What do you reach for your afternoon snacks? Pistachios are a great choice — particularly when combined with other nutritious foods.
Most mornings, I am up before dawn. Often, breakfast happens early and is usually fruit and/or oatmeal. By the time it’s noon, I am ready for lunch — if I haven’t had it already. That’s sometimes leftovers, sometimes a salad, sometimes a sandwich or soup. But there’s still hours and hours until dinner. So what does that mean? Afternoon snacks, of course. But even snacks need to be on the more healthful side of things because after losing about 25 pounds last year, I am unwilling to find them again.
Enter delicious, healthful snacks like pistachios — one of my very favorite nuts. When I was a kid, I always opted for the red ones that would stain your fingers as you opened them. But these days, the natural tan ones are where it’s at. Roasted and salted, of course.
But pistachios? They are more than just that fun little nut that you get to crack open and enjoy. They are also really good for you. Did you know that 1 ounce of pistachios (about 49 nuts) has about 3 grams of fiber? That more than you’d get in a comparable serving of cashews or walnuts — and more fiber than in one peach. An ounce also has about 25 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin B-6. Known as the “Skinny Nut” these babies are lower in calories and fat compared to most other snack nuts.
Pistachio Pairing Ideas
What’s even better than snacking on pistachios? Pairing them with other foods for a really well-rounded snack. I am a big believer in mindful eating — taking care to choose nutritious foods that nourish and fuel a body for the day. So when I pair pistachios with other foods, that’s always in the back of my mind.
Here are a few of my favorite ways to enjoy pistachios as a snack
First: Start with about 30 pistachios — that’s less than an ounce, but still really satisfying for about 100 calories — and enjoy them with these potential pairings:
- 1 juicy, ripe pear and tea with honey
- 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt, 1/2 cup quartered strawberries
- 1/2 oz. cubed cheddar cheese, 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 2 balls marinated mozzarella (cherry-sized), 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
- 1/2 cup diced watermelon, 1/2 oz. crumbled feta
Looking for more ideas? Check out the Pistachios Health Institute Facebook page, where you can also enter The Year of the Skinny Nut Sweepstakes for a chance to win a year supply of pistachios. Sweepstakes runs from January 7 – January 31, 2015.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of four cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to a tween and a teen, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.