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This Mexican Christmas apple salad is the perfect way to end your Christmas feast. After a meal of Christmas roast, tamales and pozole, this refreshing salad will hit the spot. Crisp apples, pineapple, grapes, and chopped pecans are mixed with a sweet almond crema.

Bowl of sweet cream on a dark wooden surface

This has to be one of my favorite childhood food memories, except that we added marshmallows to ours and it was almost sickly sweet. This healthier version is refreshing and sweetened with maple syrup. We would have this salad on Christmas of course, but my grandmother would make a different version for New Year’s with carrots and raisins which was also delicious. Depending on where in Mexico you are some people add raisins, carrots, celery, and even maraschino cherries.

Glass bowl filled with apples, pineapple, grapes, and pecans.

Traditionally this recipe uses crema or even mayonnaise, but I have made a crema with soaked almonds, water, almond milk, and maple syrup. You can also make the crema with cashews or use your favorite vegan yogurt. I prefer using almonds because they’re more affordable, but they are a bit more work because you have to peel them.

Sweet cream poured over fruit in a glass bowl.

Year after year, the longer I’m vegan the less I miss meat and the more I can appreciate veganizing traditional Mexican recipes and fulfilling all of my childhood food memories in a cruelty-free and healthy way. If you haven’t been vegan for long I just want to let you know that your palate does change, that you do adapt, and that it becomes easier and easier.

Fruit tossed in sweet cream in a glass bowl.

The Recipe: Mexican Christmas Apple Salad

  • As optional ingredients, you can add carrots, raisins or celery.
  • I recommend that you make and eat on the same day.
  • You can use your favorite vegan yogurt to make this recipe even quicker
  • Enjoy!!

 

Mexican Christmas Apple Salad in a glass cup on top of a peach colored napkin

Mexican Christmas Apple Salad in a glass cup
5 from 1 vote
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Mexican Christmas Apple Salad

Mexican Christmas Apple Salad, crisp apples, pineapple, grapes, and chopped pecans are mixed with a sweet almond crema.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword mexican fruit salad, vegan mexican christmas
Total Time 1 day
Servings 6 servings
189 kcal
Author Dora S.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups Diced gala apples (you can peel or not peel according to preference)
  • 3/4 cup Crushed pineapple, canned or fresh (drained)
  • 1 cup Green grapes, cut in half
  • ½ cup Chopped pecans

Sweet Almond Crema:

  • ½ cup Almonds, raw
  • ¼ - cup Water
  • ¼ cup Almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tsp. Lemon juice, fresh
  • 1 tsp. Maple syrup

Preparation

  1. Bring 1 pint of water to a boil in a small sauce pot and pour over the almonds. Let soak overnight.
  2. The following day peel the almonds by pressing an almond between your thumb and forefinger and pressing lightly. The skin should just pop off.
  3. In a blender, place the almonds, almond milk, lemon juice, and maple syrup and blend at high speed until completely smooth and cream like (to get a super smooth sauce you will need a high powered blender).

  4. Place sauce in a small container and refrigerate for 30 min.
  5. In a large bowl combine the apples, pineapple, grapes, and chopped pecans. Pour sauce over it and mix well.
  6. Serve.

Chef's Notes

You can use cashews instead of almonds if you prefer. Some people add raisins, maraschino cherries, carrots, and even celery. If you want to go a little crazy you could add vegan mini marshmallows. I recommend that once you've tossed the fruit salad you serve it the same day. 

Nutrition Facts
Mexican Christmas Apple Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 189 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 18%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 14mg 1%
Potassium 245mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 16%
Sugars 12g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 1%
Vitamin C 5.7%
Calcium 5.7%
Iron 4.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

This vegan purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream.

This purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream

There’s a beautiful Hawaiian purple sweet potato, also known as okinawan sweet potato, and it is incredibly sweet and full of fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. When I tried one for the first time all I could think about was that it was as sweet as candy. It turns out, there is also a purple sweet potato that is cultivated in Mexico. It is not the same variety, but I thought it would be fun to take something that both Hawaii and Mexico have in common and run with it.

This purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream

 

This ice cream is also inspired by a famous Mexican candy called Camotes de Santa Clara. It is candied sweet potato (purple, yellow, or orange) and citrus, rolled into a tube and wrapped in wax paper. Often fruit and nuts are mixed in as well. This candy is sold on the streets of Puebla, where the Santa Clara convent originally produced them.

After high school, I was a missionary for a year in Mexico City, and the nuns would often take us to Puebla on field trips. We would walk the market and buy a bunch of candy. That’s where I first tried the Camotes de Santa Clara. I don’t really remember them as being my favorite, but I know I did enjoy them.

This purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream

The Recipe: Purple Sweet Potato Ice Cream

This ice cream is especially creamy and sweet, even when it has almost no fat at all, because of the starch and natural sugars of the sweet potato. The pineapple adds a welcome tartness to it and the pecans a crunchy texture. If you can’t find purple sweet potatoes you can use any other variety of sweet potatoes. I  have used almond milk, but you can use any plant-based milk. Enjoy!

This purple sweet potato ice cream is studded with chunks of fresh pineapple and toasted pecans. It is perfectly sweet and creamy, without all the fat of traditional ice cream
5 from 1 vote
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Purple Sweet Potato Ice Cream

Prep Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 1 pint
Author Dora Stone

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. Purple sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
  • 2 3/4 cup Almond milk, unsweetened
  • 2/3 cup Sugar, granulated
  • 1/4 cup Maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp. Lime juice, fresh
  • 2 tsp. Vodka or tequila reposado, optional
  • 1/4 cup Pecans, toasted
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple, chopped

Preparation

  1. Place sweet potatoes in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  2. Let cool to room temperature.
  3. In a blender, combine the sweet potatoes, almond milk, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, lime juice, and tequila. Process until smooth. The mixture should have the thickness of a heavy cream.
  4. Chill for at least an hour in the refrigerator, then pour into your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
  5. You can mix in the pecans and pineapple in to the ice cream after the machine has finished spinning or you can add them to the machine when the ice cream is about to be done.
  6. Eat right away or freeze up to 5 hours to let the ice cream harden a bit.

Chef's Notes

The addition of the alcohol is completely optional. It is added to make homemade ice cream softer, because this ice cream has no preservatives or gums it will get hard in the freezer. Before eating it, take it out of the freezer fro 5 to 10 minutes to soften it up a bit. If you can’t find purple sweet potatoes you can use any other variety of sweet potato