5 Ways To Get More Protein-Packed Pistachios In Your Diet
Pistachios are getting some well deserved time in the spotlight after they were recently found to be a complete source of protein for anyone older than five years old. Which is good news both for vegans and vegetarians looking for more protein—but also for anyone who's a fan of the little, green nut.
For something to be considered a complete protein, it needs to contain the enough of all nine essential amino acids. Pistachios now join the rankings of other complete sources of protein like meat, dairy, quinoa, chickpeas, and tofu.
And of course, there's no wrong way to enjoy pistachios; if you want to eat them as is, that is a-okay. But we thought, hey, why not offer a rundown on five unique ways to incorporate the protein-packed pistachio in our diets? Let's start with main dishes.
As a crunch on your main dishes
We love unique ways to get creative in the kitchen with uncommon ingredients. Pistachios, while great for snacking, can be a great addition to mains as well.
This pistachio crusted salmon recipe from PaleoLeap is so tasty and different, and you could use it on chicken or pork, as well. For a switch-up on your usual pesto, enter this cardamom basil lime pesto which adds a bright and Middle Eastern–inspired touch to gnocchi, pasta, or even on salads as a dressing.
And speaking of salads, the use of pistachios in this late summer salad adds wonderful flavor and crunch. In fact, they make an excellent garnish in lots of dishes.
Try pistachio milk
If you're a fan of almond, cashew, or hemp milk, mabye it's about time you give pistachio milk a try! It's rich and creamy with a distinct pistachio flavor, and it couldn't be easier to make yourself.
All it takes is soaking the pistachios, blending with water and a pinch of salt, and straining. You can also purchase it ready-made, but the DIY route it is more your game, here's Whole Food's step-by-step guide. Add this to your cereal, smoothies, oatmeal, and more.
Make some pistachio butter
Speaking of easy DIY's involving pistachios, have you tried pistachio butter? If not, this cardamom pistachio nut butter is going to blow your mind. All you need is pistachios, cardamom, a little oil, some honey, and a food processor or a high-powered blender.
You can leave out the cardamom if you're feeling classic, but don't knock it 'til you try it. Throw your shelled, raw pistachios in a food processor with cardamom, a bit of avocado oil, and some honey, and thin with a little water.
Boom, your done! Add it to anything you want: smoothies, toast, with fruit or celery—the list goes on.
Put them in your sweet treat recipes
Of course, pistachios are most often incorporated in baked goods and desserts, and for good reason. Their crunch, plus their flavor complement sweets like cookies and muffins. Even pistachio ice cream remains a somewhat unlikely yet adored flavor around the world.
To make your own, Loving It Vegan has a great vegan pistachio ice cream recipe that uses coconut milk as the base. For some middle-Eastern flair, try your hand at making this three-ingredient halva, a traditional dish that many cultures around the world have put their own spin on.
And for a gluten-free and vegan cookie to get your chocolate fix and pack in some pistachios, enter these double-chocolate pistachio cookies (or add them to any of your favorite cookies, for that matter).
Of course, as a snack
Last but never least, scattering in some pistachios as a snack can go a long way in your daily protein intake, and there are some creative ways to do so.
This chocolate pistachio brittle, for example, is not only loaded with protein thanks to the nuts, but dark chocolate is proven to be a heart-healthy and mood boosting treat. To keep it simple, add them to your favorite trail mix, or go for Trader Joe's Oh My! Omega Trek Mix, or True North's Mediterranean Blend granola.
And if raw nuts are a bit harder on your digestion, have no fear. You can soak them to make digestion a bit easier—here's how.
Getting the right amount of protein is crucial for everything from muscle growth to boosting mood, and with versatile ingredients like pistachios, it's totally doable. Plus, with pistachios proven to help keep you full, lower blood pressure, and improve metabolic function, we're more than happy to have them on hand.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.