The pistachio nut, once a treasured delicacy among royals, is more than just a delicious little snack-food; it is a nutritional powerhouse. Packed with antioxidants, copper, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, B6, protein, and fiber, pistachios will fight everything from aging to weight to heart disease. Not to mention almost 90% of the fat found in pistachios is healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. It’s no wonder a recent study out of Penn State showed that people who ate 2 servings of pistachios a day lowered their LDL cholesterol (the bad one) by an average of 13 percent! The suspected reason: pistachios have a higher concentration of phytosterols, which are known to bind cholesterol in the GI tract and block its absorption, than any other nut.
Pistachios are great in granola, salads, yogurt, pancakes, pesto, baked goods, soups, oatmeal, crushed as an alternative to breadcrumbs on fish or chicken, and in cookie jars. Yes, you read that right. In my house pistachios are kept in a NY Times crossword cookie jar instead of cookies…making for an easy handful any time of day.