Ambrosia — When Life Gives You Oranges

Ambrosia — When Life Gives You OrangesAmbrosia — Simply Oranges & Coconut


  1. Greek & Roman Mythology The food of the gods, thought to confer immortality.
  2. Something with an especially delicious flavor or fragrance.
  3. A dessert containing primarily oranges and flaked coconut.

My 7th grade home economics class
Ambrosia — When Life Gives You OrangesThe first half of the semester was sewing. We made two items. First we made a “gym bag” to carry our gym clothes home on Fridays and back to school on Mondays. Then, we sewed an apron. A full apron with a ruffle around the top half, sides and bottom and at least one pocket but maybe two. This apron was to be worn during the second half of the Home Ec class.

That’s when we got to cook. That’s where I first heard the name and first tasted “ambrosia.” As this was Southern California, learning to make a recipe with oranges was a given.

Organic Fruit of the Month Club
Ambrosia — When Life Gives You Oranges
Since that day in Home Ec, I perhaps made ambrosia once more to impress my family. The memory, though, came back to me just this past Saturday when our second delivery from a California Organic-Fruit-of-the-Month-Club arrived. Five pounds of gorgeous, sweet and juicy navel oranges. (Thank you Peter, Beth and Cooper.)

Ambrosia — When Life Gives You OrangesI wanted to make something in which these oranges would shine. Our easy 7th grade Ambrosia recipe made with only oranges and coconut would be a perfect light and flavorsome dessert.

I know back then we didn’t cut the orange segments from their membrane forming “supremes.” (Would they really have trusted 7th graders with such fancy knife work?) We may have just peeled and divided the oranges into segments, membrane and all. Or we possibly peeled and then sliced the oranges. Both acceptable alternatives.

Navel oranges
Ambrosia — When Life Gives You Oranges With sweet and naturally juicy, easily segmented and seedless flesh, no wonder navel oranges are considered the world’s best for eating. Navels are at their peak from January through March. Take a look at the bottom of a navel orange. Rather obvious how they got their name.

With only two ingredients in Ambrosia, be sure to use the most luscious oranges you can find.

Ambrosia — When Life Gives You Oranges Ambrosia – Simply Oranges & Coconut

With just two ingredients, use the sweetest, most luscious oranges you can find.
Expand upon my 7th grade recipe by using a variety of citrus fruits such as blood oranges, kumquats, tangerines and/or tangelos in addition to the oranges. And of course, if you’re fortunate to have access to a fresh coconut, here’s how to prepare it.

Makes   4 servings
Active Time:   10 minutes
Total Time:   10 minutes plus an hour or more for blending the flavors

4 large oranges
¼ cup unsweetened shredded coconut

  1. Ambrosia — When Life Gives You OrangesWith a serrated knife, use a sawing motion to peel and remove all the white pith from each of the oranges. Work over a bowl to catch the juices.
  2. With a paring knife, supreme the oranges (remove the segments from the membrane). Also remove all seeds if not using seedless oranges. Squeeze the juice from the core and membranes into the bowl with the orange segments.Ambrosia — When Life Gives You Oranges
  3. Toss the oranges with the coconut.
  4. When you have the time, cover the bowl and refrigerate Ambrosia for an hour or more to blend the flavors before serving.

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2 thoughts on “Ambrosia — When Life Gives You Oranges

  1. Wow, Janice, this takes me back to my mom and my grandma, both ladies in the traditions of the deep south (Georgia and Carolina). We often had ambrosia as dessert but I also remember bananas and sometimes something creamy….whipped cream or egg custard. Yum!

    • Yep, there is a Southern version served as a salad. Sounds like the one you remember. I’ve seen recipes including sour cream, pineapple, maraschino cherries, grapes, pecans and whipped cream. Gives me a greater understanding of why California Cuisine was such a novelty.

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