Pistachios Recipe & Nutrition | Precision Nutrition's Encyclopedia of Food

Pistachios

Pistachios

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At a Glance

Pistachios are a type of tree nut. The small, egg-shaped nuts grow in a tight shell which can be cracked open with your fingertips. Pistachios offer plenty of protein, fiber, and fat in their small package. They are also rich in vitamins A and C and are a good source of minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. However, they are also calorie-dense (half a cup of pistachios has about 350 calories). Pistachios can be purchased raw or roasted, salted or unsalted, and sometimes they are dyed red. For healthier eating, purchase pistachios in their most natural form, and enjoy as a nutritious snack.

Overview

Pistachios are a type of nut that grow on trees.

Identification

Pistachios are surrounded by a hard shell that has a slight opening within it. Once the shell is cracked open, the green, egg-shaped pistachio is revealed.

While there are several varieties of pistachios, Turkish and California pistachios are the most common in North America.

Nutrition Info

Half a cup of pistachios has about 346 calories, 12.5g of protein, 16.9g of carbohydrates, 10.3g of fiber, 4.7g of sugar, and 27.9g of fat.

Pistachios are also rich in vitamins A and C and are a good source of minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium.

Selection

Pistachios are available year-round and can be purchased in their shells or with their shells removed. You can also purchase pistachios raw or roasted.

If you are selecting pistachios with their shells, choose those with partially opened shells. Closed shells indicate that the nuts are immature and thus flavourless.

Whether the nut is shelled or unshelled, look for the greenest nuts you can find. This is a sign of great flavour and maturity.

For healthier eating, avoid salted pistachios, oil roasted pistachios, or those whose naturally beige shells have been dyed red or whitened. Instead, if you like them salted add a bit of sea salt yourself, and if you want them roasted, choose dry roasted, or roast at home.

Storage

Pistachios should be placed in an airtight container and kept in the fridge or freezer. Be sure to eat them within six month if kept in the fridge, or one year if kept in the freezer.

Preparation

If you purchased shelled pistachios, simply crack open the shell using your fingers and then eat the pistachio nut.

If you purchased raw pistachios, you can eat them raw or you can roast them. To roast, simply spread them out evenly on a baking pan and bake at 325F until they are light brown and fragrant (5-10 minutes). Be sure to check the nuts frequently and to stir them to ensure even toasting. Once roasted, let them cool for a few hours before consuming. If you want to salt the nuts just sprinkle some sea salt on them before putting them into the oven.

Recipe: PISTACHIO AND KAFFIR LIME CRUSTED COD WITH CRUNCHY PISTACHIO SWEET POTATO

Pistachios

Pistachio does double-time in this dish: Once as a crunchy, savory spiced topping over sweet potato, and again as a nutty and aromatic coating over tender white fish.

Ingredients

   
Sweet Potatoes:
sweet potatoes
2 large
sesame seeds
2 tbsp
cumin seeds
1/2 tsp
coriander seeds
1/2 tsp
pistachios, roasted, unsalted, shelled
2 tbsp
hot pepper flakes
1/2 tsp
sea salt
1/8 tsp
extra virgin olive oil or butter
for serving
salt and pepper
to taste
   
   
    
Cod:
pistachios, roasted, unsalted, shelled
1/2 cup
dried kaffir lime leaves
5 whole
cracked pepper
1/4 tsp
sea salt
1/4 tsp
thin filets of boneless, skinless cod or haddock, fresh or thawed
4-6
extra virgin olive oil or butter
1 tbsp
fresh parsley or cilantro, finely minced
for serving
salt and pepper
to taste

Directions

Prep Time: 35 minutes   Cook Time: 70 minutes   Yield: 4 servings

For the Sweet Potatoes:

First, bake the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and dry the sweet potatoes, then, using a fork, poke small holes into them. Wrap them tightly in tinfoil, then place them on a baking tray in the oven. Bake for 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of potatoes. They are done when a fork or knife pierces the flesh easily.

While the sweet potato is baking, make the crunchy topping: Add sesame seeds, cumin seeds, and coriander seeds to a skillet over medium-high heat. Toast, stirring frequently to prevent burning, for about 4-5 minutes, or until seeds are golden and fragrant. Allow to cool, and then add the toasted seed mixture, pistachios, hot pepper flakes, and salt to a coffee grinder or food processor and pulse briefly until a textured mixture is created. (Make sure to leave some big pieces of pistachios unmilled for crunch!)

Once the potatoes are done cooking allow them to cool slightly before unwrapping them and cutting them in half. Serve each half on a plate, and top with generous amounts of crunchy pistachio topping. Drizzle with olive oil or a pat of butter, and additional salt and pepper if desired, then serve alongside the pistachio crusted cod.

For the Cod:

To make the crust, add pistachios, kaffir lime leaves, pepper, and salt to a coffee grinder or food processor and pulse until a fine meal is achieved. Transfer the meal to a wide, shallow bowl.

Take the fish filets and dredge them thoroughly (both sides) in the meal.

Heat olive oil or butter in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and wait until oil is sizzling. Then, add filets to the pan. (You may have to do this in several batches to avoid crowding the pan.) Fry each filet for 2-3 minutes on each side, for a total of about 5 minutes per filet. Transfer to a plate when done, and garnish with finely minced fresh parsley or cilantro, a squeeze of fresh lime, and additional salt and pepper if desired.

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At a Glance

Pistachios are a type of tree nut. The small, egg-shaped nuts grow in a tight shell which can be cracked open with your fingertips. Pistachios offer plenty of protein, fiber, and fat in their small package. They are also rich in vitamins A and C and are a good source of minerals including calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium. However, they are also calorie-dense (half a cup of pistachios has about 350 calories). Pistachios can be purchased raw or roasted, salted or unsalted, and sometimes they are dyed red. For healthier eating, purchase pistachios in their most natural form, and enjoy as a nutritious snack.