(Family Features) Helping members of your community can be easy when you donate plasma, which is the fluid component of human blood that supports essential bodily functions like red blood cells and white blood cells.
Since plasma is replaced in the body within about 24 hours, it can be donated twice per week. With a donation that takes 1-3 hours, you can make a lasting impact by providing lifesaving medicine for people affected by a variety of conditions.
Iron-rich foods can be helpful to eat before and after donating plasma, which is why chef Nate Appleman created recipes like Pistachio Crisps with Sumac and Black Pepper. After his son Oliver’s diagnosis with Kawasaki Disease – an inflammation of the blood vessels that causes large vessels to form on coronary arteries – Appleman made it his mission to create awareness of Kawasaki Disease and for the critical need for plasma donations that many people with the disease rely on for treatment.
The COVID-19 pandemic led to a serious shortage of plasma donors, which is why Appleman partnered with Abbott to bring awareness to the need for plasma.
Find more information about donating plasma at bethe1donor.abbott.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
Pistachio Crisps with Sumac and Black Pepper
Recipe courtesy of chef Nate Appleman on behalf of Abbott
Yield: 60 crisps
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar, plus additional for pressing crisps, divided
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup soft butter
- 1 egg, separated
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup pistachios, finely chopped
- black pepper
- Heat oven to 375 F.
- Sift flour, sugar and salt into bowl. Using fork, thoroughly mix in butter, egg yolk, milk and vanilla.
- Form into walnut-sized balls. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
- Using bottom of greased glass dipped in sugar, press balls to 1/16-inch thick. Brush with slightly beaten egg white. Sprinkle with pistachios, sumac and black pepper.
- Bake 8-10 minutes.
(Family Features) The changing of the calendar to a new year is a perfect opportunity to look toward the future and create better health and wellness habits.
Setting yourself up with a strong foundation is key to long-term success. Consider these tips as you look to build healthy habits this year:
Set reasonable goals. It’s important to take an honest look at your lifestyle and assess any changes you can make to improve wellness. Whether your goal is to lose weight, eat healthier, exercise more frequently or something else entirely, start with an attainable target – like losing 1 pound a week – and know you can always challenge yourself further once you’ve sustained the change for an extended period of time.
Eat well. A well-balanced diet includes fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and whole grains.You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher calorie ingredients. An option like watermelon is more than a raw fruit or snack; it can be an ingredient in a wide variety of recipes, including appetizers, mocktails (or cocktails), entrees, sauces or salsa. For example, these recipes for Watermelon Chia Seed Muffins and Watermelon and Pistachio Salad can help satisfy cravings any time of day. Consisting of 92% water, watermelon is cholesterol-free, fat-free and offers an excellent source of vitamin C (25% daily value) while also containing vitamin A (8%) and vitamin B6 (6%).
Get active. Proper nutrition is just one part of making healthy lifestyle choices. Adults should aim for at least 160 minutes of moderate physical activity each week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you want to lose weight, increase aerobic activities like walking or running. If your goal is adding strength, start resistance training such as lifting weights.
Find more healthy recipes and tips to help keep you on track all year long at watermelon.org.
Watermelon and Pistachio Salad
- 3 cups watermelon cubes
- 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 4 ounces feta
- 1-2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
- Place watermelon and onion in large bowl. Add balsamic vinegar and toss to combine.
- Add pistachios, feta and mint, reserving small amount of mint to sprinkle on top. Toss.
- Serve on large platter and sprinkle with remaining mint.
Watermelon Chia Seed Muffins
Yield: 12 muffins
- 1 can nonstick cooking spray
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup sucralose
- 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 2 cups flour
- 3/4cup chia seeds
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons canola oil
- 1/3 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
- 3/4 cup liquefied watermelon juice
- 1/2 cup egg substitute
- 1 cup dried tart cherries
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Heat oven to 375 F. Spray 12-piece muffin pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- In large bowl, combine sugar, sucralose and lemon zest. Use fingers to rub zest into sugar until fragrant. Add flour, chia seeds, baking soda, baking powder and salt; thoroughly mix. Set aside.
- In medium bowl, whisk oil, yogurt, watermelon juice and egg substitute until thoroughly blended. Add cherries, lemon juice and vanilla.
- Add liquid mixture to flour mixture. Gently toss until incorporated. Avoid overbeating or muffins will be flat and tough. Spoon evenly into muffin pan. Top each muffin with 1/2 teaspoon sugar.
- Bake 15-17 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, allow to sit 5 minutes then transfer muffins to cooling rack.
(Family Features) Boosting immune function through a healthy diet has become an important new focus for many people these days. One key dietary recommendation is to eat more fruits and vegetables each day to improve immune function and prevent heart disease and diabetes. When looking to guide your family to healthier snacks and meals or simply trying to mix up your at-home menu, success can be as simple as rethinking the ingredients you choose to use, including your favorite produce, such as grapes.
Fresh California grapes, for example, make for an ideal snack because they are tasty, healthy, hydrating and refreshing, but grapes can also be used to make good-for-you dishes that are also satisfying and delicious. Grapes of all colors – red, green and black – are a natural source of beneficial antioxidants and other polyphenols. Plus, they are naturally fat-free, cholesterol-free and contain virtually no sodium.
Try recipes like Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette, Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt, and Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes to pair heart-healthy grapes with other nutritious ingredients and add variety and fresh appeal in the kitchen.
Moroccan Grape and Grilled Chicken Bowls with Grape Vinaigrette
- 1 cup Israeli couscous
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup carrots, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup parsley, leaves only
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ras el hanout (Moroccan spice blend)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 chicken breasts (8 ounces each)
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup green California grapes
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 preserved lemon, rind only
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- salt, to taste
- ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup red California grapes, halved
- 1/2 cup sliced almonds, toasted
- To make couscous: Cook couscous in boiling salted water. Drain, rinse with cold water and combine with olive oil. Add carrots, tomatoes, parsley leaves, ras el hanout and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- To make chicken: Heat grill to medium-high heat.
- Rub chicken breasts with harissa paste, olive oil and salt. Grill on both sides until just done. Set aside to cool. Slice into 1/4-inch slices.
- To make vinaigrette: In blender, puree green grapes, lemon juice, lemon rind, olive oil and cilantro until smooth. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
- Toss couscous mixture with vinaigrette and portion into four bowls. Top with sliced chicken, red grapes and almonds.
Nutritional information per serving: 590 calories; 30 g protein; 44 g carbohydrates; 32 g fat (49% calories from fat); 4.5 g saturated fat (7% calories from saturated fat); 65 mg cholesterol; 720 mg sodium; 3 g fiber.
Spiced Chickpeas and Grapes with Yogurt
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
- 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed, drained and patted dry
- 1 cup California grapes
- 1 tablespoon peanut oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 pinch red pepper flakes
- 1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 garlic clove, grated
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 2 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions
- In large bowl, mix chickpeas and grapes.
- In small skillet, warm oil over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add mustard seeds and cover. Cook until seeds stop popping then add cumin and fennel seeds; cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon salt and pepper flakes; pour over chickpeas and grapes. Mix well.
- In separate bowl, stir yogurt, lemon juice, lemon zest, garlic and remaining salt. Spread on serving platter and top with chickpea mixture, cilantro and scallions.
Nutritional information per serving: 220 calories; 11 g protein; 31 g carbohydrates; 6 g fat (25% calories from fat); 1.5 g saturated fat (6% calories from saturated fat); 5 mg cholesterol; 280 mg sodium; 1 g fiber.
Cauliflower Steaks with Grapes
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
- 1 large head cauliflower, leaves trimmed off
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
- 1 cup halved California grapes
- 1/4 cup chopped Castelvetrano olives
- 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped, toasted pistachios
- Heat oven to 450 F.
- Cut stem off cauliflower and cut remaining head crosswise into four 1-inch-thick slices, keeping as intact as possible. Place on sheet pan and brush sides with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Sprinkle with rosemary, salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Roast until browned and tender, about 25 minutes.
- Combine remaining olive oil, remaining pepper, grapes, olives, parsley and pistachios. When cauliflower is roasted, transfer to serving plates and top with grape mixture.
- Nutritional information per serving: 210 calories; 5 g protein; 20 g carbohydrates; 14 g fat (60% calories from fat); 2 g saturated fat (9% calories from saturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 480 mg sodium; 5 g fiber.
- Healthy Eating is Easy with Grapes
- Grapes are prized for their taste and crisp, juicy texture, but fresh grapes are also a heart-healthy, hydrating snack choice. Grapes contain more than 1,600 natural plant compounds, including antioxidants and other polyphenols, which help protect the health and function of the body’s cells. Grapes can be paired with other healthy foods to enhance flavor and nutrition, including dark leafy greens, cauliflower, broccoli, whole grains, legumes and lean proteins.
(Culinary.net) St. Patrick’s Day may call to mind hearty meals and pots o’ gold, but that doesn’t mean sweets can’t be part of the equation, too. Add dessert to your celebration with this green Minty Shake, a cold, refreshing way to honor the colorful tradition.
Find more seasonal dessert recipes at Culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this recipe!
St. Patty’s Minty Shake
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract
- 2 teaspoons powdered sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 3/4 ounces Baileys Irish Cream liqueur
- 3 scoops mint chocolate chip ice cream
- chocolate syrup
- chopped sugar cookies, for garnish (optional)
- pistachios, for garnish (optional)
- mint chocolate candy, for garnish (optional)
- Using mixer, whisk whipping cream until soft peaks form. Add peppermint extract and powdered sugar; mix until well blended. Set aside.
- In blender, blend milk, liqueur and ice cream until smooth.
- Drizzle chocolate syrup inside soda glass. Pour ice cream mixture into glass. Top with whipped cream and garnish with cookies, pistachios and mint chocolate candy, if desired.
(Family Features) Get out your ramekins and fill them up with layers of ricotta cheese, four-berry compote and pistachios topped with granola. This tasty treat is perfect for breakfast or even as a sweet ending to dinner. Either way you serve it can leave your taste buds feeling happy.
For more recipes, visit culinary.net.
Watch video to see how to make this delicious recipe!
Ricotta with Four-Berry Compote, Pistachios and Granola
- 1/8 cup water
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 cups fresh or frozen strawberries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- ricotta cheese
- pistachios, chopped
- In small sauce-pan, combine water, sugar, berries, lemon juice and salt. Bring to boil then simmer 20 minutes or until compote reduces and coats spoon. Cool to room temperature.
- Layer bowl with ricotta cheese, berry compote and pistachios. Repeat layers then top with granola. Serve immediately.
Note: If making ahead, add granola before serving.
Recipe adapted from MilkMeansMore.org
(Family Features) For many people, the New Year brings the resolve to just say no to indulgent food and drink, to inactivity and to a host of other unhealthy habits.
However, you can also approach your reset with balance and positive thinking. This can be your year to say "yes" and rework the all-or-nothing mentality, which can be a more mindful way to reach your goals.
From eating with purpose to finding healthier options for tasty meals, making small changes can help you reap rewards throughout the year. Start 2018 with a clean slate of practical and attainable eating goals that are realistic for the life you want to lead by shopping at a grocery store like ALDI, a one-stop shop with a wide selection of high-quality, affordable food choices. Whether you follow a paleo, plant-based or organic eating plan, all of the following nutritious options can be incorporated into your lifestyle and budget for less than $20:
- SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil: This trendy ingredient can elevate better-for-you recipes like this Cranberry Orange Chia Granola. You can also use it as a replacement for butter or vegetable oil because it's a versatile choice for both sweet and savory dishes.
- SimplyNature Chia Seeds: Use chia seeds to top your smoothie, overnight oats or make chia pudding in the morning for an easy way to power up the most important meal of the day. Chia seeds serve up protein, fiber and antioxidants.
- Earth Grown Black Bean or Veggie Burgers: If you follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, or just want to join the Meatless Monday movement, black bean burgers are one option to try.
- Earth Grown Vegan Shredded Cheese: This dairy-free cheese is a tasty addition to vegan recipes.
- SimplyNature Organic Popcorn: Movie nights call for popcorn, and this organic version can quickly become a family favorite. Each serving provides 3 grams of both fiber and protein.
Part of making healthy choices includes finding quick and easy recipes. Discover how easy it is to make fresh meals at home with this better-for-you recipe and find more options at aldi.us.
Cranberry Orange Chia Granola
Recipe courtesy of Chef Linsey, ALDI Test Kitchen
- 2 1/2 cups Millville Old Fashioned Oats
- 6 ounces Southern Grove Shelled Pistachios, chopped
- 1/4 cup SimplyNature Chia Seeds
- 5 ounces Southern Grove Dried Cranberries
- 1 tablespoon orange zest
- 3/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Wildflower Honey
- 3 tablespoons SimplyNature Organic Coconut Oil
- 1 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Pure Vanilla
- 1/2 teaspoon Stonemill Essentials Ground Cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground Stonemill Essentials Sea Salt Grinder
- Heat oven to 325 F.
- In large bowl, combine oats, pistachios, chia seeds, cranberries and orange zest. Toss until orange zest is evenly distributed.
- In separate medium bowl, combine honey, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon and salt. Heat in microwave 1 minute; stir. Continue cooking in 30-second intervals until coconut oil is melted.
- Add honey mixture to oat mixture. Toss until thoroughly coated. Transfer to parchment- or foil-lined baking sheet. Spread into even layer and bake in center of oven 20 minutes. Stir and continue cooking until evenly browned, about 10-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Serve with yogurt or enjoy on its own.
Note: Granola can be stored in airtight container up to 3 weeks.
(Family Features) While it is widely known that starting your day with a balanced, nutritious breakfast can have a positive impact on overall health, it may be difficult for some people to make it a priority. Whether you generally run low on time in the mornings or have little ones to keep on track before heading out the door, it simply isn’t always an option to piece together a grandiose morning meal.
Rather than overhauling your lifestyle, consider some simpler ways to incorporate breakfast into your daily routine. These tips can help you start the day strong – and on time – without sacrificing the day’s first meal.
Prep the Night Before
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have ample time in the morning to prepare what some studies consider to be the most important meal of the day. If you’re typically short on time before heading out the door, prepare breakfast the night before so you can ensure you’re starting each day with proper fuel and nutrition. Even if it’s as simple as setting out a bowl, spoon and your favorite cereal before you go to bed, you can set yourself up to shave a few minutes off your morning routine.
Take It To-Go
If your kids are a handful or that snooze button is just too easy to reach each morning, sitting down at the table – even for a quick breakfast – might be out of the question. Preparing in advance by packing a to-go container with your favorite morning foods can be a simple solution to keep everyone happy without adding more strain to the day.
Keep It Simple
Breakfast doesn’t have to be elaborate to get your day going in the right direction. Simple options like avocado toast take little time to create yet can go a long way toward adding nutrients in the morning. For a different spin on traditional avocado toast, combine it with a unique taste like Sabra Classic Hummus, which can help you add fiber and protein before the day truly begins. Even if you aren’t an avocado person, just by swapping out the jelly you might put on your morning toast for hummus instead can help you reduce sugar intake without compromising on taste.
Find more solutions to busy days and recipes for any occasion at sabra.com.
- 2 tablespoons Sabra Hummus (any flavor)
- 1 slice whole-wheat or hearty bread, toasted
- 1/2 cup avocado, sliced
- 1 sliced radish
- 1/4 cup tender arugula
- 1 tablespoon chopped pistachios
- salt, to taste
- pepper, to taste
- Spread hummus on toast.
- Top with avocado, radish, arugula and pistachios.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.
New seasonings make it easy
(Family Features) Exotic flavors common in the Middle Eastern region of the world like harissa, za’atar and shawarma are having a moment, appearing on restaurant menus and in popular make-at-home recipes.
Now is the perfect time to give these flavors a try. Thanks to new global seasonings from McCormick Gourmet, the spice combinations are already blended for the ultimate taste and simplicity.
Made from high-quality herbs and spices, the seasonings are USDA-Organic certified and Non-GMO Project verified so you can feel good about the ingredients used in your cooking. The expertly blended spices help create distinctive global-inspired dishes that take your home dining experience to the next level so you can explore these flavors from around the world without leaving the comfort of home.
- Za’atar: This traditional Middle Eastern blend of spices including thyme, oregano and sesame seeds is perfect for sprinkling on flatbreads, roasted vegetables, nuts
or popcorn. It can also be mixed into hummus or oil
- Harissa: A spicy flavor found in North African cuisine, this seasoning is made from a combination of chilies, warm spices and mint. Add it to meat and veggies before roasting, stir it into cooked rice and grains, mix it into yogurt to make a dip or combine it with roasted bell peppers and oil to turn this spice into its namesake sauce.
- Shawarma: Often associated with the slow roasting of meat, this Middle Eastern street food favorite is made with cinnamon, coriander, cardamom and more. Use this seasoning to flavor an easy marinade for chicken, pork or steak.
Look for these flavors as well as new Peruvian and Berbere seasonings in the spice section of retailers nationwide. Find more recipe ideas at McCormickGourmet.com.
Grilled Chicken Shawarma
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 16 minutes
- 1 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt, divided
- 5 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Shawarma Seasoning, divided
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
- 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 4 pita pockets, halved
- 1 medium seedless cucumber, thinly sliced
- 8 lettuce leaves
- In small bowl, mix 1 cup yogurt and 1 teaspoon shawarma seasoning. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- In small bowl, mix oil, lemon juice, remaining yogurt, remaining shawarma seasoning and sea salt. Reserve 2 tablespoons of mixture; set aside.
- Place chicken in large re-sealable plastic bag or glass dish. Add marinade; turn to coat well. Refrigerate 1 hour, or longer for extra flavor.
- Heat grill or skillet to medium heat.
- Remove chicken from marinade. Discard remaining marinade. Grill or saute 6-8 minutes per side, or until cooked through and internal temperature reaches 165 F, brushing with reserved marinade.
- Slice chicken into thin strips. Serve in pitas with cucumber, lettuce and yogurt dressing.
Shaved Carrot Salad with Pomegranate Harissa Dressing
Prep time: 20 minutes
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons pomegranate juice
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Harissa Seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Sicilian Sea Salt
- 1/4 teaspoon McCormick Gourmet Organic Black Pepper, coarse ground
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 pound multicolor carrots, washed and peeled
- 1/2 cup shelled roasted pistachios
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 3 cups baby arugula
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
- In large bowl, mix mint, pomegranate juice, honey, harissa seasoning, sea salt and pepper. Gradually add oil while mixing with wire whisk until well mixed. Set aside.
- Trim carrot ends. Slice each carrot lengthwise into ribbons with vegetable peeler or mandoline. In medium bowl, toss carrots with 1/4 cup prepared dressing. Stir in pistachios and cranberries.
- Arrange arugula on serving platter. Drizzle with remaining dressing and top with carrot mixture. Sprinkle with feta before serving.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Servings: 8 (2 tablespoons each)
- 1 cup labneh (yogurt cheese)
- 2 teaspoons McCormick Gourmet Organic Za’atar Seasoning, divided
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- pita bread, for serving (optional)
- pita chips, for serving (optional)
- sliced fresh vegetables, for serving (optional)
- In small bowl, mix labneh and 1 teaspoon seasoning until well blended.
- Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with remaining seasoning.
- Serve with fresh pita bread, pita chips or sliced fresh vegetables, as desired.
America’s Top Chefs Share Their Favorite Recipes
(Family Features) Want to add taste, color and crunch to salads any time of the year? Then sprinkle on pistachios. Chefs are going nutty over them, and for good reason. California grown, these pale green nuts have a subtle, delicate flavor that is wonderful in sweet as well as savory dishes or for eating out of hand. Traditionally used in rice dishes, stuffing, ice cream and pastries, pistachios are now a key ingredient in signature salads.
Pistachio Facts & Helpful Tips
The key to including nuts in the diet without adding extra calories is portion control. Use pistachios on salads, or in main dishes, to replace meat or poultry. California pistachios have versatility, texture and great taste. They also pack a powerful nutritional punch. A 1-ounce serving — 49 pistachios — contains more than 10 percent of the Daily Value for dietary fiber, vitamin B-6, thiamin, phosphorus and copper. One serving of pistachios has as much potassium as half a large banana. Pistachios contain mostly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fat (11 of 13 fat grams), the types of fat recommended by the 2005 Dietary Guidelines For Americans. Pistachios also are naturally cholesterol free and trans fat free.
Other Pistachio Facts:
- A serving of pistachios has more fiber (2.9g) than 1 small tomato (1.1g) or 1 cup of raw spinach (.8g).
- A serving of pistachios provides almost 1 1/2 times the amount of thiamin as 1/2 cup serving of cooked, long grain, enriched white rice and 2 1/2 times the amount of thiamin in long grain, brown rice.
- The amount of vitamin B-6 in a 1-ounce serving of pistachios is comparable to that in a standard 3-ounce serving of roasted pork loin, 2 times that in a serving of peanut butter and 5 times that in a serving of black beans.
- Pistachios contain more phytosterols such as beta-sitosterol than any other commonly eaten nut, 61mg per serving or 279mg per 100g. Phytosterols may help lower cholesterol levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Preliminary research suggests phytosterols also may offer protection from certain types of cancer.
- The largest USDA study of food antioxidants reveals pistachios are one of the best sources of beta-carotene of all tree nuts and peanuts. Pistachios also provide the most lutein and zeaxanthin of all tree nuts. Antioxidants are compounds in foods that may help fight cancer, heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease, and help maintain healthy arteries.
To Make Pistachio Oil:
Toast 1 cup pistachio kernels. When cool, finely grind in food processor. In a saucepan, warm 1 1/2 cups olive oil and ground pistachios and stir until blended. Transfer to a jar and let stand overnight at room temperature. Strain. Substitute in place of olive oil to add flavor to any recipe.
Harvest Salad with Caramelized California Pistachios and Green Apples
Chef Andrew Carmellini of A Voce Restaurant in New York celebrates the bounty of the harvest with this delicious — yet simple — salad featuring crisp green apples and caramelized California pistachios.
- 4 cups arugula, picked and washed
- 2 cups watercress, picked and washed
- 1 bulb fennel, sliced in half lengthwise then thinly sliced
- 1 cored green apple, thinly sliced
- 3 stalks celery, thinly sliced
- 4 leaves basil, washed and coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons white raisins, soaked in warm water and drained
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 whole lemons, zested then juiced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup California pistachios, caramelized
- Combine all ingredients except cheese and breadcrumbs in mixing bowl. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste. Divide into 6 salad bowls; top with cheese, breadcrumbs and caramelized pistachios (see sidebar for caramelizing). Serve immediately. Serves 6.
Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 250, Total Fat 16g, Saturated Fat 2.5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol less than 5mg, Sodium 610mg, Potassium 530mg, Carbohydrate 27g, Dietary Fiber 5g, Protein 6g
Goat Cheese, Beet Roots and California Pistachio Salad
Executive Chef Pascal LeSeac’h of Pastis, one of New York City’s hottest restaurants, loves serving this simple beet salad featuring California pistachios.
- 5 medium size beet roots
- 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup California pistachios, toasted and coarsely chopped
- 1 bunch flat parsley (1⁄4 cup chopped)
- 1 log (6 ounces) Montrachet goat cheese
- Salt and white pepper, to taste
- 5 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- Preheat oven: 375°F.
- Clean beet roots with cold water, dry with paper towel, coat with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season with salt. Wrap beets in aluminum foil and place in oven 1 1/2 hours. Check doneness by poking with small knife. Remove and peel beets and slice 1/2-inch thick. Reserve and cool in refrigerator. While beets are cooling, toast pistachios, let cool, then chop.
- Clean and dry parsley, then chop with large chef knife. Slice goat cheese 1/2-inch thick.
- To Serve: Alternate slices of beets and goat cheese on salad plate. Season with salt and white pepper. Add vinegar and remaining olive oil. Garnish with pistachios and chopped parsley. Serves 2.
Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 380, Total Fat 33g, Saturated Fat 9g, Monounsaturated Fat 19g, Cholesterol 20mg, Sodium 310mg, Potassium 450mg, Carbohydrate 13g, Dietary Fiber 4g, Protein 11g
Spicy Pear and Endive Salad with California Pistachios
Nationally-renowned celebrity chefs and “Too Hot Tamales” Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger offer this scrumptious salad featuring California pistachios from their award-winning Border Grill and Ciudad restaurants.
- 1/2 cup California pistachios, raw and shelled
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 Comice or D’anjou pears, quartered, cored, and sliced into 1/2-inch wedges
- 4 heads Belgian endive, cored and sliced lengthwise into strips
- 1/2 to 3⁄4 cup Cabrales blue cheese, crumbled
- 2 tablespoons pickled jalapeños, sliced
- 1/4 cup Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette (recipe follows)
- In small frying pan, combine pistachios, salt, pepper and sugar. Sauté over low to medium heat, stirring and shaking frequently until pistachios are toasted and sugar caramelizes and coats pistachios. Transfer pistachios to non-stick or parchment-lined cookie sheet and allow to cool. In large bowl, combine pears, endive, blue cheese, jalapeños and vinaigrette.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to 4 chilled salad plates and sprinkle with pistachios. Serves 4.
Honey Chipotle Vinaigrette
- 1/3 cup red wine vinegar
- 1 dry chipotle, stemmed and seeded
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons honey, warm
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- Combine vinegar and chipotle in small saucepan and bring to boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Place all ingredients in blender and blend until smooth and oil is emulsified. Adjust seasonings to taste. Makes 1 cup.
Nutritional Analysis (Amount per Serving): Calories 310, Total Fat 20g, Saturated Fat 5g, Monounsaturated Fat 10g, Cholesterol 15mg, Sodium 640mg, Potassium 500mg, Carbohydrate 30g, Dietary Fiber 6g, Protein 8g
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
- 1/2 cup California pistachio kernels
- In a medium saucepan, heat sugar with water, salt and cayenne pepper over a high flame. Cook until mixture is soft and bubbling. Add pistachios and stir 2 to 4 minutes, until caramelized (pistachios may clump together). Remove pistachios from pan and lay on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. When pistachios are completely cool, break apart and reserve.
Source: California Pistachio Commission
Makes about 12 servings
- 1-1/4 cups (16 ounces) roasted salted pistachios
- 2 cups sweetened flaked coconut
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) butter, melted
- Leaf green icing color
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon imitation clear vanilla
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 package (16 ounces) frozen whole strawberries, thawed, pureed and strained (about 1-1/2 cups)
- 1 envelope (1/4 ounce) unflavored gelatin
- No-taste red icing color
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, divided
- In food processor, pulse pistachios until coarsely ground. Add coconut, sugar, butter and icing color; pulse until well combined. Press into bottom and 3/4 up side of 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while making filling.
- In large bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until light and creamy. Add heavy cream and beat until combined.
- In small saucepan, bring strawberry juice just to boiling, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Sprinkle gelatin evenly over top and whisk vigorously to dissolve completely, about 3 minutes. Pour into cream cheese mixture. Add icing color and beat until well combined. Beat in 1/3 cup mini chocolate chips. Pour into chilled crust. Sprinkle top with remaining chocolate chips. Refrigerate until set, about 3 hours.