If You Feel Like a Nut, Reach For a Pistachio

| September 21, 2013

bowl of pistachiosNuts are a great addition to any diet since they have a satisfying crunch, a salty element and are the source of healthy fat—but alas, they are also high in calories.

A great solution is the pistachio, which has fewer calories than its nutty cousins and adds a delicious exotic flavor to salads, fish and vegetable dishes, as well as baked goods.

Pistachios also have more potassium and vitamin K per serving than other nuts. A 1-ounce serving of dry-roasted pistachios provides you with 25% of the daily value of vitamin B-6, 15% of the daily value for thiamine and phosphorus and 10% of the daily value for magnesium.

In addition to being high in “vision” enhancing lutein, the heart healthy pistachio also helps to lower cholesterol. Eating 20 pistachios is a perfect size snack that will still control the calories.

The nutritional content of 20 pistachios  = 120 calories, 10.4 g fat, 5.6 g carbohydrates, 3.2 g protein, 2.4 g fiber, 144 mg sodium, 3 PointsPlus(For Weight Watchers) so keep 20 in your bag for those afternoon cravings.

Here are a couple of our favorite ways to incorporate pistachios into your diet.

Pistachio Crusted Fish

Nuts are a more nutritious way to coat fish then breadcrumbs or panko. Nuts stay crunchy, keep in the moisture and add a wonderful element of flavor to the dish.bowl of pistachios

Serves: 4


  • 2/3 cup shelled pistachios
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon mint
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 tilapia fillets (4 ounces each)
  • 2 tablespoons agave


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a small roasting pan with cooking spray. Grind pistachios, basil, thyme, mint, salt and pepper in a small food processor. Transfer mixture onto a plate. Rinse tilapia and pat dry with a paper towel. Coat top side of each fillet with 1 teaspoon of agave. Press agave-coated side into pistachio mixture. Place fish, pistachio side up, on prepared pan. Bake 15 to 17 minutes until fish flakes with a fork.

Dark Chocolate and Pistachio Bark

Here is an easy and yummy dessert for all you chocoholics that need to have their dark chocolate fix regularly.

Serves 10

  • 1 1/2 cups dark chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)
  • 1/2 cup shelled salted pistachios, roughly chopped


Melt chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Stir in pistachios and salt. Pour onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and spread to 1/4-inch thickness. Refrigerate for 20 minutes or until completely firm. Peel the parchment off the hardened mixture and break into pieces.


Charlotte Goldblatt