MISSION, Kan., February 21, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — (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 your nutritional goals with naturally nutritious and surprisingly versatile California prunes. Rich and creamy with an ability to enhance both sweet and savory flavors, they can expand your menu with nearly endless potent pairing options.
A serving of 4-5 prunes packs a powerful punch of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Together, these nutrients form a network of vital functions that support overall health.
Whole, diced or mashed, the versatility of prunes allows you to enhance the flavor of recipes from morning to night in dishes like the Citrus Breakfast Toast, which brings together vitamin B6 and copper from prunes and vitamin C from citrus fruits for support a healthy immune system.
Try the flatbreads with caramelized onions, mozzarella, prunes and thyme for a tasty family meal, and while you wait for dinner to cook, you can serve skewers with prunes, mozzarella and basil. These easy starters provide several key nutrients. Mozzarella is a good source of calcium and prunes provide vitamin K and copper, all of which contribute to overall bone health.
Make dessert a little better for you but just as delicious with a vegan option like gluten-free, plant-based prune and almond truffles. The soluble fiber in prunes helps lower serum cholesterol and lessen the effects of excess sodium in the diet. Nuts like almonds provide good fats that help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Find more recipe ideas at CaliforniaPrunes.org.
Flatbreads with caramelized onions, mozzarella, prune and thyme
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1h30
Yield: 4 flatbreads
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup butter
6 large yellow sweet onions, cut into thin semi-circles
3 sprigs of fresh thyme
coarse kosher salt, to taste
4 personal flatbreads
1 cup caramelized onions
4 ounces of fresh mozzarella
10 California prunes, finely diced
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
sea salt, to taste
coarsely ground black pepper, to taste
To make caramelized onions: Preheat oven to 400 F.
In a large pot over medium-low heat, heat the oil and melt the butter. Add onions and cover; cook 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the thyme sprigs and season with salt, to taste; turn the lid of the pan slightly ajar. Put the casserole in the oven for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
To make flatbreads: Preheat oven to broil. On a sheet pan, toast flatbreads under broiler for 4 minutes or until toasted, turning halfway through cooking.
Spread 1/4 cup caramelized onions on each toasted flatbread. Refrigerate the remaining onions.
Tear the mozzarella and place it over the onions. Divide the prunes over the flatbreads and place the flatbreads under the broiler for 4-6 minutes until the cheese has melted and begins to brown.
Sprinkle the flatbreads with fresh thyme and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Preparation time: 13 minutes
Cooking time: 2 minutes
16 ounces pitted California prunes
1/2 cup hot water
1 large citrus fruit, peel and pit removed with a knife, cut 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 tbsp sunflower seeds
2 California prunes, finely diced
To make prune puree: In a blender, combine prunes and water then blend until smooth and pourable, scraping down sides if necessary.
Store in an airtight container for up to 4 weeks.
To make Burnt Citrus Wheels: Place the citrus wheels on a baking sheet and distribute the sugar evenly between each piece.
Using a circular motion, pass the flame of the kitchen torch repeatedly over the sugar until it boils and turns slightly charred and amber.
To build toast: Spread 2 tablespoons sunflower butter on each toast. Top each with 1 tablespoon prune puree spread evenly over the sunflower butter. Sprinkle evenly with sunflower seeds and diced prunes. Garnish each with half-toasted citrus fruits and serve.
Modification: Use the grill set to high heat instead of the culinary torch to caramelize the sugar.
Prune and Almond Truffles
Recipe courtesy of Meg from “This Mess is Ours”
Preparation time: 45 minutes
1 cup California prunes
1 1/2 cups toasted slivered almonds, divided
1/4 tsp 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 the prunes. Soak 30 minutes; drain.
In a food processor fitted with an “S” blade, blend 1/2 cup toasted almonds with salt, to taste, until a fine crumb forms. Transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside.
Add the remaining almonds to the food processor along with 1/4 tsp salt and the cocoa powder. Pulse 30 seconds to combine. Add prunes, vanilla paste and almond extract; process until they are combined. The mixture should be creamy with a light almond crumb texture. Transfer the prune mixture to a bowl and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Once cooled, use a small cookie scoop to spread the individual truffles onto a parchment-lined baking sheet. Gently roll each truffle in the reserved toasted almond crumbs. Store on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Serve as fresh.
Prune, mozzarella and basil skewers
Preparation time: 5 minutes
5 pieces of prosciutto, halved lengthwise (optional)
10 California prunes
10 basil leaves
10 cherry-sized mozzarella balls
If using prosciutto, fold each half in half lengthwise so the width of the prune is wider than the width of the prosciutto. Starting at one end of the prosciutto, wrap a prune; repeat with remaining prosciutto. Put aside.
Wrap a basil leaf around each ball of mozzarella then thread onto a skewer. Thread a prune or prune wrapped in prosciutto onto each skewer.
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