Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing {Costa Rica and Sloth Sanctuary}

As delicious as it is impressive, this Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing is a beautiful brunch plate!

Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

I’m always looking for beautiful ways to serve fresh fruit. Especially when it comes to a special brunch or more intimate gathering, where I want to take a little more time with the presentation.

This Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing is not only gorgeous with its composition and colors, but it’s also delicious and fun to eat. It’s a statement in fresh fruit if I ever saw one!

*  This is a sponsored post, created in partnership with Princess Cruises.

Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

While on our Panama Canal cruise on the Coral Princess, fresh fruit was bountiful. Whether we were eating at the buffet, in a dining room, at the International Cafe (one of our favorite spots!), or in one of the specialty restaurants, the fruit was always excellent, with good variety.

And we found this stunning pineapple fruit salad on the dining room’s breakfast menu the morning we rolled into Costa Rica.

Costa Rica from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

We caught our first views of Costa Rica from our balcony that morning, still in our pajamas. Getting out of bed to watch the day awaken on the water is one of my very favorite things about cruising.

Costa Rica from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Our ship docked at the port of Limón, Costa Rica’s bustling capital city, on a 125-mile stretch of Caribbean Sea shoreline between Panama and Nicaragua. The scene is lush and tropical, with everything from white sand beaches to dense rainforest to towering mountains.

Meet Buttercup, the founding sloth of the Sloth Sanctuary, rescued as a tiny baby in 1992.

Our family signed up for an excursion to the Sloth Sanctuary, where their mission is the rescue, rehabilitation, research, and release of sloths, while conserving and preserving the sloths’ rainforest habitat.

This Animal Planet Exclusive Sloth Sanctuary excursion is offered only through Princess Cruises, and gives visitors an immersive experience in a small-group setting. If you are booking a Panama Canal cruise and know you want to visit this sanctuary, be sure to sign up online as soon as you possibly can. I know the sanctuary excursions for our cruise were sold out before our ship set sail.

Costa Rica and the Sloth Sanctuary from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

This is Greta, just 4 days old. We met her in the nursery area of the sanctuary. She stole our hearts.

Costa Rica and the Sloth Sanctuary from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Besides learning in-depth about sloths and seeing them up close, we also enjoyed a peaceful canoe ride on a small river through the lowland rainforest. We spotted a crocodile, a golden orb spider that spun an almost invincible web, frogs, a whole lot of colorful, scurrying crabs, and even a sloth up high in a tree. (Thankfully no snakes were pointed out…I know they were there!) We also saw howler monkeys in the trees alongside the road on the way to the sanctuary. Coming from Minnesota, all of these natural sightings were nothing short of awesome for our family!

Costa Rica and the Sloth Sanctuary from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

I had been to a rainforest before, but it was in Alaska (our first trip with Princess Cruises!), and very different from this one in Costa Rica. I was in complete awe of how tropically lush it is. Everywhere, GREEN.

The little roofed area in the photo above is where we enjoyed a light lunch before the excursion began.

Costa Rica from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

On the bus ride back from the sanctuary, our guide shared with us about locally grown cacao. I had never seen, felt, or tasted cacao in its raw pod form. Little things like this added so much to our cruise experience.

We were not prepared for how much we would really love the Sloth Sanctuary excursion. This day trip turned out to be one of our greatest Panama Canal cruise memories.

Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Costa Rica has a rich history in plantations, dotting the landscape with enormous fields of banana, coffee, sugar cane, cacao, macadamias, and pineapple.

I picked up a couple Costa Rican grown pineapples, just for this post.

Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

A pineapple fruit salad as pretty as this is normally saved for special occasions, because there is obviously some prep work and plating involved.

But the same flavors can still be easily achieved without the fuss. Simply place fresh cut pineapple, watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew in a small bowl and spoon the honey vanilla bean yogurt dressing over the top. Still pretty. Still delicious.

Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients:

* Please note that I have not included any exact quantities for the fruit. This salad is more of a concept, except for the honey vanilla bean yogurt dressing recipe, which I have included. There is enough dressing for at least 12 servings.

for the honey vanilla bean yogurt dressing:

  • 2 c. plain yogurt
  • 2 T. honey
  • 1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • vanilla bean seeds scraped from half of a vanilla bean

for the pineapple fruit salad:

  • fresh whole pineapple rounds, cut about 1″ thick (core out the center if desired)
  • fresh watermelon, cubed
  • fresh cantaloupe, cubed
  • fresh honeydew, cubed
  • fresh mint leaves for garnish

Directions:

for the honey vanilla bean yogurt dressing:

In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients. Prepare up to two hours prior to serving. Keep refrigerated.

for the pineapple fruit salad:

Arrange pineapple slices on small plates. Top with cubed watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew. Spoon a bit of the dressing over the fruit, or serve the dressing on the side. Garnish with mint leaves.

Inspired by a breakfast on the Coral Princess on our Panama Canal Cruise.

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Pineapple Fruit Salad with Honey Vanilla Bean Yogurt Dressing from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

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Costa Rica and the Sloth Sanctuary - an excursion with Princess Cruises - from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

Also be sure to check out our Travel Tips for your Panama Canal Cruise!

Travel Tips for your Panama Canal Cruise from afarmgirlsdabbles.com

 

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For more of our own personal experiences with Princess Cruises (we also visited Alaska!), visit these posts:

Disclaimer:  This trip was sponsored by Princess Cruises. Our family was honored to be guests of Princess Cruises on this cruise to the Panama Canal, and we are grateful for the opportunity to share it all with you. Thank you for supporting us and the brands we so carefully choose to work with. All opinions expressed are our own.