recipes

Dessert 02 October 2023

Sweeten the Holiday Season with Deliciously Creamy Desserts

(Family Features) Once the table is cleared and gifts are put away, it’s often time for one of the favorite moments of holiday gatherings. The taste (and smell) of those divine desserts you may only make once a year is enough to keep guests hungry even after the main course.

Put a new staple on holiday menus for years to come with this Cran-Raspberry Quinoa Pudding Trifle that combines fresh raspberries, vibrant cranberry sauce, orange juice and orange zest for a unique dessert. Ready in 30 minutes, it can be an easy way to impress everyone at the table with a creamy pudding base inspired by favorite winter flavors.

As a tasty treat that’s ideal for just about any occasion, this take on rice pudding is made using Success Boil-in-Bag Tri-Color Quinoa, which offers a heat-safe, BPA-free and FDA-approved bag and is easily prepared in just 10 minutes. Its light, nutty flavor and versatility creates a pudding that’s perfect for a wide range of pairings, from satisfying chocoholics or pumpkin-spice fanatics to whipping up a sweet, simple dessert.

For a comforting dish full of familiar cold-weather flavors, serve Pumpkin Pecan Rice Pudding Bars. Pumpkin-spice fanatics can enjoy their favorite ingredient mixed into a rice pudding base sweetened with coconut milk, brown sugar, vanilla extract, whipping cream and maple syrup.

This holiday-inspired dessert relies on the fluffiness of Success Boil-in-Bag White Rice as a high-quality, precooked solution. The boil-in-bag rice is quick and easy with no measuring and no mess, and it’s ready in 10 minutes to make seasonal recipes a cinch.

Find more sweet holiday recipe inspiration at SuccessRice.com.

Cran-Raspberry Quinoa Pudding Truffle

Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Quinoa Pudding:

  • 2 bags Success Tri-Color Quinoa
  • 4 cups almond milk
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Creamy Yogurt Layer:

  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

Cran-Raspberry Layer:

  • 1/2 cup cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest
  • 2 cups fresh raspberries
  • 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 2 cups gluten-free vanilla cookies, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
  1. To make quinoa pudding: Prepare quinoa according to package directions, substituting almond milk for water. Drain, reserving almond milk.
  2. Remove quinoa from bags and stir into almond milk in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in honey, vanilla and cinnamon. Bring to simmer. Cook, stirring constantly, 5-8 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Refrigerate 45-60 minutes, or until well chilled.
  3. To make creamy yogurt layer: In large bowl, stir yogurt, honey and vanilla. In separate bowl, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Stir whipped cream into yogurt mixture until blended. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. To make cran-raspberry layer: In medium bowl, stir cranberry sauce, orange juice and orange zest. Gently fold in raspberries.
  5. To assemble: In 10-cup trifle dish, layer 1/3 quinoa mixture, 2 tablespoons almonds, 1/3 cran-raspberry mixture, 1/3 vanilla cookies and 1/3 yogurt mixture. Repeat layers twice. Garnish with remaining raspberries and almonds.

Pumpkin Pecan Rice Pudding Bars

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Servings: 4-6

  • 1 bag Success White Rice
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 4 cups coconut milk
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread pecans on baking sheet and toast 8-10 minutes. Cool then chop.
  2. In large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine milk, pumpkin, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Bring to boil, stirring constantly. Slowly add about 1/2 cup hot liquid to eggs and beat well. Stir egg mixture back into saucepan and cook over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cooked rice, vanilla and pecans.
  3. Pour mixture into greased 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes, or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
  4. Whip heavy cream to soft peaks then add maple syrup and continue beating until peaks form. Serve with warm pudding.

Tip: For sweeter pudding, increase brown sugar to 1 1/2 cups.

Source:

Success Rice

Meal Ideas 05 September 2023

3 Steps Toward a Healthier Heart

(Family Features) All aspects of health are important, but heart health is a crucial component of overall well-being. Heart disease is the leading cause of death among Americans but it doesn’t need to be – lifestyle choices play a key role in heart health and it’s never too soon to adopt healthful habits. 

From exercising and getting proper sleep to healthy eating – including heart-friendly snacks like grapes – consider these simple steps.

Eat Right
Adopting a balanced and nutritious diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and healthy fats can impact heart health. One way you may lower your risk for heart disease is by
As an easy, convenient, heart-healthy food, grapes are a perfect ingredient for a heart-friendly eating plan that includes recipes like Grape, Broccoli and Avocado Salad with Toasty Oat Topping. Savory broccoli slaw pairs with the delicate sweetness of crisp, juicy Grapes from California while the toasted oat topping provides a crunchy finish.

Grapes are low in sodium and a good source of vitamin K, which promotes heart health, and contain 7% of the daily recommended intake of potassium, a nutrient critical to heart health. Grapes are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols and help maintain healthy circulation by promoting the relaxation of blood vessels.

In fact, according to a study published in the “Journal of Nutrition,” men with metabolic syndrome who consumed 1 1/2 cups of grapes every day showed reduced blood pressure, improved blood vessel function and a decrease in a key marker of inflammation.

Women who consumed 1 1/4 cups of grapes every day as part of a separate study published in the “Journal of Nutrition” benefited from reduced blood triglyceride levels, LDL cholesterol levels, inflammatory proteins and other markers of heart disease.

Get Quality Sleep
Sleep is also critical for a healthy heart.  Most experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults. To help achieve that goal, create a bedtime routine by waking up and going to sleep at consistent times. Also ensure a comfortable sleep space by turning off electronics and setting the thermostat to a cozy temperature.

Exercise
A regular exercise routine can have a positive impact on many areas of health. It can be especially beneficial for heart health by lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation and aiding in maintaining a healthy weight. At least 150 minutes per week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity is recommended by the American Heart Association.  Fuel your workout and recovery with heart-healthy and hydrating foods such as grapes.

Find more heart-healthy recipes at GrapesFromCalifornia.com.

Grape, Broccoli and Avocado Salad with Toasty Oat Topping

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

Toasted Oat Topping:

  • 1/2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/3 cup sliced almonds, coarsely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons steel-cut oats
  • 1/8 teaspoon seasoned salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning

Dressing:

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup quartered red or green Grapes from California
  • 1/4 cup wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste

Salad:

  • 1 bag (12 ounces) broccoli slaw
  • 2 cups lightly packed torn curly kale
  • 1 1/2 cups halved Grapes from California
  • 1/2 cup minced red onion
  • 1/3 cup chopped dried figs
  • freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 large, firm but ripe avocado, diced
  1. To make toasted oat topping: In medium skillet over medium-low heat, cook butter, almonds, oats, salt and Italian herb seasoning about 5 minutes, or until lightly toasted and fragrant, stirring frequently.
  2. To make dressing: In small blender, puree olive oil, grapes, wine vinegar, honey, sea salt and pepper, to taste, until smooth.
  3. To make salad: In large bowl, mix broccoli slaw, kale, grapes, red onion and figs; season with pepper, to taste, and drizzle with dressing; toss well to coat. Add avocado and toss lightly. Transfer to six serving plates or bowls and sprinkle with toasted oat topping.

Nutritional information per serving: 320 calories; 5 g protein; 29 g carbohydrates; 22 g fat (62% calories from fat); 3.5 g saturated fat (10% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 160 mg sodium; 7 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

 

Beverages 04 August 2023

Getting to the Gut of It: Dietitian-approved tips for overall wellness

(Family Features) Social media frequently touts weight loss trends and solutions. However, there’s another aspect to healthy eating that’s underappreciated but critical for overall wellness – gut health.

The body contains approximately 40 trillion bacteria, most of which are found in your gut, according to “Molecular Science.” The right balance of these bacteria is the key to good gut health.

Keeping your digestive system on track plays an important role in overall well-being, including immune health and mental health, according to “Clinical Practice.” When there is a gut bacteria imbalance, many people experience discomfort or digestive issues.

To help improve and maintain gut health – and your overall wellness – consider these tips from Mia Syn, MS, RDN, and Chobani:
 

  1. Get a dose of probiotics. Probiotics are live microorganisms that provide health benefits when consumed. They aid digestion and help maintain a healthy balance between good and bad bacteria.
     
  2. Focus on fiber. Fiber helps keep digestion running smoothly. One type of fiber, prebiotics, may be especially beneficial because they help nourish and support the growth of good gut bacteria to create a balanced and healthy microbiome.
     
  3. Power up with protein. While protein is not directly involved in nourishing gut bacteria, it provides essential amino acids and other nutrients that contribute to a healthy gut and overall digestive function. Protein is essential for the repair and maintenance of the gut lining, digestive enzyme production, efficient gut motility and more.
     

Options like Chobani Zero Sugar Drinks (not a low-calorie food) provide 10 grams of protein per 7-ounce serving, plus billions of probiotics. Available in four flavors – Mixed Berry, Peaches & Cream, Strawberry Cheesecake and Milk & Cookies – the drinks are perfect while on-the-go or can be used as an ingredient in recipes like this Protein-Powered Chia Pudding 4 Ways. Sweetened with only natural sugar alternatives, free of lactose and preservatives, these drinks contain 0 grams total sugar, are 50 calories and are made using only natural, non-GMO ingredients.

Find more recipes and solutions to support gut health at Chobani.com.

Protein-Powered Chia Pudding 4 Ways

Prep time: 15 minutes
Servings: 1 per flavor

Mixed Berry Blast:

  • 1 Chobani Zero Sugar Mixed Berry Drink
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries or chopped strawberries)

Peaches and Cream Dream:

  • 1 Chobani Zero Sugar Peaches & Cream Drink
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons manuka honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 peach, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sliced almonds

Strawberry Cheesecake Delight:

  • 1 Chobani Zero Sugar Strawberry Cheesecake Drink
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons low-sugar granola

Milk and Cookies Madness:

  • 1 Chobani Zero Sugar Milk & Cookies Drink
  • 3 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons cacao nibs
  • 2 teaspoons chopped hazelnuts
  1. To make Mixed Berry Blast: In small bowl, use fork to whisk mixed berry drink, chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Let mixture sit 10 minutes to thicken then stir to distribute seeds. Stir in 1/2 cup berries and transfer to serving glass. Top with remaining berries.
  2. To make Peaches and Cream Dream: In small bowl, use fork to whisk peaches and cream drink, chia seeds, honey and vanilla extract. Let mixture sit 10 minutes to thicken then stir to distribute seeds. Stir in half the peaches and transfer to serving glass. Top with remaining peaches and sliced almonds.
  3. To make Strawberry Cheesecake Delight: In small bowl, use fork to whisk strawberry cheesecake drink, chia seeds, maple syrup and vanilla extract. Let mixture sit on 10 minutes to thicken then stir to distribute seeds. Stir in 1/2 cup strawberries and transfer to serving glass. Top with remaining strawberries and granola.
  4. To make Milk and Cookies Madness: In small bowl, use fork to whisk milk and cookies drink, chia seeds, maple syrup, cocoa powder and vanilla extract. Let mixture sit 10 minutes to thicken then stir to distribute seeds. Transfer to serving glass and top with cacao nibs and chopped hazelnuts.

Source: Chobani

Main Dishes 13 June 2023

Sweeten Up Family Favorites with Fresh, Delicious Fruit

Add a Touch of Sweetness

(Family Features) When your family’s favorite dishes inevitably grow tired, a touch of sweetness may be all you need to freshen up the flavor of classic recipes. Keep tried-and-true dinners on the table with a simple addition that complements the tastes you know and love: fresh fruit.

With its craveable texture and crunch, balanced sweetness and beautiful golden red color, an option like Envy Apples can be enjoyed as part of delicious meals. While they’re often best served fresh or paired with cheese boards, sandwiches or mocktails, their sweetness also plays up when combined with pasta, shrimp, Parmesan, toasted almonds and more in this Apples and Pesto Farfalle.

To change up Taco Tuesday, bite into these Crisp Apple Tacos and believe in the uplifting aroma and flavor of apples as an invitation to savor those small moments around the family table. It can be your ultimate apple experience and introduce loved ones to new ways to rethink their favorite weekly meals.

Plus, because Envy Apple slices naturally stay white longer than other varieties, they maintain their beauty while you cook so finished dishes look as delicious as they taste.

To find more ways to sweeten up family meals, visit EnvyApple.com.

Apples and Pesto Farfalle

  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus additional for cooking pasta, divided
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for cooking pasta, to taste, divided
  • 1 bunch parsley leaves
  • 1 cup toasted almonds
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 30 turns fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 cups cooked peas
  • 2 Envy Apples, diced
  • 1 bunch chives, thinly sliced
  • 1 block Parmesan
  • 20 shrimp
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoons coarse pepper
  1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water until just tender. Drain and toss gently with olive oil, to taste, then set aside.
  2. In food processor, pulse parsley leaves, almonds, shredded Parmesan, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, lemon juice and cracked pepper. Once pulsed, turn processor on high and drizzle in 1/3 cup olive oil until well incorporated.
  3. Toss pasta with fresh pesto until well coated. Fold in peas, apples and chives. Using peeler, shave thin slices off Parmesan block over pasta for garnish.
  4. Preheat grill or grill pan over high heat.
  5. Toss shrimp in canola oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and coarse pepper. Grill 2 minutes on each side, or until charred slightly. Spread evenly over pasta and serve.

Crisp Apple Tacos

  • 2 Envy Apples
  • 1/2 pound pork tenderloin
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup shredded green cabbage
  • 4 tablespoons honey
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 12 tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  1. Slice half of one apple into thick wedges; reserve. Slice remaining half into thin sticks; reserve. Slice second apple into thin wedges; reserve.
  2. Cut pork crosswise into 1-inch round medallions. Coat pork medallions with olive oil, salt and pepper then add to saucepan over medium heat. Add thick apple wedges to saucepan.
  3. Add rosemary to saucepan and cook 2-3 minutes. Flip pork and cook 2-3 minutes until pork is slightly golden and cooked through.
  4. Let pork rest 3 minutes then slice into strips.
  5. In serving bowl, toss thin apple sticks, carrots, red cabbage and green cabbage. Mix honey, mayonnaise, mustard and vinegar. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  6. Mix dressing and cabbage; refrigerate at least 1 hour prior to serving.
  7. Top tortillas with pork, slaw, sour cream and squeezes of lime. Top with thin apple wedges.

Source: Envy Apples

Appetizers & Sides 22 February 2023

Inspire Creativity with Fun Snack Hacks

(Family Features) School days offer nearly endless opportunities for learning and exploration in the classroom, but education doesn’t have to end with the final bell. Parents can ensure their students feel energetic, creative and confident by inspiring snack choices that are as smart as they are fun to make together.

Whether you’re whipping up a snack to send to school or your little learners need an energy boost before starting afternoon homework, creative snacking can help encourage inspiration. As a trusted ally with better-for-you and convenient whole-fruit lunchbox snacks kids can enjoy, Sun-Maid offers these easy tips and ways to embrace the fun side of snack time.

  • Keep It Simple: Look for recipes with five ingredients or less so your children can show their artful nature without becoming overwhelmed. Plus, this often leads to a more budget-friendly at-home treat.
  • Shop Together: Gathering ingredients and equipment is an important part of any recipe, and bringing your future chefs along helps them feel like it’s their creation from start to finish. Additionally, some important life lessons can be learned along the way, like how to navigate the store and compare costs.
  • Provide Kid-Friendly Instructions: There are many ways kids can lend a hand in making their own snacks, like mixing ingredients, washing produce or arranging a plate or platter. However, some steps are best left to the adults – make sure to do any cutting, slicing or dicing before letting children take the reins, for example, then just enjoy the creative fun.

With childhood favorites like crackers, marshmallows and vanilla yogurt covered raisins, Gimme S’mores Trail Mix offers a perfect way to get young minds thinking in the kitchen. A little guidance is all it takes to teach them each step of the recipe to make a crafty, delicious treat. Plus, with only a few simple ingredients that just need to be mixed together, it’s a low-stress, low-mess way to cook up creativity.

For a healthier version of a snack time superstar, Apple Nachos combine sweet apples like Honeycrisp, peanut butter and versatile, whole-fruit Sun-Maid Raisins. Naturally made with nothing but grapes and California sunshine, these sweet raisins have been trusted as a better-for-you snack for kids and grown-up kids alike since 1912.

With zero grams of added sugars, they give parents the confidence they need to choose snacks that provide both great taste and nutrition for a happy and healthy family. As a household staple, they can be enjoyed as part of tasty recipes or as a standalone treat kids crave and parents approve.

Find more sweet ideas to inspire confidence and creativity at sunmaid.com.

Gimme S’mores Trail Mix

Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 6

  • 1/2       cup Sun-Maid Vanilla Yogurt Covered Raisins
  • 3          cups graham crackers, assorted flavors
  • 1 1/2    cups colored mini marshmallows
  • 2          cups slivered almonds
  • 1          cup chocolate chips
  1. In large bowl, mix raisins, graham crackers, marshmallows, almonds and chocolate chips.
  2. Serve immediately, or store in airtight container up to 1 week.

Apple Nachos

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 1 minute
Servings: 4

  • 5          sweet apples, such as Honeycrisp
  • lemon juice (optional)
  • 2          tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2       cup Sun-Maid California Sun-Dried Raisins
  1. Wash and slice apples.
  2. Arrange one layer of sliced apples on serving plate. To keep apples from browning quickly, squeeze lemon juice on top, if desired.
  3. In microwave, melt peanut butter about 30 seconds until smooth.
  4. Drizzle 1 tablespoon peanut butter over first layer of apples. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup raisins.
  5. Repeat with remaining apples, peanut butter and raisins.

Source: Sun-Maid Raisins

Healthy 16 February 2022

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
  1. To make caramelized onions: Preheat oven to 400 F.
  2. 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.
  3. To make flatbreads: Preheat oven to broil. On sheet pan, toast flatbreads under broiler 4 minutes, or until toasted, flipping halfway through.
  4. Spread 1/4 cup of caramelized onions over each toasted flatbread. Refrigerate leftover onions.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  1. To make prune puree: In blender, pulse prunes and water to combine then blend until smooth, pourable consistency forms, scraping sides, if necessary.
  2. Store in airtight container up to 4 weeks.
  3. To make bruleed citrus wheels: Place citrus wheels on baking sheet and divide sugar evenly among each piece.
  4. Using circular motion, pass flame of culinary torch repeatedly over sugar until it boils and turns lightly charred and amber.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  1. Boil water and pour over prunes. Soak 30 minutes; drain.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  1. 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.
  2. Wrap one basil leaf around each mozzarella ball then thread onto skewer. Thread one prune or prosciutto-wrapped prune onto each skewer.

Source: California Prunes

Appetizers & Sides 19 January 2022

5 Reasons to Eat More Tart Cherries

(Family Features) If you want to add superfoods to your diet in the new year, Montmorency tart cherries may be perfect for you.

Montmorency is the variety of tart cherries grown in America, primarily on small family farms. Compared to sweet cherries that are typically eaten fresh during the summer season, tart cherries are available year-round as dried, frozen, canned, juice and juice concentrate.  

Decades of scientific research has shown Montmorency tart cherries are deserving of their superfood reputation. Here are five reasons to enjoy them more often:

  • Sleep: Tart cherries are one of the few food sources of melatonin and have been the focus of multiple sleep studies.
  • Exercise recovery: Tart cherry juice has become a popular exercise recovery drink for athletes.
  • Arthritis and gout: Studies have explored the impact of Montmorency tart cherry juice consumption on gout attacks and arthritis symptoms.
  • Heart health: Montmorency tart cherry research has examined blood pressure and blood lipids.
  • Versatility: Although they remain perfect for pie, tart cherries can easily transition from sweet to savory, adding complex flavors to oatmeal, smoothies, salads, granola bars, trail mix and grain bowls.

Look for dried U.S.-grown tart cherries at the store and online for enjoyment at the start of your day and at night in recipes like Tart Cherry Overnight Oats and Tart Cherry Bedtime Bites.

Find more recipes and scientific research at ChooseCherries.com.

A Dark, Colorful Clue

The deep red color is your clue to the science-based benefits of Montmorency tart cherries. The vibrant hue is due to the concentration of anthocyanins, a type of polyphenol in the flavonoids family that has been widely studied.

Tart Cherry Bedtime Bites

Recipe courtesy of the Cherry Industry Administrative Board
Yield: 12 bites

  • 6 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded coconut flakes
  • 3/4 cup unsalted cashews
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 pinch fine sea salt
  1. In food processor, process dates until broken into pea-sized bits. Add dried tart cherries, coconut flakes, cashews, almond extract and sea salt; process until combined. Form into 12 balls and chill 2 hours.

Tart Cherry Overnight Oats

Recipe courtesy of the Cherry Industry Administrative Board
Servings: 2

  • 1 cup dried tart cherries, plus additional for topping (optional)
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, plus additional for topping (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons tart cherry concentrate
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • honey, for topping (optional)
  1. In large jar or container, mix cherries, oats, milk, almonds, cherry concentrate, chia seeds and cinnamon. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Spoon into bowls and enjoy cold or warmed up. Drizzle with honey or sprinkle with extra dried tart cherries and almonds, if desired.

Source: Cherry Industry Administrative Board

Healthy 15 November 2021

Make Cooking Fun for the Whole Family with this Sweet, Seasonal Snack

(Family Features) No matter how busy your schedule gets this fall, it’s important to take time to nurture your physical and mental health and well-being. With busy schedules underway, remember to take time to cook and eat together with loved ones.

In fact, research from the “Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health” shows regular family meals make it more likely kids and adults will eat more fruits and vegetables.

Making healthy choices, including eating fruits, like those in Apple Nachos, and vegetables have also been linked to greater happiness, according to research published in “Canadian Family Physician,” and can help you through the transition back to school, the office or wherever your routine takes you. Pairing a healthy diet with other science-backed tips and recipes from the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative, supported by Kroger Health, can help you and your family feel your best.

For more free recipes, and to access more health tips, visit heart.org/healthyforgood.
 

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

 

Apple Nachos

Recipe courtesy of the American Heart Association’s Healthy for Good initiative
Servings: 6

  • 1/3       cup dried unsweetened cranberries or raisins
  • 1/4       cup sliced unsalted almonds
  • 2          tablespoons unsalted shelled sunflower seeds
  • 3          medium green or red apples, cored and thinly sliced into 12 wedges each, divided
  • 1-2       teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2          tablespoons water
  • 1/4       cup smooth low-sodium peanut butter
  • 1          tablespoon honey
  1. In small bowl, stir cranberries, almonds and sunflower seeds.
  2. Layer 18 apple wedges on large plate or platter. Sprinkle with lemon juice to keep apples from browning.
  3. In small microwaveable bowl, microwave water on high 2 minutes, or until boiling. Add peanut butter and honey, stirring until mixture is smooth.
  4. Using spoon, drizzle half peanut butter mixture over apple wedges. Sprinkle with half cranberry mixture. Layer remaining apples over cranberry mixture. Drizzle with remaining peanut butter mixture. Sprinkle remaining cranberry mixture over top.

Nutritional information per serving: 167 calories; 7.5 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 0 g trans fat; 2.5 g polyunsaturated fat; 3.5 g monounsaturated fat; 0 mg cholesterol; 66 mg sodium; 22 g carbohydrates; 4 g fiber; 15 g sugar; 4 g protein.

Source: American Heart Association

Videos 27 October 2021

Add Grapes to Your Holiday Gatherings

(Family Features) Add a special touch this holiday season with simple yet stunning small plates that add beauty and flavor to gatherings with friends and family.

Available into January, California grapes offer a way to make the season special as an ingredient in your favorite recipes or as decoration for a festive centerpiece. Pops of red, green and black provide a seasonal touch and they’re perfect as an easy, fresh, healthy snack.

Plus, you can dip grapes in nut butter and finish with coatings of coconut, dark chocolate and almonds to make these Peanut Butter Grape Bites for a holiday treat that’s simply divine – without spending hours in the kitchen.

Visit grapesfromcalifornia.com to find more holiday recipe inspiration.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Peanut Butter Grape Bites

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
Yield: 12 pieces

12        California grapes, chilled
1/3       cup natural peanut or almond butter
1/4       cup shredded coconut
1/4       cup chopped dark chocolate
1/4       cup chopped almonds

Place sheet of wax paper on baking sheet. Dip each grape in nut butter to coat half then dip in either coconut, dark chocolate or chopped almonds. Transfer to sheet then chill until ready to serve.

Nutritional analysis per serving: 70 calories; 2 g protein; 4 g carbohydrates; 5 g fat (64% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (19% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 25 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.

Source: California Table Grape Commission

Snacks 01 October 2021

A Show-Stopping Strawberry Snack

(Culinary.net) When you are craving something sweet, sometimes you just can’t get it off your mind until you have just one bite. You need something small, delicious and something that will ease your cravings. This recipe for Chocolate Coated Strawberry Treats is not only fun to make, but will give you that perfect little snack you have been longing for.

The recipe begins with fresh strawberries and ends with a drizzle of mouthwatering peanut butter sauce. This is a great recipe for little ones looking to help out in the kitchen. These strawberries are fun to dip and even more enjoyable to devour.

This snack can also be perfect for date night, a romantic date or just a picnic in the park with friends. They are easy to transport from place to place and don’t leave a huge mess behind to clean up afterwards.

It’s also simple to just melt, whisk, dip and repeat. The red, ripe berries are bursting with color and the chocolate is glazed right across the top for the perfect bite.

The best part is you can be creative and dip these strawberries into a number of your favorite ingredients you already have in your pantry at home. This includes, sprinkles, small candies, white chocolate drizzle and different kinds of nuts. The possibilities are endless.

Next time you can’t get chocolate off your mind, enjoy something delightful, rich and a show-stopping snack.

Find more snack recipes at Culinary.net.

If you made this recipe at home, use #MyCulinaryConnection on your favorite social network to share your work.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Chocolate Coated Strawberry Treats

Servings: 5

  • 1 1/4    baking chocolate chips
  • 1/2       baking peanut butter chips
  • 3          tablespoons coconut oil, divided
  • 1          pound fresh strawberries
  • shredded coconut
  • crushed almonds
  1. In saucepan, add baking chocolate chips and two tablespoons of coconut oil. Melt on low to medium heat and whisk until smooth.
  2. In a small bowl, add baking peanut butter chips and 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Microwave in 30 second intervals until melted. Whisk together until smooth.
  3. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Dip all strawberries into melted chocolate. Then, dip 1/3 in coconut, 1/3 in almonds and 1/3 just chocolate and lay on tray.
  5. Drizzle the melted peanut butter over the plain chocolate strawberries.
  6. Put in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or until strawberry treats are chilled.

Source: Culinary.net

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