Bionicos, a popular Mexican street food and delicious dessert, is a delightful treat that combines fresh seasonal fruit with a sweet cream mixture, nuts, granola, raisins and coconut flakes. This simple recipe makes an easy dessert or even breakfast.
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Imagine a refreshing variety of fruits mixed with a creamy sauce and a sprinkle of crunchy granola – that’s Bionicos, a delightful Mexican fruit salad that’s sure to tantalize your taste buds.
This vibrant treat is also called bionico de fruta (or bionico fruit salad or bionico Mexican fruit salad) and it’s a popular street food that was first created in the early 1990s in the city of Guadalajara in Western Mexico.
Bionicos quickly became a crowd favorite and soon spread across Mexico and later across the World by the Mexican diaspora. Nowadays you can find it at mercados, street vendor, local Mexican ice cream shops, some juice bars and health food restaurants.
There are different ways to make bionicos and everything from the fruits used to the way the sweet cream sauce is made and the toppings used can vary. But the beauty of bionicos lies in its simplicity and versatility to use your favorite fruits and favorite toppings.
It’s actually perfect for experimenting with different fruit combinations and toppings to suit your preferences or mood or what fruits are in season. The most important thing is to use the freshest ingredients.
Bionicos vs Mexican Fruit Cups
Before we get to the ingredients and recipe instructions, I’d like to talk about the difference between bionicos and Mexican fruit cups.
So as we’ve been discussing bionicos are tasty fruit bowls made with chopped seasonal fruit, a sweet creamy mixture, and some sweet toppings.
Mexican fruit cups or vasos de fruta are cups filled with with chopped or sliced fruits that are typically drizzled with lime juice and chile pepper or Tajin or even chamoy sauce.
You can think of them as one being a sweet treat and the other a sweet, savory and spicy one.
Why You’ll Love Bionicos
- They are a delicious treat that’s very easy to prepare.
- Bionicos are one of the most popular Mexican street food desserts.
- It’s a great way to use extra fruit in a different way than just eating it.
- The fruit used is loaded with vitamins and minerals.
- Can easily be made dairy-free so bionicos are vegan friendly.
- Easy to customize to everyone’s likes.
- Bionicos make a fun treat to serve as part of a brunch buffet table set up.
Traditional Bionicos Ingredients
The ingredients can vary depending on what kinds of fruit are in season or to personal preferences. Additionally the way the sweet cream sauce is made also varies greatly.
These are the most common fruits used, but as mentioned you are free to swap with what’s in season or those fruits you really enjoy most. I always use my favorite fruits that I happen to already have in my refrigerator, just to keep it nice and simple.
Bionicos Sweet Crema Ingredients
Below are some of the most common ingredients used when making the bionicos cream recipe. Sometimes all are used and other times just a couple or so are combined.
- Mexican crema or sour cream (you can substitute with creme fraiche)
- plain yogurt (or Greek yogurt)
- sweetened condensed milk aka La Lechera
- vanilla extract
- coconut shavings or coconut flakes or shredded coconut
- chopped pecans or walnuts or any other type of nut
- chocolate chips or chocolate sprinkles
- raisins or dried fruits
Are Bionicos Vegan?
Traditionally speaking, no bionicos are not vegan, they are vegetarian because they are made with a dairy-based creamy mixture. But the wonderful thing about this special treat is that it’s so easy to make dairy-free bionicos with just a few minor changes. Check them out in the ingredients list below.
Vegan Bionicos Ingredients
Amigos, below are the ingredients I use when I make my vegan bionicos recipe. Please feel free to adjust things as you’d like.
- Apple: I like to use red delicious or fuji apple or golden delicious)
- Pear: I like green or Bosc or Forelle when available.
- other fruits: if I have them I’ll also use bananas and strawberries
- Mexican granola, I make my own Mexican granola
- chopped walnuts or pecans
- vanilla extract
- vegan crema (store bought or homemade and either my almond crema Mexicana or cashew crema )
- vegan yogurt, either plain or vanilla flavored
- vegan sweetened condensed milk (store bought or homemade)
- Coconut Flakes: I’m not a huge fan of them so don’t often have them at home to add to bionicos, feel free to add them if you’d like.
How to Make Bionicos
This fresh fruit bionico recipe is so incredibly easy to make and the preparation time is minimal, I promise you’re going to love it so much that it’s going to go on rotation in your house and become one of your favorite desserts too.
Traditionally the street food carts and restaurants will serve these fruit cocktails in disposable plastic containers, but it’s perfectly fine to serve them in either small bowls or cups at home.
I love to make repeated layers (like when making parfait) with my bionicos ingredients. Traditionally this is not done, so it’s up to you.
I highly suggest using cold or refrigerated fruits and ingredients to make the flavors pop even more.
Step 1: Chop and prepare all of the fruit you will be using and have individual bowls ready to use and serve your bionicos.
Step 2: In a medium mixing bowl combine the yogurt, crema and sweetened condensed milk until well combined. If you used plain yogurt you can mix in the vanilla too.
Step 3: If you’re going to make layers like me then pour in some sweet cream mixture onto the bottom of your bowl or cup. Next add a sprinkle of granola, then begin layering different fruits and repeating layers until you reach the top.
The traditional way is to add the fruit first then drizzle with the crema and lastly the toppings of choice.
Step 4: Finish off the top with another big drizzle of sweet crema mixture on top of the fruit and sprinkle granola, raisins and chopped nuts on top.
Step 5: Serve immediately so that the creamy texture doesn’t turn the granola too soggy. You want to have the creamy, crunchy and soft fruit textures.
How to Eat Bionicos
To eat bionicos it’s just as simple as grabbing a spoon and digging in. You have the sweet tender texture of the fruit, the crunch from the granola and nuts, combined with the creamy sweet sauce. So delicious!
Many people, and myself, consider this a sweet dessert or sweet treat in the middle of the day and have always served it as such. But there are plenty others that also enjoy bionicos as breakfast.
For my own personal taste and dietary needs, I don’t consider bionicos to be a top healthy breakfast item and this is due to the lack of enough protein and a bit too much sugar for my taste as the first meal of the day. If I was going to serve it as a breakfast I would probably consider mixing in some vegan protein powder into the cream sauce.
Having said that, everyone is able to choose for themselves how they’d like to eat bionicos and at what time of the day they choose to.
How to Store Bionicos
Bionicos are best made right before serving and enjoyed soon after putting them together.
If you want to make them ahead for say a brunch party, you can prepare the sweet crema the night before. As for the fruit only chop up the fruit that won’t turn brown the night before, the next day all other fruit should be chopped right before serving.
If you have leftovers store the fruit separate from the cream, granola and toppings otherwise things will go mushy.
Easy Bionicos Recipe
Amigos I just know that you’re going to really enjoy this Mexican fruit salad recipe. It’s a tasty dessert that’s perfect for the whole family and getting more fresh fruit into our bodies does add health benefits, so you can enjoy knowing that.
Buen provecho amigos and as always do leave me a comment below letting me know how you enjoyed my dairy-free bionicos recipe. Also remember that you can tag me on social media so I can see your delicious creations!
Easy Bionicos Recipe (Mexican Fruit Bowls)
- 1 large red delicious apple
- 1 large pear
- 2 cups chopped papaya
- 2 cups chopped pineapple
- 2 cups granola*
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 cup vegan yogurt
- 1 cup vegan sour cream*
- 1/4 cup vegan sweetened condensed milk or to taste
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- Chop and prepare all of the fruit you will be using and have individual bowls ready to use and serve your bionicos.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the yogurt, crema and sweetened condensed milk until well combined. If you used plain yogurt you can mix in the vanilla too.
- If you’re going to make layers like me then pour in some sweet cream mixture onto the bottom of your bowl or cup. Next add a sprinkle of granola, then begin layering different fruits and repeating layers until you reach the top.The traditional way is to add the fruit first then drizzle with the crema and lastly the toppings of choice.
- Finish off the top with another big drizzle of sweet crema mixture on top of the fruit and sprinkle granola, raisins and chopped nuts on top.
- Serve immediately so that the creamy texture doesn’t turn the granola too soggy. You want to have the creamy, crunchy and soft fruit textures.
Nancy Lopez is a food blogger and author of the cookbook Mexican Tamales Made Meatless. Born in Mexico, raised in the US, and currently living in Southern Mexico, she has followed a meatless diet for almost 10 years. It is her passion and mission to share all she has learned about vegan Mexican cooking and vegetarian Mexican recipes. Mexican Made Meatless is a blog dedicated to preserving the authentic flavors of Mexican cuisine just without the meat. It’s a place to celebrate Mexican culture and all it’s delightfully delicious traditional foods. Read more…