Pistachios

Did You Know?

A pistachio plant takes eight to ten years to produce its first major crop.

Nutrition

Pistachios are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of antioxidants. Pistachios contain arginine, which is a nutrient that is believed to reduce hardening of the arteries. They are also a good source of phystosterols, which are believed to block the absorption of cholesterol from food, and have also been shown to lower the amount of LDL, or bad cholesterol. A one-ounce serving of pistachios (about 50) contains twelve percent of your daily amount of fiber, and is a great source of copper, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, and vitamin B6.

Shopping and Storage

Choose pistachios that are split open at one end. Unopened shells are a marker of immaturity. Also, the greenest nuts are the most flavorful. Pistachios are available year-round at any market in many forms such as salted, unsalted, raw, roasted, shelled and unshelled.

Unshelled pistachios can be stored for three months in the refrigerator or up to one year in the freezer. Shelled pistachios can be stored in the refrigerator up to three months, but shouldn't be frozen.

To restore pistachios that have lost their crispness, toast them in a 200 degree F. oven for ten to fifteen minutes.

Preparation

Pistachios are a great snack on their own. They can be eaten on their own raw or roasted, salted or unsalted, and are also a great topping on salads. They are delicious chopped over ice cream, and can be added to many existing recipes.