Peach, Bacon and Smoked Mozzarella Panini

August 11 is National Panini Day- the perfect reason to try this healthier take on a traditional sandwich.

Sandwiches are a popular meal of choice in the US, as on any given day, around 50 percent of US adults consume at least one. In a recent Public Health study, researchers found that on the days people ate sandwiches they also consumed close to 100 more calories, in addition to more sodium and fat.

This recipe helps to reduce the amount of calories through different alternatives. For example, the whole grain bread used is about 140 calories per slice, where typically panini bread has about 200 to 330 calories.

Also, the peaches not only taste delicious, but offer a variety of health benefits. The versatile fruit is full of nutrients and antioxidants, which help to strengthen the immune system and improve digestion. It also helps with eye and skin health.

Photo Credit: A Healthier Michigan

Panini ingredients on a plate.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 10-12 slices of turkey bacon
  • 4 slices of whole wheat bread or sprouted grain bread
  • 2-4 oz. of fresh mozzarella, sliced
  • 1 whole ripe peach, pitted and cut into 1/4 –inch wedges
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves

Peach, Bacon and Smoked Mozzarella Panini

Instructions
1. Stir balsamic vinegar and honey together in a small saucepan and place over high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer until the vinegar mixture has reduced to 1/3 cup, about 10 minutes. Set the balsamic reduction aside to cool.
2. Weave the bacon into a square or “bacon blanket". Microwave, bake or fry turkey bacon until crisp. Transfer it to a plate lined with a paper towel or brown paper to briefly drain.
3. Arrange sandwich with cheese, peaches, bacon blanket and spinach, and drizzle some of the balsamic reduction on arranged foods before placing the top slice on sandwich.
4. If desired, one may warm sandwich through with a panini press or can create a similar effect by warming via a grill pan on the stove. Serve warm and enjoy!


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