It's the first day of Spring so it's time to do something to beckon the sunshine. Some of us caught a glimpse of it this weekend, while the rest are still searching for that elusive ball of warmth. Even if Spring hasn't quite sprung for you, you're guaranteed to feel bright and sunny with our pick of the pineapples and our favourite tropical fruit recipes.
We're crazy about pineapples at Sluttery HQ, largely thanks to the Pina Colada. We love a pina colada trifle, too. Sticky pineapple cake is the most wonderful thing to happen to tinned pineapple. Ever. If you've still got a couple of tins of pineapple rings in your cupboard (they seem to multiply in there) give honey and coconut pineapple a go. Have you tried grilled pineapple yet? You really should.
Pineapple juice makes for amazing cocktails. Apart from the obvious Saratoga, and Tiki drinks, there's the Hurricane, Havana Beach and Jungle Bird. Herbs and pineapple juice are a great combination in a pineapple and basil Mojito and Veridita. Oh, and don't forget the French Martini and Royal Fusion, either. There are loads of pineapple cocktails to chose from!
Mangoes are in season from April until late summer, but when they're not you can use tinned or frozen fruit. For a shellfish dish with a difference, pair mango with scallop ceviche. Blackened mango turns rice pudding from comfort food into awesome comfort food. Or use sticky rice with your mango for a taste of Thailand. Mango makes a great alternative to pineapple in upside-down cake and the tinned stuff works especially well here. If rice puddings and cake sound too heavy, lighten thing up with mango coulis with white chocolate mousse.
From the outside, passion fruit are a bit wrinkly and a bit funny looking, but open them up and you find beautiful, juicy pulp and seeds. What makes chocolate (and even more chocolate) taste wonderful? Passion fruit! Just try our 5th birthday cake if you don't believe me. If you've never used passion fruit in salad dressing, now's the time to do it. The juice from passion fruit makes brilliant cocktails, too. Sipping an Early Anniversary in the sunshine, drinking a Crack Baby shooter or going alcohol free with an Innocent Slut with have you feeling spring-like in no time!
Lychees aren't such a popular fruit as some of the others we use, but we think that should change! Our green tea and lychee cupcakes are sure to convert even the most stalwart lychee sceptic. So will a Shanghai Fizz actually. I'd never though about using the syrupy juice that comes with tinned lychees until I tried a lychee martini and our (slightly niche) eyeball jellies. You'll be a fan of these fragrant fruits in no time!
Want more great recipe ideas? Check out the rest of our top ten posts.