Deliciously Healthy Dishes from Sweet to Savory
Family Features - Supplementing meals and snacks with powerful, versatile ingredients can take healthy eating from bland and boring to delicious and adventurous. Take your breakfasts, appetizers, dinners and desserts to new heights while maintaining nutrition goals with naturally nutritious and surprisingly versatile California Prunes. Rich and smooth with an ability to enhance both sweet and savory flavors, they can expand your menu with nearly endless powerful pairing options. One serving of 4-5 prunes packs a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Together, these nutrients form a web of vital functions that support overall health. Whole, diced or pureed, the versatility of prunes allows you to enhance the flavor of recipes from morning to night in dishes like Citrus Breakfast Toast, which brings together vitamin B6 and copper from prunes and vitamin C from citrus to support a healthy immune system. Try Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Prune and Thyme Flatbreads for a tasty family meal, and while you wait for dinner to cook, you can serve up Prune, Mozzarella and Basil Skewers. These easy appetizers provide several key nutrients. Mozzarella is a good source of calcium and prunes provide vitamin K and copper, all of which support overall bone health. Make dessert a bit better for you but equally delectable with a vegan option like gluten-free, plant-based Prune and Almond Truffles. The soluble fiber in prunes helps lower serum cholesterol and blunt the effects of excessive sodium in the diet. Nuts like almonds provide good fats that help lower the risk for heart disease. Find more recipe ideas at CaliforniaPrunes.org. Caramelized Onion, Mozzarella, Prune and Thyme Flatbreads Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 1 hour, 30 minutes Yield: 4 flatbreads Caramelized Onions: 2 tablespoons olive oil 1/2 cup butter 6 large yellow sweet onions, sliced into thin half circles 3 sprigs fresh thyme coarse kosher salt, to taste Flatbreads: 4 personal flatbreads 1 cup caramelized onions 4 ounces fresh mozzarella 10 California Prunes, diced small 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves sea salt, to taste coarsely ground black pepper, to taste To make caramelized onions: Preheat oven to 400 F. In large stockpot over medium-low heat, warm oil and melt butter. Add onions and cover; cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add thyme sprigs and season with salt, to taste; turn pan lid slightly ajar. Place pot in oven 1 hour, stirring occasionally. To make flatbreads: Preheat oven to broil. On sheet pan, toast flatbreads under broiler 4 minutes, or until toasted, flipping halfway through. Spread 1/4 cup of caramelized onions over each toasted flatbread. Refrigerate leftover onions. Tear mozzarella and place over onions. Divide prunes among flatbreads and place flatbreads under broiler 4-6 minutes until cheese has melted and is beginning to brown. Sprinkle flatbreads with fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Citrus Breakfast Toast Prep time: 13 minutes Cook time: 2 minutes Servings: 2 Prune Puree: 16 ounces pitted California Prunes 1/2 cup hot water 1 large citrus fruit, peels and piths removed with knife, sliced into rounds 1 1/2 tablespoons raw sugar 4 tablespoons sunflower butter 2 slices whole-grain sourdough bread, toasted to desired darkness 2 tablespoons prune puree 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds 2 California Prunes, finely diced To make prune puree: In blender, pulse prunes and water to combine then blend until smooth, pourable consistency forms, scraping sides, if necessary. Store in airtight container up to 4 weeks. To make bruleed citrus wheels: Place citrus wheels on baking sheet and divide sugar evenly among each piece. Using circular motion, pass flame of culinary torch repeatedly over sugar until it boils and turns lightly charred and amber. To build toast: Spread 2 tablespoons sunflower butter on each piece of toast. Top each with 1 tablespoon prune puree spread evenly across sunflower butter. Sprinkle each evenly with sunflower seeds and diced prunes. Top each with half broiled citrus and serve. Alteration: Use broiler set on high instead of culinary torch to caramelize sugar. Prune and Almond Truffles Recipe courtesy of Meg of “This Mess is Ours” Prep time: 45 minutes Servings: 24 Water 1 cup California Prunes 1 1/2 cups toasted slivered almonds, divided 1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt, plus additional, to taste, divided 1 tablespoon cocoa powder 1 1/2 tablespoons vanilla paste or extract 1/4 teaspoon almond extract Boil water and pour over prunes. Soak 30 minutes; drain. In food processor fitted with “S” blade, pulse 1/2 cup toasted almonds with salt, to taste, until fine crumbs form. Transfer to shallow bowl and set aside. Add remaining almonds to food processor with 1/4 teaspoon salt and cocoa powder. Pulse 30 seconds to combine. Add prunes, vanilla paste and almond extract; process until combined. Mixture should be creamy with slight texture from almond crumbs. Transfer prune mixture to bowl and refrigerate 1 hour. Once chilled, use small cookie scoop to portion out individual truffles on parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently roll each truffle in reserved toasted almond crumbs. Store on parchment-lined plate in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Serve chilled. Prune, Mozzarella and Basil Skewers Prep time: 5 minutes Servings: 5 5 pieces prosciutto, halved lengthwise (optional) 10 California Prunes 10 basil leaves 10 cherry-size mozzarella balls If using prosciutto, fold each half in half lengthwise so width of prune is wider than width of prosciutto. Starting at one end of prosciutto, wrap one prune; repeat with remaining prosciutto. Set aside. Wrap one basil leaf around each mozzarella ball then thread onto skewer. Thread one prune or prosciutto-wrapped prune onto each skewer.