arugula fennel and dried plum flatbread

“I received free samples of California Dried Plums mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by California Dried Plum Board and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”

Arugula, Fennel and Dried Plum Flatbread, a simple, sweet and savory summertime dinner!

Arugula, Fennel and Dried Plum Flatbread ~vegetarian~

As part of Recipe Redux, I was given samples of California Dried Plums to experiment with.  I instantly ripped open the package on the way back from the mail box for a taste!  These aren’t the dried plums (aka prunes) that were a staple in my grandma’s diet (for the obvious reasons!)…these were plump, sweet and delicious!

After refraining from eating all the samples, I got down to business.  I tossed around the idea of baking with them, but decided to keep them in their whole form as to not mask their natural sugary flavor!  For more of a “meal” than a salad, I served this creation on top of a warm flatbread pizza.  Salted pumpkin seeds add some crunch and the plums nicely balance out the unique licorice flavor of fennel and bitter greens.  I did add some locally made Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, but this recipe can be easily veganized by leaving it out :)

arugula, fennel and dried plum flatbread
Arugula, fennel and dried plum flatbread, a simple and sweet summertime meal! Makes 8 servings
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegetarian
Serves: 8
  • 1 whole wheat pizza dough
  • 2 cups arugula
  • ¼ cup salted pumpkin seeds
  • ¼ cup fennel, sliced thin
  • ½ cup California Dried Plums, chopped
  • ⅓ cup parmigiano reggiano flakes (optional)
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette:
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1.5 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 California Dried Plums
  • sea salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook pizza dough on an oiled pan or pizza stone on 450 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly golden.
  2. Meanwhile, combine arugula, pumpkin seeds, fennel, and California Dried Plums in a large bowl. In a food processor, blend together olive oil, balsamic vinegar and dried plums until dried plums are pulverized. Drizzle vinaigrette on salad and toss to coat. Taste and adjust sea salt and pepper as needed.
  3. Serve arugula salad on flat bread, top with parmigiano reggiano flakes and enjoy!

Arugula, Fennel and Dried Plum Flatbread ~vegetarian~

May kicks off National Osteoporosis Month, a time to bring attention and awareness to the disease that affects 9 million Americans. (National Osteoporosis Foundation)  Making changes in your diet and lifestyle are essential for prevention and slowing the progress of osteoporosis. Getting adequate vitamin D and including foods high in calcium, potassium, magnesium, vitamin K and vitamin C is essential for bone health.

Did you know dried plums help support healthy bones?

Emerging research shows that eating dried plums may have positive effects on bone health. Previous studies discovered that eating 100 grams (two servings; about 8- 10 dried plums) of dried plums for one year was associated with increased bone mineral density (BMD) and improved indices of bone turnover in postmenopausal women. At Experimental Biology, March 28- April 1, 2015, a current study presented as a poster, examined whether 50 grams (one serving; about 4-5 dried plums) would be as effective as the larger dose. The results indicated that one serving of dried plums may be as effective in preventing bone loss in older, osteopenic postmenopausal women.


California dried plums can be added to savory recipes such as this one, or can be a healthy substitute to baked goods!

  If your recipe calls for butter or oil as the fat source, you can reduce your fat by half and then add and replace what you have taken away with the same measurement of prune purée. Just remember to reduce your sugar by half in most recipes, since the prunes are naturally sweet.

Check out the other Recipe Redux California Dried Plum creations!

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dark chocolate cherry pistachio bars

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bars, a healthy blend for a sweet and tart on-the-go treat!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bars ~vegan, gluten free~

This month’s Recipe Redux asked us to pick a pantry item and revamp it into something amazing, I picked pistachios.  I had a lonely bag of unsalted pistachios kicking around in the back of my pantry since Christmas because let’s face it, who likes snacking on unsalted pistachios?!?  I bought them by accident, oops!

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bars ~vegan, gluten free~

Here’s my chance to finally use them and stop feeling guilty every time I open the pantry door!

Pistachios, dried cherries, oats, dates, brown rice syrup and last but not least…dark chocolate!

The brown rice syrup is just that…very sticky syrup, you will get a workout in trying to mix the bowl!  However, its stickiness is perfect for holding these bars together, similar to the rice crispy treats I made at Easter.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bars ~vegan, gluten free~

dark chocolate cherry pistachio bars
Prep time
Total time
Dark Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bars, a sweet and tart on-the-go treat! Makes 16 bars
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 16
  • 10 dates, pitted
  • ½ cup brown rice syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 tablespoon hemp seeds
  • ⅓ cup old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup shelled unsalted pistachios, chopped
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • ⅓ cup mini dark chocolate chips (plus ¼ cup extra for drizzled topping, optional)
  • pinch sea salt
  1. Blend pitted dates in a food processor until a paste is formed (if dates are really dry soak in warm water for 10 minutes before blending), transfer to a bowl.
  2. Add brown rice syrup, chia seeds, hemp seeds, oats, chopped pistachios, dried cherries, ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips and pinch of sea salt. Mix until well combined.
  3. Transfer to an 8x8 baking pan lined with parchment paper. Evenly spread and press down firmly using the back of a large spoon. Place in refrigerator to chill. Once chilled, cut into 16 squares using a large sharp knife.
  4. Optional step: Melt ¼ mini dark chocolate chips in a double boiler. Drizzle over cut bars and let chocolate set.
  5. Enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 bar Calories: 203 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 35 Sugar: 26 Fiber: 3 Protein: 3

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bars ~vegan, gluten free~

The health benefits of pistachios are many!

Here’s the breakdown:

~Over 50% of the fat they contain are the heart healthy kind, monounsaturated fat

~High in fiber and protein

~A good source of B vitamins

~High in minerals such as copper, magnesium and selenium

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pistachio Bars ~vegan, gluten free~

For an on-the-go snack, individually wrap in parchment paper and store in the refrigerator! 

Make sure to check out how the other members of Recipe Redux tackled this month’s challenge!

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