You probably we not aware, but August is “National Panini Month.”

By definition, a Panini is a popular type of grilled sandwich made with dense and hearty bread, such as Focaccia, whole grain, ciabatta or sourdough and filling it with a variety of meats, cheese and vegetables.

Italian meats like salami and prosciutto combined with cheeses such as mozzarella and asiago are traditionally used; however, the modern Panini can be made using any type of favorite meat and cheese.

The sandwich is most popular grilled (although not necessarily required) by using a Panini press, waffle maker or even a skillet.

To make a Panini using a household skillet, simply place the sandwich on the pan, press down firmly with a cooking spatula, flip the sandwich and repeat.

Most recipes call for buttering the bread or using olive oil to prevent sticking, however, cooking spray also works well.

Paninis can be a healthy additional to a daily meal plan; nevertheless the nutrition status of your sandwich depends entirely on how it is prepared and what types of meat, cheeses and vegetables are chosen.

What better way to celebrate the Panini while incorporating good nutrition and great taste than with this Harvest Turkey and Apple Panini developed by Sargento.

This recipe is not only easy to make, but loaded with nutrients and flavor proving you do not have to compromise taste when cooking for your family and friends this summer.

HARVEST TURKEY & APPLE PANINI

Ingredients

1-2 Tbsp. butter, softened

4 slices multi-grain bread

2 Tbsp. apple butter

4 slices thin mild cheddar cheese slices

6 oz. sliced deli smoked turkey breast

8 thin slices unpeeled apple

Directions

Spread butter over 1 side of each slice bread. Turn slices over; spread apple butter over bread. Over 2 slices of bread layer 2 slices of cheese, turkey, sliced apple and remaining cheese.

Close sandwiches with remaining bread, buttered sides up.

Cook sandwiches in preheated Panini maker or lightly greased waffle iron 3 minutes or until golden brown and cheese is melted.

Carey Stites is a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor and a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in nutrition. Carey is currently the Registered Dietitian working with Wellstone in Harker Heights. Contact her at carey.stites@smchh.org.

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