Pistachios — A Superfood

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Okay, anyone that knows me knows that I am nuts about nuts!  I use all kinds of nuts to make fake “meat”, fake “cheese” spreads and dips, and yummy sauces.  I use ground up nuts as a “flour base” in recipes, I throw them in all my salads and cereals, mix them in granola, use tons of them in my homemade chocolate, even drink the milk from nuts.  I won’t even tell you how much money I spend on nuts each month (although not buying any meat or dairy products probably makes me even).  So I get excited when I read articles about how healthy nuts are for us and all the wonderful health benefits you get from eating nuts which are super delicious anyway.

I’ve talked before about almonds, walnuts, brazil nuts, pine nuts, and all different seeds.  Today, I’m all about the pistachio.  This little nut in a cracked open shell is a powerhouse of nutrition.  It is high in protein, full of anti-oxidants, and assists in lowering cholesterol levels.  These little nuts are a great source of phytosterols, a natural plant compound that blocks absorption of dietary cholesterol.  Hooray, that’s good news for the ‘ol ticker.

They are also rich in fiber and get this, they may even help to prevent Type 2 diabetes.  They contain some carotenoids that are not found in other nuts, called lutein and zeaxanthin which function as protective antioxidants, protecting us against the damage of harmful free radicals.

They are also rich in Vitamin E (I’m a big fan since curing my hearing loss from chemo with Vitamin E).  This vitamin in the nuts help protect the skin from UV damage.

So, grab a handful of these tasty nuts and start munching.  Want some more ideas for pistachios?  Okay, how about adding them to quinoa with some scallions, garlic and cilantro to make a nice little side dish.  Throw them in a pasta dish with pumpkin puree and diced red peppers or in wheat pasta with avocado pesto and pistachios.  I’m starting to drool thinking of all the delicious recipes you could make with pistachios.  There are spreads with walnuts, eggplant and pistachios, chocolate pistachio biscotti, or how about a herb and pistachio falafel.  Ah nuts, they are versatile, savory, and a staple for vegans.

Enjoy some of these Superfood nuts today!

-Kristen
Choosing healthy living over dying 🙂

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