Tropical flavours to brighten your cooking this winter

Bring some sunshine into your kitchen with these tropical flavours – fruits such as kiwi, passion fruit, grapefruit and papaya will brighten your table in no time. Whether you start your day with hearty peach overnight oats, whip up a kiwi Bellini for an evening tipple or indulge with a coconut and mango torte, your meals will never have looked so colourful.

  1. Start the day right

    Preparing breakfast the night before can help take the stress out of a busy morning. This tropical bircher muesli is a riot of colour and can be assembled in minutes in the morning after the oats have soaked in creamy coconut milk and sweet pineapple juice overnight. For a more warming flavour, try this peach and blueberry overnight oats recipe which has the subtle heat of ginger throughout oats soaked in yogurt and hazelnut milk.

  2. Simple pleasures

    Let the fruit be the star of your dish by keeping things simple. A classic fruit salad makes a deliciously easy breakfast or pud to share with a crowd, just needing a bit of peeling and chopping in advance. This grapefruit, melon and citrus salad recipe is dressed with ginger, lime and mint for a refreshing finish, while this orange and pomegranate dessert in dressed in a sweet sherry syrup, making it worthy of any dinner party.

  3. Layer up

    The bold colours of tropical fruit make simple recipes stand out. This kiwi and coconut parfait uses a vibrant triple green combination – kiwi, lime and mint – for a sweet yet sharp dessert. Use clear glasses to assemble the parfait so you can show off the colourful layers. A sprinkling of pomegranate on top adds a final fruity hit and satisfying crunch. 

  4. Top a dessert

    Desserts don’t have to be over-the-top to be delicious. This vegan chocolate, coconut and mango torte is completely gluten- and dairy-free but still feels indulgent and perfect for a special occasion. Bright mango and coconut stand out against the dark chocolate filling – with the secret ingredient tofu making it super silky.

  5. Brilliant baking

    If you're a budding baker, try adding some fresh flavour to your showstopper cakes with tropical fruits for a change. A moist carrot cake can be boosted with fresh pineapple and a sweet passion fruit drizzle, while this triple-layered vegan sponge cake is filled and decorated with juicy mango.

  6. Tropical tipple

    The sourness of many tropical fruits can help to balance sweet drinks and add a refreshing twist to classic cocktails. This kiwi Bellini uses lime juice as well as puréed kiwis to add a satisfying sharpness to bubbly prosecco, while you can make the most of blood orange season with this colourful citrus mojito.

  7. Sweet and savoury

    Putting tropical fruit in savoury dishes may feel strange, but sweet fruits are often used to counter the heat of chilli in spicy dishes. Try these Indonesian-inspired caramelised chicken and papaya satay noodles or this easy chicken and kiwi salad for a taste of sweet and savoury. 

  8. Meaty mains

    Just like sweet and spice, fruit can be added to hearty, meaty mains as well. Citrus flavours work particularly well with robust meats, such as in this celeriac, orange and roast beef salad which has a wonderful mix of seasonal flavours and textures. For a twist on pork and apple, try topping juicy pork burgers with pineapple slices – charring them on the griddle first adds a smoky flavour and really brings out the fruit's natural sweetness.