Did you know that pistachio nuts are the edible seeds of the pistachio tree? Even if they aren’t nuts, botanically, that hasn’t stopped people from using them in similar ways. Whether mixed into or sprinkled on top of baked goods, processed or blended into pistachio paste, butter, or cream or even added to oatmeal or smoothies, there’s no limit to uses for these typically bright green seeds with a mild, slightly sweet taste.
But why is it so popular? Here’s everything you need to know.
First, pistachios are highly nutritious. A single 1-ounce serving is about 159 calories and gives you 3 grams of fibre, 6 grams of protein, and 13 grams of fat – most of it unsaturated, or the good kind. In addition, you also get 28% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B6, 6% of RDI for potassium, and 21% of the RDI for thiamine, among a few other vitamins and minerals.
Second, pistachios are full of antioxidants, which are vital for preventing cell damage and are crucial in reducing the risks of certain diseases including cancer. These seeds also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants that are important for eye health. In fact, only walnuts and pecans contain more antioxidants than pistachios.
Third, nuts and seeds are all weight loss-friendly foods that can help you feel full longer and therefore eat less at your next meal. This is especially true for pistachios because they’re rich in both fibre and protein, both of which increase your feelings of fullness.
How to Use Pistachios
As mentioned earlier, pistachios can be eaten by themselves – preferably unsalted to keep sodium intake down – or used in many different ways. For example, whole or ground pistachio nuts can be added to oatmeal for some added flavour and texture. The same can be added to cereal for the same reason, or used in homemade granola or trail mix.
Ground pistachios can also be sprinkled over vegetable salads, or pureed and mixed with oil and herbs for a salad dressing. They can even be mixed into bread dough so the resulting bread has some extra protein.
You can also take pistachio nuts and blend them with water to make a paste, and then use that paste in several different recipes. It can be swirled into vanilla ice cream to make pistachio ice cream, for instance, or spread on top of toast, English muffins, or biscuits. The paste can also be used to flavour buttercream to use in Danish or eclairs, or as a topping for a lemon pound cake.
With all of the above, it’s easy to see that pistachios are so popular because of their versatility and their health benefits. It’s safe to say that you’ll find no end to the number of recipes you can use pistachios in, so you’re not likely to get tired of eating the same dishes over and over. So if you want to find and buy whole or ground pistachio nuts in Australia to add them to your pantry, this page can help you get started.