Prunes: Be a Yay-Sayer!

If you’ve read our blog for a while, you’ve seen us sing the praises of the Prune on many occasions. We’ve actually maybe been kind of defensive of this fruit at times. It has, after all, been the butt of jokes (can we get a ha ha?) because of its ability to help those with, um, passage issues. We’ve moved way past the snickering and trust you have, too. We’d much rather think of the Prune as a majestic, versatile and nutritious part of life. It deserves a place in your diet and in your pantry. Read on and see why. Prunes, sometimes referred

A Penchant for Prunes: Fall Beauties Are Ready!

We can’t help but boast a bit: Our Prunes are spectacular. We grow, harvest and dry them ourselves right here at Bella Viva Orchards. Now, if your grandmother made you eat Prunes as a kid, maybe it’s time to rethink them. They are worthy, for sure! You can incorporate Prunes into your diet any time of the day, from fruity and sweet breakfasts to lunchbox companions to savory dinner entrees. And yes, they make a prime midday snack that’s filled with good nutrition and help keep you full ‘til dinnertime. Besides being great for intestinal health – thanks for making that clear, Grandmother –

Prunes and Pluots are Ready!

Would it help if we called our Prunes dried plums instead? No matter what you call ‘em, they’re big, plump and soft – and delicious! And if you’re wondering what Dried Flavor Grenade Pluots are, you’re in for a treat. Our Flavor Grenade Pluots are a happy hybrid between plums (yes, prunes) and apricots. They’ve been around for several years now and if you haven’t tried them, we think it’s time! Our Pluots are sweeter than dried plums or apricots and have a texture similar to our Dried Apricots. Your grandmother’s prunes may have made you want to run and hide, but hide no

In the Kitchen: Prunes

Walnut Pastila with Bella Viva Prunes: With the holidays quickly approaching, you can never have too many recipes on hand. Sure, prunes are excellent all their own, but throw them into a dish and you’ve taken cooking to a whole new flavor level. The following recipe is for two scrumptious walnut pastila but beware, you might find yourself surrounded with family begging for the recipe after just one slice: Total time: 30 min Serves: 6 Ingredients: 2 cups Bella Viva Dried, Pitted Prunes, finely chopped 1 cup sugar ¼ cup Topanga Quality Raw, Unfiltered Honey Grated zest of 1 orange ½ cup fresh orange

Prunes vs. Plums:

Differences and History: One question commonly asked is “aren’t dried plums called prunes?” The answer to that is yes and no; all prunes were plums but not all dried plums are prunes. That might seem confusing at first, but some of the main differences to distinguish between a plum and a prune are through their physical appearances. When fresh and ripe, the color of skin a majority of plums possess is a deep red while plums that become prunes have a purple or blue skin (01). Even the shape of each of them show their individuality as most varieties of plums are flattish shaped

Prunes: Did you know?

Health Facts: Perhaps those who have overeaten them is what has given prunes a false bad reputation. However, if you push that prejudgment aside, you might be surprised to find out they’re actually super yummy and good for you. Plump and tender, prunes are a good source of terrific nutrients including calcium and Vitamin C. Furthermore, each serving carries 12 percent daily value of fiber which acts as a great digestive agent and a whopping 17 percent daily value of Vitamin A. That’s just a small number of the healthy nutrients prunes hold. Yet one of the most absolutely amazing health facts the prune

Farmer Spotlight: California Prunes

As Autumn approaches, so does plum harvesting season and, for Bella Viva, pleasing plums mean pleasant prunes. The season only lasts around 30 days total and it’s vital to get the fruit picked before they over-ripen and start falling on the ground – especially before fall and winter rains – yet still right when they’re ripe enough. This year’s harvest season is right on target! Every step to ensure the plums are cared for thoroughly and to their full potential takes ultimate dedication. Bella Viva makes certain we know our farmers, and who’s more passionate about Bella Viva than owner Victor Martino himself! That’s

Cold and Flu Season is Here: Our Top Organic Picks!

As much as we wish it wasn’t the case, cold and flu season is upon us. We know. Don’t shoot the messengers. We hear theories that staying home will help reduce our chances of contracting the flu. Others say that being out and about helps build immunities. And the theories go on. What we can say with certainty is that we have some Organic notables on our shelves that are worthy of your attention. We love all of our Dried Fruits and it’s hard to pick favorites, but when it comes to nutrient-packed stars that may give us an extra boost during this season,

In the Kitchen: Savory Prune Chicken

This flavor-packed dinner entrée features Bella Viva Orchards’ Dried Prunes made savory with briny capers, green olives, fresh garden herbs and earthy bay leaves. Your family and friends will love this dish. We’re sure it’ll make them feel indulged. Yields: 4 servings Prep Time: 15 minutesMarinate Time: 8 to 24 hoursCook Time: about 30 minutesTotal Time: Marinate time plus 45 minutes (approximately) Marinade Ingredients: 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts6 plump garlic cloves, minced2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon¼ cup brandy (Optional but suggested)¼ cup good-quality red wine vinegar¼ cup olive oil½ teaspoon Kosher salt½ teaspoon freshly ground

A Brief History of Dried Fruit

Where It All Began: If you’re like a lot of people, you enjoy snacking on dried fruit. Have you ever stopped to think about how the idea of drying came about? Drying fruit has been around for centuries and is the process of extracting most of the original water content from the fruit. When fresh food was tougher to come by, having dried fruit on hand stood in place of fresh fruit in our diets. The main idea of drying fruit was to help preserve it; dried fruit lasts a lot longer than fresh fruit and is a lot easier to keep on hand.