(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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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.
Source: California Prunes
(Family Features) Holiday meals are all about creating memories with loved ones at the family table. One way to make those special moments truly stand out is to fill your table with delicious recipes and the perfect wine pairings to help make the meal unforgettable.
Begin the dining experience with a perfect light bite like scallops to tease the taste buds. Try pairing this starter with a versatile option from an established producer like Louis Jadot Mâcon-Villages (SRP: $14.99) – which shows floral, apple and citrus aromas and flavors – to help bring out the distinct flavor profile. Choosing wines from an established producer is one way to help ensure you will select crowd-pleasing wines. For example, Jadot – one of the most trusted names in Burgundy – offers consistency and quality at an affordable price point.
“The scallops and truffles complement the wine’s crisp, bright and refreshing fruit finish beautifully,” said Allison Fasano, resident chef at Urbani Truffles. “The light citrus notes awaken the flavors of the scallops. The beurre blanc is buttery, and the earthiness of the truffles throughout makes for a perfect match with the wine.”
A hearty main course like Beef Tenderloin with Truffles alongside Louis Jadot Beaujolais-Villages (SRP: $13.99) – a crisp, fruit-forward, juicy wine with expressive aromas and flavors of ripe red berries – can help fulfill guests’ desires for a savory meal.
Find more affordable, versatile wines to pair with holiday recipes at Facebook.com/LoveJadot.
Beef Tenderloin with Truffles
(Filetto Di Manzo con Tartufo)
Recipe courtesy of Allison Fasano, Urbani Truffles resident chef
- 1 center-cut beef tenderloin, about 3 pounds
- freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch (optional)
- 1/2 ounce Urbani Black Truffles
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 white onion, diced
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 sage leaves
- 2 tablespoons Urbani Truffle Butter
- 2 cups dry wine, divided
- 2 shallots
- 1 cup beef stock
- Heat oven to 350° F. Season beef on all sides with salt and pepper.
- Heat skillet or pan to high with olive oil; add beef and sear all sides, about 3-4 minutes on each side, until brown and crust forms.
- Remove beef from pan and let rest. Add cornstarch, truffles, garlic, carrot, celery, onion, rosemary, bay leaves and sage leaves to skillet and lower heat to medium-low. Allow to cook 10-15 minutes, or until vegetables are soft. Add beef back to skillet.
- Deglaze skillet with 1 cup wine, scraping up brown bits from bottom of pan.
- Place skillet in oven to allow beef to finish cooking at desired temperature.
- While tenderloin is roasting, in saucepan over medium heat, melt truffle butter. Add shallots and saute until softened and lightly golden, 8-10 minutes. Add remaining wine and simmer until almost completely reduced. Add stock and simmer until it reduces and thickens slightly, about 10 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and season with salt and pepper.
Source: Kobrand Importers
(Family Features) Named for the earthy, exotic fungi they resemble, chocolate truffles require no hunting, digging or specially trained dogs and they won’t break the budget either. Real white truffles from Italy can set back the pocketbook more than $1000 for just one pound. Of course, chocolate truffles are a visual imitation only; they are sweet, addictive, and a great way to turn some organic chocolate, cream and butter into a decadent treat.
These ultra creamy truffles are made in the tradition of the Swiss style of chocolate truffle using heavy cream and butter to create what is called a ganache – a lovely French word for a mixture of chocolate and cream. According to Monique Hooker, Organic Valley’s French-born Chef, “using the best quality, organic cream and butter makes a difference.”
This recipe is so easy that kids can help and it is open to many variations. One option is to infuse the cream with some rich, floral Organic Madagascar vanilla extract, or split a whole vanilla bean and scrape the seeds into the cream as it simmers. Or, try using white chocolate, and roll the balls in finely minced sweetened coconut. For decoration, top each truffle with a small piece of roasted nut such as pistachio or pecan, a tiny candy, or if serving immediately, add one perfect raspberry to each truffle. Serve for parties, birthdays, or any occasion that needs a little chocolate.
For more dessert recipes using organic cream and butter, visit www.organicvalley.coop.
Easy Decadent Chocolate Truffles
Makes 25 truffles
- 1/2 cup Organic Valley heavy whipping cream
- 12 oz best quality semisweet chocolate (preferably Fair Trade and Organic) chopped into small pieces, or 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
- 6 tablespoons Organic Valley unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
- 3 tablespoons cocoa powder
- In a small heavy saucepan, bring the cream gently to a simmer over medium low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the chocolate and butter. Stir mixture just until the chocolate has completely melted, using very low heat if necessary. Remove from heat. Pour the chocolate mixture into a shallow bowl, and allow to cool. Cover tightly and refrigerate until firm, at least two hours or overnight.
- Line a cookie sheet or platter with baking parchment or waxed paper. Dip a teaspoon or small scoop such as a melon baller into warm water and scrape across the surface of the truffle mixture to form a 1-inch ball. Quickly roll balls in cocoa powder. Repeat with the remaining truffle mixture. Cover and refrigerate truffles. Serve in paper candy cups which are available in cookware shops or where cake decorating items are sold.
Variations: For a variety of truffles, roll balls in finely chopped nuts, finely minced sweetened coconut flakes, chocolate sprinkles, colored sugar or powdered sugar.
Tips: Truffles make a wonderful gift. Nothing says “I Love You” better than chocolate. Wrap a selection of truffles on a small red paper plate with cellophane and tie with a ribbon.
Source: Organic Valley