Disclaimer: By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by the Pistachio Health Institute and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.
As I mentioned in a past post, I was recently accepted into the fabulous Recipe Redux, and I am beyond thrilled to be a part of this group of health conscious food bloggers. The Recipe Redux was founded by registered dietitians and is focused on taking delicious dishes, keeping them delicious, but making them healthier for you. Um…that’s basically a perfect description of what I hope to accomplish with 24 Carrot Life! In addition to a monthly theme, Recipe Redux has optional monthly recipe contests, and this month’s is sponsored by the Pistachio Health Institute. This challenge is a little different than others, though. We were challenged to come up with a perfect pair (not recipe) of foods to go with in-shell pistachios. I totally got this!
Pistachios are one of my favorite nuts. They are super satisfying and surprisingly low in calories. Did you know that 30 pistachios has only 100 calories? This is great news considering that I consumed probably double that serving size while I was traveling on a bus for three hours the other day.
So, what’s so special about in-shell pistachios? One of my favorite parts about eating pistachios from the shell is that I have the little (or large) pile of shells to remind me of how many I have eaten so far. Apparently I’m not the only one since studies show that participants who left their shells on their desk reduced their calorie consumption by 18 percent compared to participants who threw their shells out immediately after consumption (Pistachio Health Institute). These stats are very encouraging for my nut eating habit.
Another cool thing I learned recently- have you seen those lists of food hacks online? Well, there is one that includes a tip for how to open those pesky pistachios that you can never open with just your fingers. You use half of an old shell to twist and pry open the two halves. I finally tried it out and… it actually works!! This was very exciting because now I am not left with a pile of unopened pistachios at the end of my snack. I only had one completely closed pistachio at the end of eating a small bag. I’d call that a success.
Now, let’s get to this pairing already! In addition to in-shell pistachios, we have homemade mint tea. This tea is about as easy as it gets. Just water and fresh mint leaves. It is great served hot or cold. I had some left over and poured it into my water bottle to take with me while traveling. So refreshing.
Lastly, we have these mini no-bake almond joy cookies. They are SO simple to make and are a perfect healthy option for dessert, or as a snack. The main ingredients are almond meal, unsweetened coconut flakes, honey, almond butter and chocolate. That’s just five ingredients (plus a pinch of salt and some vanilla extract)!
Store these cookies in the fridge or freezer for weeks to grab as a snack or dessert. I have a feeling they aren’t going to last that long though. The recipe below makes just six small cookies, but you can easily double or triple the recipe if needed.
I am tempted to invite some friends over for afternoon tea with this perfect pairing, and I hope you are too!
What are some of your favorite foods to pair with pistachios?
- 6 cups water
- large handful fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup almond meal
- 2 tablespoons unsweetened coconut flakes
- pinch of salt
- 1/4 cup natural almond butter
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1.5 oz. bar chocolate, chopped (milk or dark)
- Add water and mint leaves to a large pot and bring to a boil over high heat.
- Once the water begins to boil, turn off and let cool slightly before serving. Can also be served over ice.
- Add almond meal, coconut, and salt to a medium bowl and mix to combine.
- In a microwave safe bowl, add almond butter and honey. Microwave for about 15 seconds to warm.
- Add vanilla extract and stir to combine thoroughly. Pour over dry ingredients and stir until incorporated.
- Add chocolate chunks and fold to combine.
- Scoop into 6 even balls, roll in your hands, and flatten.
- Place in the fridge for about 30 minutes to set. Store in fridge or freezer.