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How to Cook with Pistachios

Did you know pistachios are considered the skinny nut? And to think, I always just liked them because they tasted good. Looks like I was missing half the good news about this little green nut.

Although I snack on pistachios often I seldom use them in cooking. However, because of their unique flavor and crunchy texture they make a brilliant addition to dishes like crusted chicken, ice cream and sautees (find recipes below). Who would’ve thought something so naturally healthy could also be so delicious?

Health benefits: As mentioned above, scientists have discovered that pistachios are the ideal snack for weight loss. This is because the nuts’ fat is absorbed into the body making them lower in calories than previously thought.

In addition to being a considerably low-calorie snack, pistachios are also high in vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and E, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. Other studies have also shown pistachios to help lower LDL or “bad” cholesterol, increase HDL or “good” cholesterol, and fight inflammation.

In addition, if you only thoughts carrots were good for the eyes, think again. Pistachios contain carotenoids that most nuts lack, according to Health Diaries. These carotenoids – lutein and zeaxanthin – function as “protective antioxidants, defending tissues form damage from free radicals,” which we know can cause cancer. Pistachios also help support a healthy immune system thanks to their abundance of vitamin B6. Is there anything this little nut can’t do?

Nutrition information: One ounce or 50 kernels of pistachios without salt contains approximately 161 calories, 13 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 8 g carbohydrates , 3 g fiber, 2 g sugar, 6 g protein.

Cooking methods: You’ve likely already snacked on pistachios right out of the shell, but they can also be enjoyed a number of other ways. This includes blending and adding to crusts for dishes like pork chops and fish. They can also be roasted and added to salads and sautees. You can even puree them into nut butter! Last but not least, they make a bright addition to baked goods like quick breads, cookies and biscotti. Check out the recipes below for a little inspiration and to start including this healthy nut in your diet today.

Recipes:

Raspberry Pistachio Crusted Chicken  

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Pistachios

Pistachio Creme Fruit Salad  

Peached Pistachio Frozen Yogurt Cups

Vanilla Poached Peaches 

Also Read:

How to Cook with Avocado

How to Cook with Goat Cheese

How to Cook with Ginger

 

January 6th, 2013

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