Best Fruit Salad with Vanilla Pudding


For the Vanilla Pudding:

1 package (3.4 ounces) instant vanilla pudding mix
2 cups cold milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Whipped Cream:

1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Fruit Salad:

2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved
1 cup blueberries
2 kiwis, peeled and sliced
1 cup pineapple chunks
1 cup red or green grapes, halved
2 ripe bananas, sliced
Optional: 1/2 cup chopped nuts (such as almonds or walnuts)

  1. Prepare the Vanilla Pudding:
    a. In a large mixing bowl, combine the instant vanilla pudding mix, cold milk, and vanilla extract.
    b. Whisk vigorously for about 2 minutes until the mixture is smooth and thickened.
    c. Allow the pudding to set for a few minutes to achieve a thicker consistency.
  2. Make the Whipped Cream:
    a. In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer, whip the heavy cream until it begins to thicken.
    b. Add powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue whipping until stiff peaks form.
    c. Gently fold the whipped cream into the vanilla pudding mixture until well combined. This creates a light and fluffy texture.
  3. Prepare the Fresh Fruits:
    a. Wash and prepare all the fresh fruits. Cut larger fruits like strawberries, kiwi, and pineapple into bite-sized pieces.
    b. If using bananas, add them just before serving to prevent browning.
  4. Combine and Chill:
    a. Add the prepared fruits to the vanilla pudding mixture.
    b. Gently toss the fruits until they are well coated with the vanilla pudding and whipped cream mixture.
    c. Optionally, add chopped nuts for extra crunch and flavor.
    d. Refrigerate the fruit salad for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.
  5. Serve:
    a. Before serving, give the fruit salad a gentle stir to ensure the pudding mixture is evenly distributed.
    b. Optionally, garnish with additional whipped cream or mint leaves for a decorative touch.