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September 27, 2018
Here’s all you need to know about…pistachios!

It is a tasty nut with great nutritional value, that has gotten into our kitchen for good, and that often shows up in sweet and savory recipes. It is a nut which has been cultivated for thousands of years now, while, in the ancient times it was one of Greeks’ favorite foods. Its trees have a distinctive feature: They are divided into male and female, with the females producing the seeds that we all love. Now, let’s go remind ourselves a few things about pistachios and specifically for the well-known pistachios of Aegina island. Why well-known? Because, even those who do not know the island of Aegina, they know its pistachios! So, it is one of Greeks’ favorite nuts (and not only), which is as beneficial for our body, as it is for our soul. Full of valuable nutrients, the pistachios are capable of “taming” our hunger – since they are rich in fibers- and of upgrading the flavor of our foods or sweets. The pistachio trees prosper in several places all over the world, however, everything shows that in the soils of Aegina island, they have found their favorite spot and have managed to unfold all of their flavor and special aroma. This lead -rightfully so- to place the pistachios of Aegina in the list of Greek products with Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) in 1996.

Why does our body love them?

Because they have a rich flavor, but only a few calories per portion (15-20 g have about 53-70 kcal). They, also, have potassium which helps with the regulation of cortisol levels, which is known as the stress hormone. The phytosterols that they also include, “fight” the bad cholesterol, while the β-Carotene, lutein, and the rest antioxidants that pistachios have, raise their nutritional value significantly. Other nutrients? Thiamine, vitamin E, magnesium, biotin and vitamin B6, iron and zinc, fibers, but also a high rate of monounsaturated fatty acids. How are all these decoded regarding our health? As a boost for our immune system and our metabolism, protection against cardiovascular diseases, smooth function of the gastrointestinal tract and better regulation of blood sugar levels.

Why do we put them in our kitchen?

For several reasons! To boost the flavor of our ice creams and sweets. To make spoon sweets with them or to even sprinkle our salads. To “marry” them with pasta and other dishes, to pair our drink with them or to just enjoy them plainly -salted or not, roasted or raw. So, what do you say? Shall we go take a look at some of the most delicious recipes that we can make by using the pistachios of Aegina?

Pistachio and biscotti torte

Pistachio and biscotti torte by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Pistachio and rose red velvet halva

Pistachio and rose red velvet halva by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Pistachio crusted roasted lamb chops

Pistachio crusted roasted lamb chops by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Easy pistachio ice cream

Easy pistachio ice cream by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Strawberry and pistachio cake

Strawberry and pistachio cake by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Apple pistachio nut cake with honey apple topping

Apple pistachio nut cake with honey apple topping by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Cannoli with a lemon cream and pistachio filling

Cannoli with a lemon cream and pistachio filling by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Pistachio and almond liqueur truffles

Pistachio and almond liqueur truffles by Greek chef Akis Petretzikis

Next step? To take a look here and here! Why? Because there, you will find even more information for all kinds of nuts, while in the search engine of my website you can find several recipes including many of them ;-)

Enjoy!

Akis

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