National Pistachio Day Feb. 26
Celebrate National Pistachio Day on Feb. 26
February 26 is not just an unusual holiday, but a very nutty one. It is National Pistachio Day.
In the Middle East, pistachios are known as the "smiling nut", in China, it is called the "happy nut". It is also referred to as the green almond because of the green kernel and the almond-shaped shell.
Pistachios are not only addicting and delicious, but also loaded with nutrients.
Celebrate today by eating Pistachios. They are great plain as a snack, in savory dishes, in ice cream, and in a wide range of desserts. So get cracking.
One of the oldest nuts on earth
A royal nut
Pistachio is one of the oldest flowering nut tree on earth dating back to 9000 B.C. It was one of two nuts, aside from almonds, mentioned in the bible (Genesis 43:11).
Legend has it that the Queen of Sheba hoarded all the pistachio nuts for herself and forbade commoners from growing them. King Nebuchadnezzar showcased them in his famed Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the world.
Because of its long storage life and nutritious value, pistachios were carried by explorers and travelers along 4000 miles of the ancient Silk Road which connected China with the West.
Photo Source: Wikipedia Commons
The pistachio is the seed fruit of Pistacia vera in the Anacardiaceae family, originating in Persia.
Clever and fun way to serve pistachio nuts - One bowl for the nuts and another for the shells.
One bowl for the nuts and another for the shells
Not only is this melamine pistachio bowl set playful and whimsical, it can be used to serve other nuts like peanuts, almonds, sunflowers seeds. Durable and easy to keep clean and store, this pistachio nut set makes a wonderful gift.
Take a quick poll
How do you like your pistachios?
Although known as a nut, the fruit of the pistachio is botanically a drupe, the edible portion of which is the seed.
It's a long wait to get the first nut
But well worth the wait
The pistachio tree that produces this nut is of the cashew family and has small brownish-green flowers and reddish wrinkled fruit borne in heavy grape-like clusters. The pistachio is actually a seed, not a nut.
Pistachio trees are pollinated by the wind and not by bees. One male tree produces enough pollen for 25 nut-bearing females. Female trees produce their first nuts at about age five and can bear fruit for up to 200 years. Its a long wait to get the first nut.
When they ripen in late summer or early autumn, the green pistachio kernel grows inside and splits the nut. This split shell makes the pistachio unique.
Pistachios were introduced in a widespread manner to the U.S. in the 1880's. It was only in the 1970s that pistachios were commercially grown in the U.S.
With its Mediterranean-like climate, California's Central Valley is the only place where pistachios can be grown in the U.S. and today, California is the second largest producer of pistachios, next to Iran.
How pistachios are harvested
Automation makes pistachios more affordable
There are approximately 550 pistachio growers in the U.S. Ninety-eight percent of pistachios produced in the U.S. are grown in California's central valley. In the U.S., pistachios are usually harvested in late August to early September. These are shaken down by special machines which knock the pistachios onto a catching frame or tarp. This takes about a minute.The nuts are loaded onto containers and transported to the processing plant. Pistachio nuts must be hulled and dried immediately to preserve their delicate quality and to prevent their shells from staining. Pistachios are then sorted according to size, quality, colour and shape by means of sorting machines.
Watch these machines shake things up in the pistachio farms
Interesting links about American pistachios
- Growing & Harvesting the Pistachio Nut - Farming of Pistachios | American Pistachio Growers
Watch how American pistachios are grown and harvested.
- California Pistachios
Pistachios are as ancient as early civilization, having grown for centuries in the desert high country of the Holy Lands in the Middle East. As a delicacy, their enduring taste has withstood the test of time.
- Process Flow - Setton Pistachio - Setton Farms
Setton Pistachio - Setton Farms
Grow your own pistachios
How to Start a Pistachio Tree From Seed
Pistachios are sold in many forms and flavors
Pistachios raw and roasted meats
Turkish Antep Pistachios and Colossal California Pistachios
Red-colored Pistachios and Dark ChocolateCovered Pistachios
Have you ever seen a giant pistachio?
See the world's largest pistachio nut
The Smart Snack - good for your heart, eyes, and weight - Delicious and "nut-ritious"
If you want to supress your hunger pangs and need to snack, choose pistachios. Among all the nuts, these are one of the most nutritious.
This bowl has 49 nuts (1 oz.) which I prepared for this lens. It is the equivalent of 170 calories and chockful of different vitamins and minerals. Pistachios are antioxidant powerhouses which fights against free radicals. Pistachios also has a high fiber content compared to other nuts.
Pistachios make a wise snack choice as they contain dense levels of eight nutrients including thiamin, vitamin B6, copper, manganese, potassium, fiber, phosphorus and magnesium.
Pistachios are heart-friendly - These nuts love you back
Most nuts are known as fattening because these contain fats that are not good for you. Almost 90% of the fats in pistachio nuts are good fats, which are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids which reduce blood cholesterol levels and therefore lowers the risk of heart disease.
Good fats supply energy and are necessary for your body to absorb vitamins A, D, E and K. Pistachios are naturally free from trans-fat which are found in French fries, doughnuts and other foods fried in partially-hydrogenated oils.
Why not give someone you care about a bag of nutritious pistachio nuts.
Pistachios protect against heart disease - Beneficial information about pistachio and your heart
- A daily dose of pistachios offers potential heart health benefits
Adding to a growing body of evidence, new research shows that a daily dose of pistachios may offer protective benefits against cardiovascular disease, according to a study published in the Volume 26, No. 2 issue of the Journal of the American College
- How pistachios help the heart | Mail Online
A handful or two of pistachio nuts a day could keep heart disease at bay, research suggests. They appear to lower cholesterol and keep arteries healthy. Just three ounces of pistachios a day is enough to significantly lower the risk of heart disease
- Pistachios decrease cardiovascualr disease
Experts already consider nuts to be rich in the nutrients that reduce hardening of the arteries, one of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes and they are regarded as a desirable part of a healthy diet.
Pistachios are eye-healthy - Eat more greens ---eat pistachios
One ounce of pistachio nuts (49 nuts) contains .36 mg. of lutein found in the green kernel which is equivalent to the same amount found in half a cup serving of broccoli. Lutein is concentrated in the retinas of you eyes, so it is a necessary part of good eyesight. Lutein contains anti-oxidant nutrient which reduces the risk of age-related macular degeneration.
Lutein and Eye Health - Go Green with pistachios' nutirents
- Facts About Age-Related Macular Degeneration [NEI Health Information]
National Eye Institute's publication for people who are at higher risk for Age-Related Macular Degeneration. Encourages regular eye exams through dilated pupils.
- Lutein and AMD (Lutein, AMD, Retina, Vision, Eye Health, Macular Degeneration, Eye Disease) - Lutein
Luteininfo.com -- Your source for information and news about lutein. Featuring information on lutein, antioxidants, macular degeneration, eye disease, cataracts, lycopene, eye health, beta carotene, functional foods.
- Lutein Benefits
Lutein is a yellow or orange pigment found in some fruits and vegetables that may help to protect your vision.
Pistachios care about your waistline - Has the lowest calorie content of all tree nuts.
A diet of pistachio does help you lose weight. Pistachios are lower in calories than other nuts. Pistachios also have one of the highest fiber contents than any other nuts. Fiber helps you feel full. A one ounce serving (about 49 nuts) is the equivalent to one serving bowl of oatmeal.
The protein and good fats take longer to digest than carbohydrates making you feel satisfied and not craving for more snacks. What a great way to keep your weight and waistline in check.
Pistachios are great weight and waist watchers - Empty shells help curb your appetite
A diet of pistachio does help you lose weight. In-shell pistachios take longer to eat and are filling. Prying the shells of each nut open takes time, and the growing heap of shells in the discard bowl makes one more mindful of how much nuts have been consumed. It is no wonder pistachios are also called the "Skinny Nut."
This bowl contains the shells of 49 pistachio nuts which I happily consumed for this lens. I met my daily allowance of fiber, lutein, and good fats and did not gain an ounce.
Next time you have a snack attack, reach for a bowl of nutritous pistachios. It's all good.
Eat pistachios and help control your appetite - An ally of weight loss
- Pistachios good for weight management and your heart
Researchers show that pistachios are a good snack when trying to manage your weight and improve your cardiovascular function.
- The Pistachio Diet: Weight Loss for Cycling Success | Active.com
Have unwanted pounds found their way onto your body's frame? It's time to take a new approach to looking at nutrition labels, eating and weight control.
- Eat Pistachios to Lose Weight?
Nuts, including pistachios have lots of health benefits. But can pistachios actually help you to lose weight?
Pistachios are addicting - You still need to know when to stop
Pistachio shells do not stack well as shown by the empty shells spilling over the bowl. This is not the result of mindless nut eating in one seating, but were collected over a period of 3 days. The bowl holds 3 servings (3 oz.) and a total of 510 calories. Although it is not unusual for a pistachio fan to consume this much of the respectable nut especially while watching a football or baseball game on TV. Looking at the ever-growing heap of shells makes one conscious of how much has been consumed and will make one say enough is enough.
- Pistachio-crusted chicken recipe
This is an easy and elegant and easy to make chicken dish that young and old will enjoy. It is breaded with crushed pistachio nuts and baked in the oven.
- Simple, heart-healthy pistachio recipes from celebrity chefs, EatingWell and Prevention | Pistachio
An updated collection of tips and facts about pistachios.
- Pistachio Biscotti Recipe : Tyler Florence : Food Network
Food Network invites you to try this Pistachio Biscotti recipe from Tyler Florence.
- Pistachio Cheese Roll recipe
A list of pistachio recipes using Santa Barbara Pistacho Company pistachios, kernels & oil.
- Pistachio recipes and videos at your fingertips.
Need pistachio recipes? Get delicious pistachio recipes including Pistachio Cake, Pistachio Brittle and more pistachio recipes
- Glazed Carrots with Pistachios Recipe
Dress up glazed carrots with toasted pistachios for a fast, festive side dish.
- pistachio recipes | 5 Delicious Recipes Using Heart-Healthy Pistachios | Rodale News
These healthy little green nuts are fabulous in recipes such as Salmon-Pistachio Lettuce Wraps, Pistachio-Crusted Pork Scaloppine, and Cherry-Pistachio Biscotti.
Chill Out with Pistachio Ice Cream Recipes
Pistachio ice cream is credited to James W. Parkinson of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1840 who made his creation a popular item in the American menu.
- PIstachio Ice Cream Recipe
Find the recipe for Pistachio Ice Cream and other milk/cream recipes at Epicurious.com
- Pistachio Ice Cream Recipe : Emeril Lagasse : Food Network
Food Network invites you to try this Pistachio Ice Cream recipe from Emeril Lagasse.
- Pistachio Nut Ice Cream | Brown Eyed Baker
In the interest of full disclosure, I am sharing the whole story about how this pistachio ice cream came to be. Developing this ice cream recipe has been a couple months in the making. Back when I made the pistachio
Exotic sweets with pistachio nuts
What's the scoop?
Here is a Sicilian-style top-notch Pistachio Gelato Recipe
Pistachios are uplifting in all these stories
This is Nuts!
Thank you Squidoo
On Feb.15, 2012, this lens was bestowed a Purple Star Award. I wholeheartedly thank the lensmaster who nominated this lens to be worthy of this honor.