This is my own version of my mother's ambrosia, which was full of canned fruit in syrup and lots of Cool Whip--I use fresh fruit and the only thing canned is the mandarin oranges in JUICE. I wanted something creamy too, though so I use fat-free sour cream and Lite Cool Whip which is a combo that is both creamy, luscious and fat-free--the slight tartness of the sour cream in combination with the sweet Cool Whip gives it an extra zing! The version I give here is for parties and special occasions, so I added the marshmallows, which makes it a little fluffier, a little sweeter, but you can leave out the marshmallows if you like. Also, I add a half cup of real rum to make it more festive and the taste even richer--again, you can substitute rum flavoring if you want to. The dish always gets raves at parties and disappears fast, so I usually put up a container of it in my fridge before taking it to the festivities--invariably, it is a nice treat the next day. You can also use some of the mandarin orange slices or sliced strawberries to decorate it instead of cherries, which I use because the bright red against the creamy background of the ambrosia looks so happy and cheerful, and people usually associate maraschino cherries with special treats! —BeijingRose
16 oz container of fat-free sour cream
container Fat-free/Lite Cool Whip
fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, cut in chunks
fresh strawberries (leaves removed), cut in half
Mix the first six ingredients in a large bowl, stirring gently to blend well. Drop in the fresh fruit, marshmallows and mandarin orange slices & juice, and stir to blend. Garnish with coconut and maraschino cherries, cover and chill for 2 hours before serving.
NOTE: If making individual servings, garnish with fresh berries.
NOTE 2: If you are making this as a large dessert for an event, add the whole bag of marshmallows and a cup of fresh grapes to extend the amount.