Potty About Pistachios?

I recently came across some pistachios still in their pods and was so intrigued as I am a huge fan.  I had to investigate as we snack on them a lot as a family and I love them in baking.

They grow in grape like clusters and have been around since The Stone Age as some archaeological finds have dated them back to as early as 7,000 B.C! They are native to the Middle East and were cultivated as a delicacy.  I read that the Queen of Sheba declared they were only to be eaten by royals.  The Romans first brought them to Europe and from there onwards our love affair began.

English: Pistachios Español: Pistachos

Photo credit: Wikipedia

Nowadays, they are cultivated mainly in the Middle East – Iran, Turkey and Syria but also in California.  They grow in grape like bunches and the hull ripens in late Summer to a rosy colour and splits to reveal the shell and beautiful green kernel.   These kernels we know as a baking ingredient or snack food were dried and used in India to dye clothes.

Pistachios are rich in lots of nutrients.  Vitamin B and fibre for example but also potassium and protein. A handful of pistachios – say 30g has about 15% of your recommended fibre intake and around 160 calories.  Some people do say that nuts are fatty.  I looked into this and apparently pistachios are mostly (90%) unsaturated fat which has a positive effect on your body.

So with all that in mind, here are three simple pistachio recipes for you to try.

Pistachio and Orange Cake – I’ve used ground pistachios in the cake and also whole ones to decorate.

Sticky Orange and Pistachio Cake

Sticky and Moist Pistachio and Orange Cake

and Pistachio and Chocolate Macarons – I’ve substituted ground almonds with pistachios which gives this natural green colour.

copyright-urvashi-roe_pistachio-and-choc-macaroons

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio and Chocolate Biscotti - The green goes so well with the chocolate and these get crunchier with age!

copyright-urvashi-roe_chocolate-and-pistachio-biscotti

Pistachio and Chocolate Biscotti – great for dipping in hot chocolate sauce!

What do you do with pistachios?  Are they simply a snack? Share some of your favourite recipes!

13 responses to “Potty About Pistachios?

  1. Someone gave me some pistachio oil for Christmas. I haven’t used it yet because I can’t figure out what to do with it — I’ll probably buy some pistachios and use them both in a batch of granola.

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  2. aropistachios

    We are a California Multi-generational farm growing Ohadi, Kerman, and Arya (our own distinctive variety) Pistachios. We roast them with Himalayan Pinksalt for extra flavor and nutritional value.

    Visit our webpage http://www.aropistachio.com

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  3. It’s one of my favourite nuts, so really, I’m happy just popping them into my mouth. It’s one of those things that are always on the table during chinese new year too, everyone grabs a handful and start popping them and snacking on them amidst all the conversations, so I have fond memories of this nut! you have some lovely ideas for them, I may very well put them to much more interesting uses then simply having them plain now (:

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  4. Just a snack for me – I like the fact they take a long time to eat (with getting them out of the shells) so it feels like you’ve had more! I did have a nice salad from Pret that had them on it, so I might think about putting them on a salad.

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  5. Hi Urvashi I love your blog and pistachios too!

    My husband is Persian and his family often bring us amazing pistachios that are salted in the shells and delicious to snack on when they visit from Tehran. Or blanched slivers of pistachio for baking. I recently adapted a recipe to make chocolate amaretti biscuits with both ground almond and pistachio. You can buy both at deli’s in London.

    Here’s my recipe if you want to take a look.

    http://cookingupastorminateacup.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/less-is-more-unless-its-chocolate.html

    Deb

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  6. These pistacchio macarons are amazing- will bare these in mind as a treat to partner who loves them

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