Try bionicos (Mexican fruit salad bowls) for a quick, easy, and refreshing way to start your day. In this plant-based version, lightly sweetened cashew crema is combined with layers of tropical fruit.
Top it all off with vanilla-infused granola, coconut shreds, chopped nuts, and dried fruits like raisins for a delicious ensalada de frutas.
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What is better than fruit for breakfast?! It's healthy, hydrating, and naturally sweet. Throw in some dairy-free crema and crunchy toppings and you've got a 10/10 recipe on your hands.
These Mexican fruit salad bowls are so quick and easy, they're just what your mornings have been missing.
What are bionicos?
Ensalada de frutas con crema or "fruit salad with cream" is a popular treat in Mexico. Bionicos take things to new heights with the addition of toppings like granola, dried fruit, coconut, and agave — a Mexican parfait of sorts.
Since moving here, bionicos have become one of our go-to treats because of the affordable tropical fruit selection all around us.
This extravagant version of ensalada de frutas is kid-friendly, simple-to-make, and extremely customizable to your preferences!
We made this particular bionico recipe plant-based and gluten-free by utilizing cashews instead of condensed milk and Mexican crema or sour cream.
Guadalajara, the capital city of Jalisco, is supposedly where it all began for bionicos. These Mexican fruit salad bowls layered with creamy and chewy elements were invented by a street vendor to create a healthier breakfast item (or so the story goes).
Low and behold, these delicious fruit bowls became a sensation across the country in the 90s, even making their way up North to the United States.
They eventually evolved from a solo breakfast item to a sweet treat that can be enjoyed at any time of the day.
Serve your ensalada de frutas con crema immediately so the fruit is fresh and the granola stays crunchy.
It doesn't matter how you serve this tasty version of a Mexican fruit salad, you'll be helping the critters without a voice by incorporating a plant-based meal into your day.
🍲 Key ingredients
For a complete ingredient list and step-by-step guide, scroll down to our recipe card.
Adding ripe, sweet, juicy, and tangy flavors to this ensalada de frutas are... fruits! We use more tropical fruits that are easily accessible to us in Mexico, but there are lots of options like:
- Grapes (red or green)
- Melon (honeydew, cantaloupe, watermelon, etc.)
- Stone fruits (peaches, mangoes, nectarines, etc.)
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, etc.)
- Apples, pears, etc.
Health: fruit is an excellent source of many different vitamins and minerals, especially when you mix and match different colors. Fruit is full of fiber and antioxidants, which can both help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Taste: this Mexican fruit salad wouldn't live up to the hype without some sweet, rich, and drool-worthy vegan crema layered between the fruits. Made from a base of cashews, you'll be shocked at how creamy and delicious a dairy-free sauce can be.
Health: because this sweet crema is made with cashews, there are many health benefits we're excited to share with you! This high-fiber nut is low in sugar, rich in protein, and contains large quantities of minerals like manganese and copper, which is necessary for energy production and brain health.
To make ensalada de frutas con crema a full-on bionicos, add crunchy, sweet, and chewy elements like:
- Dried fruit: raisins, mangoes, craisins, dates
- Shredded coconut
- Your choice of granola
- Chopped nuts: pecans, walnuts, almonds
- Syrup drizzle: agave, maple, or date syrup
Health: although these are healthy ingredients, try to eat them in moderation as they're super easy to over-consume. Another tip is to make your own granola or find one that limits the added sugars and preservatives.
If you have questions about this ensalada de frutas con crema recipe, don't forget to check out our FAQ section at the bottom of this post.
Step 1: soak the cashews overnight so they are nice and soft. Blend the drained nuts together with plant milk, lime juice, and sugar until smooth (you might have to stop and scrape down the sides a few times), then transfer it to your fridge.
Step 2: cut all of the fruits you'll be using into ½-inch cubes and add them all to a mixing bowl and give it a stir. Cover the bowl and transfer to your fridge as well until you are ready to serve.
Step 3: when you are ready to eat your bionicos, layer a scoop of fruit, then some cashew cream, then more fruit, and so on (or however you want to layer it).
Step 4: top your bowls or cups with granola, pecans, raisins, coconut shreds, and/or agave syrup. Happy eating!
Don't store your bionicos all together as they will become soggy (although still very delicious).
Since we're confident you know how to store fruit and granola, the following instructions are for keeping the cashew crema fresh.
This vegan crema will store in your fridge for up to 3-5 days. Just use an airtight glass container to keep the flavors nice and fresh.
Can't get through all the crema? No problem! Store it in your freezer for up to 6 months!
If you know you want to use the crema in advance, thaw it in your fridge overnight. The next day, give it a whisk or blitz in your blender to smooth it out.
💭 Pro tips
We'd like to share some tips and tricks we learned while experimenting with a vegan version of these Mexican fruit salad bowls:
- Soak the cashews. Let the cashews soak for the full 12 hours, especially if you don't own a high-speed blender.
- Make it sugar free. If you want to limit added sugars, try using monk fruit or stevia instead of sugar at a ratio of 1:8 (⅛ tablespoon of stevia = 1 tablespoon of sugar).
- Serve it chilled. If you want a cold ensaladas de frutas, chill the fruit overnight in your fridge.
- Choose your crema consistency. If you prefer a thicker or thinner crema, just adjust the liquid while blending.
- No toppings? No problem. If you don't have any toppings or want to cut down on the cost, fruit with crema is equally tasty.
🍴 Tasting notes
Simple recipes are always a big hit around here, which is why we absolutely love bionicos. They're:
If you try this vegan version of ensalada de frutas con crema, please rate it and leave us a comment below! Want to stay up-to-date with new recipes? Subscribe to our newsletter or connect with Broke Bank Vegan on social media. Happy eating!
Bionicos (Fruit Salad Bowls)
- High-speed blender
- Mixing bowl
- Knife & cutting board
- 1 cup raw cashews ($1.72)
- ¾ cup plant milk ($0.32)
- 1 tablespoon lime juice ($0.06)
- 3 tablespoons cane sugar ($0.01)
- 1 ½ cups papaya ($0.57)
- 1 ½ cups pineapple ($0.72)
- 1 ½ cups honeydew melon ($0.47)
- 1 ½ cups watermelon ($0.26)
- 1 cup grapes (green or red) ($0.44)
- 1 cup granola ($0.42)
- ¼ cup shredded coconut ($0.18)
- ¼ cup raisins ($0.17)
- ¼ cup pecans ($0.36)
- Agave syrup optional
- Soak the cashews in room temperature water for around 12 hours, or overnight (they should be very soft and split easily). Next, drain the cashews and place them in a blender with the plant milk, lime juice, and sugar.
- Blend on high until completely smooth, about 3-10 minutes depending on your blender. Make sure to stop and scrape down the sides a few times. Transfer to your fridge to chill while you prep the fruit.
- Peel and cube the papaya, pineapple, watermelon, and honeydew into ½-inch cubes. Slice the grapes into halves. Add all the fruit to a mixing bowl and give it a stir. Cover and transfer to your fridge until you are ready to serve.
- When you are ready to eat your bionicos, layer a scoop of fruit, then some cashew cream, then more fruit, and so on. Top with granola, chopped pecans, raisins, coconut shreds, and/or agave syrup. Happy eating!
- Use whatever fruits are in season where you live to save on cost.
- Total recipe time does not include soaking the cashews.
- The plant milk varieties we prefer are soy, coconut, or almond.
- Optional ingredients are not reflected in the price or calories of our recipes.
- We calculate nutritional information for our recipes with Cronometer.
- Recipe cost calculations are based on ingredients local to us and may vary from recipe-to-recipe.
- All prices are in USD.
♻️ Similar recipes
For more flavorful and healthy recipes, check out our:
- Fresas con crema for a rich, refreshing, and easy-to-make strawberries and cream treat.
- Mexican oatmeal if you're on the hunt for a simple, no-fuss, and healthy breakfast idea.
- Ejotes con huevo for protein-packed tofu mixed with fresh green beans and spicy red salsa.
- Enfrijoladas to try this Mexican breakfast staple made by covering veggie-stuffed corn tortillas in a creamy bean sauce. Don't forget the toppings!
This recipe is naturally sweet from the fruit. With a little sugar in the crema, we would say it's about a 4/10. If you prefer your bionicos less sweet, just omit the sugar in the cashew crema.
We would consider these Mexican fruit salad bowls to be healthy. If you're worried about sugar, you can easily omit it. If you want fewer calories, reduce the number of toppings you add or make your own granola.
If you don't have access to cashews, try using blanched almonds in their place. Otherwise, you can just use vegan yogurt (or make your own).