The power of the pistachio is mine, but it can be yours too. One of my favorite nuts, I’m drawn to its bright green gorgeousness in a sea of brown nuts, but also to its attractive nutritional cred and the sheer fun of cracking and discarding the shell – kind of like peanuts at a ball game, only more sophisticated 🙂 And way more sophisticated when you riff on a David Lebovitz recipe for lightened-up chicken paté with apples and create pistachio crusted chicken paté truffles (pictured above)!
To celebrate National Pistachio Day, the California Farm Water Coalition gifted me with a bag of my favorite nuts and some pistachio cranberry treats from Setton Pistachio. Setton Farms is one of America’s largest pistachio growers and processors with ownership in over 10,000 acres of planted pistachio trees located in the heart of California’s San Joaquin Valley. As a family owned and operated pistachio company since the mid 80’s, Setton attends to each detail of growing, harvesting, processing, manufacturing and packaging. Setton Pistachio operates one of the most sophisticated food-safety programs in the entire nut industry pistachios and their pistachios are widely regarded as “America’s Best Tasting Pistachios” because of their great taste and superior quality.
Grilled Pluots with Fresh Mozzarella
If you haven’t fallen in love with pistachios yet, here are a few facts that may persuade you:
1. One serving of pistachios equals 49 nuts – more per serving than any other tree nut! Which is good, because it’s hard to stop once you start munching.
2. When nuts, like pistachios, are eaten on a regular basis, they help lower total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
3. Pistachios contain only 7 grams of carbohydrates, making them a great low carb food.
4. When pistachios are eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, it may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.
5. Pistachios naturally contain no cholesterol or trans fats.
6. Pistachios are packed with fiber – one serving contains as much fiber as half a cup of broccoli.
7. Pistachios, with 7 grams of protein, can serve as a great alternative to meat or beans.
So I ask you, what’s not to like about pistachios? Unless your allergic 🙁 Full of vitamins and minerals, a heart-healthy power food that, added to your daily diet, helps support your overall health and well-being. Plus, a delicious snack that may actually lower your risk of many health-related conditions such as heart disease, high cholesterol, and high blood sugar. So get crackin’ – or if nut cracking is not your idea of fun, there’s always the packaged nut meats where its all done for you 🙂
For me, satisfying food always has to have a crunchy element and I sprinkle nearly any dish, from oatmeal to salad, with seeds or nuts. You can go simple, like the Grilled Pluots with Fresh Mozzarella Salad (above) or elegant, like the Chicken Paté Truffles in the opening photo. Today, I’m sharing an easy side dish with a Middle Eastern flair: Forbidden Rice with Pistachios, Pomegranates and Dried Fruit which adds an exotic touch to any protein or makes a lovely vegan or vegetarian meal when paired with a green salad.
- 1 cup Lotus Foods Forbidden Rice*
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped pistachios
- 1/3 cup chopped dried apricots
- 1/3 cup fresh pomegranate seeds
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup Star California Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or agave
- 1 teaspoon curry powder
- 1 tablespoon minced shallots
- salt and pepper to taste
Prepare rice according to package directions. Transfer rice to a glass mixing bowl and allow to cool.
While rice is cooking, chop the apricots and pistachios. I poured a half cup of hot water over the cranberries to moisten and plump them up a bit.
Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, honey, curry, and shallots.
Toss pistachios, apricots, cranberries, and pomegranate seeds with rice. Pour dressing over, and mix to blend. Serve warm or at room temperature.
*Forbidden Rice is a product of Lotus Foods. It has a satisfying chewy texture and exotic ebony color.
Enjoy 🙂 And bring some green into your life with pistachios!
You can keep up on pistachio news and recipes by liking Setton Farms on Facebook. To keep updated on the affect of California’s disastrous drought which threatens the livelihood of farmers and field workers, please follow California Farm Water Coalition on Facebook, Twitter, and @farmwater on Instagram.
Disclosure: This is not a compensated post, however, but I do love pistachios and enjoyed the Setton Farms pistachios and Chewy Bites sent to me.. All opinions are my own.