My kids are funny. They will eat boogers, dirtballs they find under the cabinets, and even bugs, but they absolutely, adamantly refuse to eat fruit and vegetables without a battle that would make our current presidential candidates jealous. Therefore, being the sly, smart mom that I am, I constantly look for new ways to sneak those fruits and veggies into kid-friendly foods.
This hidden pear salad totally fits the bill. I can remember, as a kid, absolutely loving this cool salad with its crisp, refreshing taste. My Mom used to make it, and we kids thought it was dessert. Little did we know that ‘ole Mom was a “vegetable smuggler” from way back, and she had been sneaking the good stuff into our innocent bellies. hehe. So make this salad, today– it’s easy enough for a weekday meal, and elegant enough for a bridal or baby shower. So why wait? Start honing your fruit and vegetable smuggling skills, today. Your kids will never know what hit ’em. You sneaky thing, you.
What are we waiting for? Let’s do this!
Hidden Pear Salad
(Not sure where this originally came from– I think Mom cut it out of a magazine)
1 16 oz. can of pears, drained (reserve liquid)
3 oz. package lime Jello
4 oz. cream cheese, softened (half a box)
1/4 tsp. lemon juice
2 cups whipped topping
Heat reserved pear liquid until very hot but not boiling. Stir in Jello until dissolved. Cool until slightly syrupy (can place in fridge but don’t allow to actually gel). Meanwhile, puree pears in the blender and set aside. Beat softened cream cheese and lemon juice in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth. Add pureed pears and mix well. Fold in whipped topping. Fold entire mixture into cooled jello and chill until serving.
Now, in pictures! 🙂
This salad couldn’t be easier. And I love that you can make it ahead and have it “just chillin” in the fridge, waiting for a grand entrance to your meal. To begin with, drain your canned pears. Put the pears aside and heat the liquid (either on the stove or in the microwave is fine) until it is nice and hot, but not boiling– it might have a wisp of steam come off the top if you stir. That’s hot enough. Stir in your lime jello until everything is dissolved and there are no granules at the bottom. Pop this liquid into the fridge until it cools, slightly, and gets syrupy (but not set– make sure you don’t forget about it or you’ll have jello instead of syrup if it’s in there too long). When it gets syrupy, take it out of the fridge so it doesn’t harden anymore.
Meanwhile, beat your softened cream cheese (just let it sit out on the counter for 1/2 hour or so before you use it) and lemon juice, together, until you get rid of all the lumps. Don’t you wish you could just whip the lumps out of yourself? Especially on a Monday morning? Hehe.
When your cream cheese is nice and, well . . . CREAMY, add in your pureed pears and mix.
At this point switch out your mixer beater for a spatula and fold in your whipped topping. Mmmmm. Folding basically just means to give your ingredients a “comb-over.” Keep sweeping the spatula around and around the ingredients, without really going through the middle. This keeps the mixture light and fluffy because you aren’t crushing the life out of the whipped ingredients.
Next, fold in your lime jello syrupy stuff. If you forgot and it kind of became jello a little bit (*innocent face– don’t ask me how I know this . . .) , pop it in the microwave for 10 seconds and stir. It will still have a few jello chunks, but mostly it will go back to being liquidy.
Once you have the jello folded in, cover the salad with plastic wrap and stick the whole ‘shebang in the fridge.
It will wait for you, there . . . like a princess awaiting her prince’s magical first kiss . . .
Light and green and lovely . . . (Er . . . the salad, not the princess).
Waiting to make your kiddos fall in love with eating their fruits and veggies, all over again.
You sneaky smuggler, you.
You did it. And I’m just so proud of you.
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