A Tropical Treat
I tend to gravitate to tropical and fruity recipes especially during the summer months like Hawaiian Chicken Salad and Tropical Island Chillers. If you like fun and fruity like I do, then you’ll like this Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Fruit Dip! I’ve been thinking about giving it a try for a while. A 4th of July summer BBQ with my sister’s family seemed like the perfect occasion to whip up a batch.
Peter’s brother is a pilot and lives in New Jersey. He and his wife invited Ethan and Peter to fly out for a visit over the the 4th of July as a belated 5th birthday present for Ethan.
That means Kayli, Stephanie, Inga and I were planning to go to my sister’s 4th of July BBQ without them. We were looking forward to good food, water fun in the backyard, and time with the cousins. So, as you can imagine, we were pretty bummed when my sister informed us that my nephew was sick and the BBQ was cancelled. We ended up with nowhere to go and nothing to do on the 4th of July.
So what was the good news in all of this? Well, my girls and I had a delightful time cleaning up every last bit of this fruit dip on our own! Dipping lush strawberries, pineapple, and oranges into this tropical fruit dip was the perfect way to enjoy a festive summer afternoon together.
Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Fruit Dip
The recipe for this pineapple coconut fruit dip is quite fast and easy. The original recipe I have calls for cream cheese, whipping cream, canned pineapple, coconut and honey. When I made the recipe, the texture ended up runnier than I prefer for a fruit dip. I decided to play around with the recipe a little bit. The final result was a light and fluffy dip with a more distinct pineapple coconut flavor.
I started out beating 4 oz. of cream cheese until it was light and fluffy using my Kitchen Aid mixer. Next, I added to the bowl 1/2 cup light vanilla yogurt.
Although I’ve tried using honey in fruit dips before as a sweetener, I opted to use 2 tbsp powdered sugar this time considering the first time I made the recipe I felt it was a bit too thin and runny for my taste. I beat the mixture well after adding the yogurt and powdered sugar.
I rarely buy canned pineapple. But I do often have fresh pineapple on hand in my kitchen. I chose to chop the pineapple into small pieces, place the pineapple in a wire mesh strainer, and (using a wooden spoon) press out most of the pineapple juice. Then I added about 1/2 cup fresh pineapple to the mixing bowl.
And then there is the coconut. YUM! I love coconut! I often use it in recipes. But as I made this Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Fruit Dip with my girls, I realized I’ve never actually used it as a recipe ingredient while cooking or baking with them before. Kayli was very interested in learning more about coconuts, especially whether they are actually a fruit or a nut. So we did a little research…
Interesting Coconut Facts
Here are some of the things the girls and I learned about coconuts compliments of Everyday Mysteries: Fun Science Facts from the Library of Congress and FoodReference.com:
- Coconuts are classified as a fibrous one-seeded drupe, a fruit with a hard stony covering enclosing the seed (like a peach or olive). A coconut has three layers: the exocarp (outer layer usually smooth with a greenish color), the mesocarp (fleshy middle layer), and the endocarp (hard, woody layer that surrounds the seed). Usually what we see being sold in the supermarket is the coconut with the exocarp and the mesocarp already removed.
- Falling coconuts kill 150 people every year – 10 times the number of people killed by sharks.
- Coconut oil was the world’s leading vegetable oil until soybean oil took over in the 1960s.
- There are more than 20 billion coconuts produced each year.
- Coconut juice or coconut water is the liquid inside a coconut. Coconut milk is produced by steeping grated coconut in hot water then straining; coconut cream is coconut milk cooked down until it thickens, or grated coconut steeped in hot milk instead of water.
- One cup of unsweetened shredded coconut has about 25 grams fat and 280 calories.
- Every bit of the coconut is used. As a result, coconuts are called the “Tree of Life” and can produce drink, fiber, food, fuel, utensils, musical instruments, and much more.
- When intra-venous (IV) solution was in short supply, doctors during World War II and Vietnam used coconut water in substitution of IV solutions.
- Botanically, the coconut palm is not a tree since there is no bark, no branches, or secondary growth. A coconut palm is a woody perennial monocotyledon with the trunk being the stem.
- There are health benefits to eating coconut. Here are 5 healthy ways to enjoy coconut…
I plan to share a few more recipes using coconut as an ingredient. You may want to consider subscribing to Practical MOMents so you don’t miss out on any of them. You can also follow Practical MOMents on Facebook or Google+.
Back to Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Fruit Dip…
Okay, back to the recipe… After stirring in the drained pineapple and coconut, I added a few chopped pecans and folded in some whipping cream.
The fruit dip looked and tasted delightful. However, it was still on the thin side of how I like to eat fruit dip. If you are like me and prefer something light and fluffy and yet a bit stiffer in texture, then you may want to do as I did and add a tablespoon of instant pudding mix to your recipe. I just used vanilla pudding considering it’s what I had on hand in my pantry, but I’m sure coconut, banana cream, or cheesecake flavored instant pudding mix would taste just as spectacular.
The end result? We had a light and fluffy Hawaiian Pineapple Coconut Dip perfect for dunking our favorite fruits, sugar cookies or pretzels. Like I said, we ate it ALL while Peter and Ethan were gone. It was that good. You may just want to give it a try yourself…
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- ½ cup light vanilla yogurt
- 2 tbsp powdered sugar
- ½ cup pineapple, chopped finely and drained
- ¼ cup shredded coconut
- ¼ cup chopped pecans
- ½ cup whipping cream
- 1 tbsp instant pudding mix (optional)
- Fresh fruit, pretzels, or sugar cookies for dipping
- Beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
- Add the yogurt and powdered sugar; mix well.
- Stir in the chopped and drained pineapple as well as the coconut and pecans.
- Fold in the whipping cream.
- If the consistency of the dip is too thin for your liking, consider adding 1 tbsp instant pudding mix. I used vanilla, but cheesecake, banana cream or coconut instant pudding would probably be tasty alternatives.
- Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator.