Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Pistachios -Star of the Week

Not only did I manage to grab the box of French Butter Cookies  from Costco recently this bag of nuts also went into my cart.  The sheer size of the bag (think large when shopping at Costco) caught my attention. Not having to shell the nuts seemed like a time saver and I had read all about the healthy benefits of using these nuts in cooking . 
Here are some fast nutrition facts on pistachios, courtesy of the Western Pistachio Association:
  • One-ounce of pistachios equals 49 heart-healthy nuts (that is more nuts per serving than any other snack nut).
  • Pistachios are naturally free of cholesterol and trans fat.
  • One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half a large banana (about 300 milligrams).
  • Pistachios can be served as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans.
  • There is more fiber in a serving of pistachios than in a nectarine or cup of prune juice.
  • A serving of pistachios contains more than 10 percent of the recommended daily intake of dietary fiber and essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B-6, thiamin, copper and phosphorous.
  • Pistachios also contain calcium, iron, folate, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
Words of warning:While the consumption of nuts is encouraged due to the health benefits, it is still important to watch portion sizes. And best to choose pistachios that are still in the shell and avoid heavily salted varieties.  Besides it takes more time to shell the nuts which may in turn cut back on how much is actually consumed :) 
Since this purchased bag of pistachio was already shelled and salted I looked for recipes that used the nuts in smaller proportions. 
Broccoli Pistachio Slaw Salad
Cook's note: This recipe worked well for me since I had all these healthy ingredients on hand even leftover fennel. Recipe online from Yummy, 
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
  • 2 medium carrots, finely diced
  • fennel shavings (remember a little goes a long way) 
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries chopped
  • 1/4 cup pistachios
  • 1/2 to 3/4 package of coleslaw mix
  • Ranch dressing
optional:strips of red onion
  • Mix all ingredients together except dressing
  • Add only enough dressing to moisten salad mixture not drench it
  • Chill at least one our before serving

 Pistachio Cream Dessert with Raspberry Sauce
Cook's note: This recipe was adapted from Pillsbury Holiday Baking. Not only does the recipe work well for the holiday season but its green color is the perfect finish for a St. Patrick's Day meal. Use a 8 x 8 glass pan or spring-form pan. Note that the ingredients in this recipe are ones that are lower in calories and fat.
  • 1 cup of  vanilla cookies (about 30) 
  • 1/2 cup pistachio nuts
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3 TB. melted butter
  • 1 package of fat free (8 oz.) cream cheese
  • 1 small box of pistachio instant pudding and pie mix
  • 1-1/4 cups skim milk
  • 1 container (8 oz..) frozen fat free whipped topping
  • 1 package frozen raspberries (10 oz.) in syrup partially thawed 
  • 2 TB.sugar 
  • 2 TB. orange flavored liqueur or Cointreau or 2 TB. orange juice
  • In food processor mix ingredients and press firmly into an ungreased  8 x 8 pan or 9 inch spring-form pan
  • In a bowl beat cream cheese on low speed and add in pudding mix and milk
  • Beat till smooth 
  • Set aside 1 cup of whipped topping mixture
  • Fold rest of whipped topping into cream cheese/pudding mix with rubber spatula
  • Spoon over crust and freeze or refrigerate at least 4 hours
  • In blender or food processor blend raspberries, sugar and liqueur or orange juice
  • Place a small strainer over small bowl and pour raspberry mixture into strainer. Press back of spoon on strainer to remove seeds
To serve: if dessert was frozen thaw in refrigerator at least one hour before serving then top each piece with whipped topping and a drizzle of raspberry sauce
Pistachio recipes will be the featured star this week on Ever Ready blog 

On the highest throne in the world, we still sit only on our bottom.
Michel de Montaigne, French Renaissance essayist

1 comment:

  1. This has nothing to do with pistachios. But I made wild rice soup from your recipe last evening and it is delicious. Thank you for sharing all of these good recipes and for convincing me to improve on my cooking skills.