Fall in Love with Autumnal Fruit Salad

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Celebrate the crisp, bright and warming flavors of the fall season with this fruit salad. Fresh pears, apples, Fuyu persimmons and pomegranates are paired with dried fruits poached in apple and pomegranate juice. Sweetly spiced pecans and toasted coconut round out the flavors and textures of this harvest time treat. Enjoy this salad alone or topped onto yogurt.

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

½ cup raw almonds or pecans, soaked overnight in filtered water

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

2 teaspoons maple syrup

1/4 teaspoon Spice of Life, see below

Pinch of sea salt

1 cup raw, unfiltered organic apple juice

½ cup unsweetened pomegranate juice (organic if possible)

4 cardamom pods

1 stick of cinnamon

2 star anise pods (optional)

4 dried figs

¼ cup dried apricots, diced

¼ cup raisins or currants

2 medium tart apples, cubed

2 medium pears, cubed

1 Fuyu persimmon, cubed

1 pomegranate seeded

Juice of ½ lemon

1/4 cup unsweetened, large flake coconut

Sweet Spice of Life

Combine the following:

½ teaspoon cinnamon

½ teaspoon ginger

¼ teaspoon cardamom

¼ teaspoon nutmeg

¼ teaspoon allspice

1 tablespoon orange zest

pinch of cayenne

pinch of sea salt

Method

Preheat oven to 325° F

  1. Drain soaked nuts and spread out on a clean dry towel to dry.
  2. Melt coconut oil and stir in maple syrup, ¼ teaspoon Sweet Spice of Life and a pinch of salt.
  3. Place nuts into a medium bowl and drizzled with melted coconut mixture. Toss until well coated.
  4. Toast nuts in the oven until dried and aromatic, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool before chopping coarsely.
  5. In a small saucepan over low heat, combine apple and pomegranate juice, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick and star anise with figs, apricots, and currants. Simmer until fruits rehydrate and look plump. Remove fruits with a slotted spoon and set aside. Chop figs into small pieces and set aside.
  6. Return apple juice to burner and simmer on low heat with ¼ teaspoon Sweet Spice of Life until juice is reduced by half and coats the back of a spoon. It should have a slightly syrupy consistency.
  7. Meanwhile, chop fresh fruits and toss with lemon juice and pomegranate seeds.
  8. To a dry pan over low heat, toast coconut flakes until lightly browned. Transfer to a cool plate or bowl.
  9. To assemble fruit salad, place chopped fresh fruit in an attractive serving bowl and toss in dried fruit. Drizzle with apple reduction “syrup” and toss with chopped nuts and coconut flakes. Serve as is or top