the bananas in mayonnaise and chopped peanuts to prevent them from browning.

- Arrange the fruits in an attractive and appealing way to make the salad visually appealing.

Serving Suggestions

Serve the Central African Fruit Salad as a side dish with grilled chicken or fish for a complete and balanced meal. It can also be enjoyed on its own as a light and healthy snack.

Cooking Techniques

Use a sharp knife to cut the fruits into uniform sizes for a visually appealing presentation.

- Make sure to coat the avocado in lemon juice to prevent it from browning.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use Greek yogurt or sour cream instead of mayonnaise for a lighter dressing.

- Substitute almonds or walnuts for the chopped peanuts for a different flavor profile.

Make Ahead Tips

You can prepare the fruits and dressing ahead of time and assemble the salad just before serving to prevent wilting.

Presentation Ideas

Arrange the fruits in a decorative pattern on a large platter or individual salad bowls for an elegant presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair the Central African Fruit Salad with a glass of chilled white wine or a fruity cocktail for a refreshing and satisfying meal.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Do not freeze as the fruits will become mushy.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Central African Fruit Salad contains approximately 200-250 calories, making it a light and nutritious option for a meal or snack.


The Central African Fruit Salad is a high-carbohydrate dish due to the presence of fruits like mangoes, bananas, and strawberries. Carbohydrates provide energy to the body and are essential for overall health.


The lime dressing in the Central African Fruit Salad contains fats from mayonnaise and whipped cream. While fats are high in calories, they are also important for nutrient absorption and hormone production.


This salad is low in protein as it primarily consists of fruits and vegetables. To increase the protein content, you can add nuts or seeds to the salad.

Vitamins and minerals

The Central African Fruit Salad is rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C from fruits like oranges and strawberries. These nutrients are essential for a healthy immune system and overall well-being.


This recipe contains mayonnaise, which may contain eggs and soy. It also includes nuts, so individuals with nut allergies should exercise caution.


The Central African Fruit Salad is a nutritious and delicious dish that is high in carbohydrates and vitamins. It is a great option for a light and refreshing meal or side dish.


Central African Fruit Salad is a vibrant and flavorful dish that is perfect for any occasion. With a variety of fresh fruits and a tangy lime dressing, this salad is sure to be a hit with family and friends. Enjoy this light and healthy dish as a meal or side dish for a delicious and nutritious experience.

How did I get this recipe?

I distinctly remember the first time I saw this recipe for Central African Fruit Salad. It was a warm summer day, and I was visiting my friend Marie who had just returned from a trip to Africa. She had been exploring the markets and trying all sorts of delicious dishes, and she couldn't wait to share one of her favorites with me.

As we sat in her kitchen, she pulled out a worn and stained piece of paper with the ingredients and instructions for the fruit salad written in beautiful cursive handwriting. The list included a variety of exotic fruits such as mango, papaya, and pineapple, as well as a mixture of spices and herbs that I had never used before.

Marie explained to me that this fruit salad was a popular dish in Central Africa, where the abundance of fresh fruits made it a refreshing and light treat on hot days. She had learned how to make it from a local woman she had met at a market, who had graciously shared her recipe and cooking tips with her.

I was intrigued by the combination of flavors and textures in the fruit salad, and I knew I had to try making it myself. Marie guided me through the process, showing me how to properly peel and chop the fruits, and how to mix in the spices and herbs to enhance the natural sweetness of the fruits.

The scent of the fresh fruits and spices filled the kitchen as we worked together, and I couldn't wait to taste the final product. When we finally sat down to enjoy the fruit salad, I was blown away by the explosion of flavors in my mouth. The sweetness of the mango and pineapple was perfectly balanced by the tanginess of the papaya and the warmth of the spices.

From that moment on, Central African Fruit Salad became a staple in my kitchen. I would make it for family gatherings, potlucks, and special occasions, always receiving rave reviews from everyone who tried it. I loved how versatile the recipe was, allowing me to experiment with different fruits and spices to create new and exciting variations.

Over the years, I have made this fruit salad countless times, always thinking back to that fateful day in Marie's kitchen when I first learned how to make it. I have shared the recipe with friends and family, passing on the tradition of creating this delicious and unique dish from Central Africa.

As I sit here now, reflecting on all the memories and experiences that have come from making Central African Fruit Salad, I am grateful for the opportunity to learn and grow as a cook. The recipe may have originated from afar, but it has become a cherished part of my culinary repertoire, reminding me of the power of food to bring people together and create lasting connections.

So the next time you find yourself craving something sweet and refreshing, I urge you to try making Central African Fruit Salad. Let the colors and flavors transport you to a distant land, where the sun shines bright and the fruits are always ripe and delicious. And who knows, maybe you'll create your own memories and stories to pass down for generations to come.


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