Zel's Vegan NutGourmet

Zel Allen Goes Nuts for Good Health

Posts Tagged ‘pistachio recipe’

NUTTY BAKER GOES WILD IN THE KITCHEN!

Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on August 13, 2009

I know I’m not alone when I say I have a thing for pistachios. They’re so darned lovable in practically every dish I’ve put them into. I had this wild idea to create a totally whole-grain, no-yeast bread and pack it with pistachios. I did it and it’s a winner!

Preparing, baking, and eating this bread will feel like Mother Nature paid a visit to your kitchen. This is not the airy white bread that comes from highly processed grains and leaves you with little nourishment. Because, this bread is made from truly whole grains and is prepared without yeast, it will be heavier, considerably denser, and delightfully earthy because it’s full of flavorful savory ingredients that give it a chewy texture.

Most of all, it’s delicious, but there’s something else very special about this bread. Wheat berries and oat groats deliver an impressive array of vitamins and minerals, 20 in all, plus protein, fiber, and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The oat groats add another dimension to the nutrition package—they contain soluble fiber that helps to lower cholesterol naturally.

pistcaperbread

PISTACHIO CAPER BREAD

Yield: 2 small loaves (4 to 6 servings per loaf)

5 1/2 cups water, divided
1 cup oat groats
1 cup wheat berries

1 tablespoon psyllium seed husks

2/3 cup raw pistachios
2/3 cup dehydrated onions
1/2 cup well-drained capers
6 cloves garlic, finely minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

1. Place the oat groats and wheat berries into a large bowl and rinse the grains. Add 4 cups of the water to the grains and soak for 8 to 24 hours.
2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees and line a large jellyroll pan with parchment paper. Drain and rinse the soaked grains and put them into the food processor with 1 1/4 cups of the remaining water. Process the grains for about 2 minutes, or until they are ground to a coarse meal and all the liquid is well incorporated. Stop the machine occasionally to scrape down the sides of the work bowl. If your processor has a small capacity, process the grains in 2 batches.
3. Combine the remaining 1/4 cup of water with the psyllium husks in a small bowl. Stir well and set aside for about 30 seconds to allow the mixture to thicken. Add the thickened psyllium to the processor and process it into the grains.
4. Transfer the grains to a large bowl and add the pistachios, onions, capers, garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix well to distribute the ingredients evenly.
5. Spoon the mixture onto the prepared jellyroll pans in two even piles and use the spoon to shape the loaves into thick rectangles about 5 x 7-inches.
6. Lightly cover the loaves with aluminum foil, shiny side down, and bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake 10 minutes longer. Cool completely, slice, and serve.

Notes:
Oat groats and wheat berries are available in natural food markets. Psyllium seed husks absorb water and act as a binder. They are also available in natural food markets.

If not serving right away, wrap the breads separately in plastic bags and refrigerate for up to one week. Bring to room temperature before serving or wrap in aluminum foil, shiny side inside, and warm in a preheated 350-degree oven for about 10 minutes.

I like to prepare these breads in advance and freeze them to give as gifts or to enjoy when guests come for dinner. To freeze, wrap the cooled breads separately in heavy-duty zipper-lock plastic bags. Frozen, they will keep well for up to 4 months.

Posted in Antioxidants in Nuts, Nut Nutrition, Nut Recipes, Nuts and Health, pistachios | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Hooray for Pistachios!

Posted by Zel Allen's nutgourmet on January 13, 2009

pistachioHere’s the scoop on PISTACHIOS, one of my favorite nuts. A recent study conducted at Pennsylvania State University found pistachios a benefit in more ways than just their ability to lower cholesterol. The study, a randomized, controlled feeding experiment focused on just 1.5 to 3 ounces of pistachios a day, or one to two handfuls. Both quantities were successful, but the 3-ounce quantity reduced total cholesterol by 8.4 percent and the LDL (bad) cholesterol by 11.6 percent.

This is awesome–researchers also found that pistachios contain higher levels of lutein, an antioxidant normally found in leafy green vegetables. Imagine—pistachios have levels of antioxidants that veggies like kale and collards are known for. The pistachios also contain greater amounts of beta-carotene and gama tocopherol than other nuts—more antioxidants. These antioxidants were shown to improve cardiovascular health by reducing serum oxidized LDL.

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Here’s a tasty pistachio recipe from my cookbook, The Nut Gourmet

I’ve served this super-easy appetizer to friends of all ages and all dietary preferences and can honestly say it’s a winner. I’ve even had this recipe on the menu for the cooking classes I teach with my husband, and our students have fallen in love with it, too. It’s the pleasing combination of peas, spices, and pistachios that creates the base of this Indian-inspired starter, while its uniqueness comes from the finishing splash of pomegranate syrup.

If you can’t find pomegranate syrup, don’t worry about it. Just leave it out and you will still have a very delicious appetizer. Serve the dip with toasted whole grain pita wedges or whole grain crackers.

Here’s another scrumptious way you can enjoy this super-easy recipe. Spread a generous layer of this dip over bread slices, top them with slices of tomato, place some cheese slices over the top, and broil until the cheese melts. Cut each slice into quarters or simply dig in with a knife and fork. Makes a great brunch or lunch dish!peakarachi

Yield:  5 to 6 servings

HOT KARACHI PEA DIP

1 1/2 cups frozen peas, thawed
1/2 cup raw pistachios
5 tablespoons water
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon curry powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1 tablespoon pomegranate syrup or pomegranate molasses

1.    Combine the peas, pistachios, water, lemon juice, salt, curry powder, and cayenne in the food processor and process until creamy.
2.    Transfer to a 1-quart saucepan and gently heat, stirring frequently, until thoroughly warmed but not boiling.
3.    Spoon into an attractive serving bowl and lightly drizzle the top with the pomegranate syrup.

Posted in Antioxidants in Nuts, Nut Nutrition, Nut Recipes, Nut Studies, Nuts and Health, pistachios | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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