“I received free pistachio samples from the Pistachio Health Institute mentioned in this post. By posting this pairing I am entering a contest sponsored by Pistachio Health Institute and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
I’m feeling quite due for a vacation, and there’s no place I love more than any country along the Mediterranean Sea. I’ve been to a few, but have lots more on my list, so for this post which is sponsored by the Pistachio Health Institute, I’m hopping down to Greece, Italy, and southern Spain for aperitivo. That’s a Mediterranean version of our happy hour, where they have a little snack and drink before dinner. In Latin it means, “to open the stomach”, or stimulate the appetite.
The Pistachio Health Institute challenged members of the Recipe ReDux to pair in-shell pistachios with some of our favorite snacks and a beverage. Pistachios are grown in warm weather and Mediterranean climates, and I love all things Mediterranean, especially the food (octopus is a little bit sketchy, but I have eaten it). Pistachios are perfect for any kind of a snack- you can dress them up or down, and I use them in cooking and baking all or the time.
Like all nuts, in-shell pistachios are a heart healthy snack, but did you know that eating in-shell pistachios is a great way to get the health benefits of nuts, without the extra calories? A one-ounce serving (49 pieces) has about 160 calories (that’s actually less than many other nuts), but there’s also something interesting about eating the in-shell pistachios.
Studies show that people who take the time to eat them from the shell eat 41 percent fewer calories. Maybe it’s because we have to work a little bit harder for them, or maybe it’s that pile of shells showing us how much we ate, but in-shell pistachios are the ultimate “skinny nut”!
For this challenge, I paired in-shell pistachios with Kalamata olives, feta cheese, and tomatoes from Greece. Lots of heart healthy deliciousness here, especially if you drizzle a little bit of Italian rosemary infused olive oil over the cheese and tomatoes.
I served it with a red wine sangria made with Spanish Rioja, and laced with citrus fruits from southern Spain. I love the beautiful colors and flavors in this quick and healthy aperitivo. Mmmmmm… nothing like a Mediterranean vacation for my senses!
How do you like to eat pistachios?