Getting Nutty with Pistachios

November 19, 2011


By Toni Carey (@toni_carey) My obsession with pistachios began just a few weeks ago. My supervisor was snacking on them and asked if I'd like some. I frowned and said, "No, thank you." She insisted that I try them and since she's my boss, I did. I was shocked. The green little nut peeping out from it's shell was actually very delicious. I asked if I could have more. It seems just recently pistachios have made a resurgence due to the Wonderful Pistachios' "Get Crackin'" advertising campaign (which was ranked one of the 10 "most liked" and "most recalled advertising" campaigns in 2009 by Nielson Company). A pistachio novice like me? Here's some fun facts from
  • -Pistachios are one of the oldest flowering nut trees, and are one of the only two nuts mentioned in the Bible (Genesis 43:11). Humans have eaten pistachio nuts for at least 9,000 years.
  • -Pistachios are a relatively new U.S. crop. Until the 1970's, no domestic pistachio industry existed. Now, California produces upwards 300 million pounds of pistachios, about 98 percent of the domestic crop.
  • -Pistachios are a good source of fiber providing 3 grams per serving, that’s more than many types of whole fruit.
  • -Pistachios are related to the mango fruit and the spice sumac.
But their just not quirky, they're also healthy:
  • -Among nuts, pistachios are one of the most nutritious. A one-ounce serving of pistachios, with 49 kernels and 170 calories, give you a variety of vitamins, minerals and other important nutrients.
  • -Almost 90% of the fat found in pistachios is the healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats.
  • -Pistachios offer many different antioxidants, which can help to support the heart and the body.
  • -Researchers at Loma Linda University conducted nut feeding trials in which free living individuals substituted nuts for 20% of their total calories. The lead researcher, Joan Sabaté MD, PH.D., found that, despite the fact that nuts contain fat and are energy-dense foods, they did not cause an increase in body weight. These results for pistachios are consistent with studies of other nuts and body weight. So pistachios are not only delicious, they’re also a great alternative to other less healthy snacks.
And my favorite part of pistachios? They have 6g of protein and can serve as a great alternative to meat and poultry. It also doesn't hurt that Kermit the Frog likes them. Do you like pistachios? Do you eat them as a snack or cook with them?
Information taken from western, green, and

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