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Pistachios, roasted, without salt (organic?)

Pistachios are available raw and roasted. They are a tasty but unhealthy snack - even without added salt. Organic?
We have provided the missing values for the nutritional information from the USDA database for this ingredient.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 29.72%
Macronutrient proteins 22.12%
Macronutrient fats 48.16%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 13.1g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, 0.2g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 62:1

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Here, essential linolenic acid (LA) 13.13 g to essential alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) 0.21 g = 62:1.
Ratio Total omega-6 = 13.13 g to omega-3 fatty acids Total = 0.21 g = 62:1.
On average, we need about 2 g of LA and ALA per day from which a healthy body also produces EPA and DHA, etc.

Pistachios have a very special aroma that is even more intense when dry roasted . Without additional salt , the stone fruit of the pistachio tree ( Pistacia vera ) is definitely healthier than the salted variety. However, you should be aware of the poor ratio between Omega-6 and Omega-3 (62:1) and not snack on too many of them.

Use in the kitchen

The taste of the kernels of the real pistachio is sweet, almond-like and at the same time very aromatic. Roasted pistachios are often eaten as a snack, with or without salt ; they are also available raw . How can you roast pistachios? "Dry roasted" means that they are heated without the addition of fat, oil or water. With the unshelled version, you first have to open the shell of the pistachios to get to the edible kernel. Roasting pistachio kernels intensifies the taste, makes them crispier, but also more susceptible to damage and oxidation. 1,2 Gentle roasting at low temperatures is a prerequisite here.

How can you roast and salt unshelled pistachios yourself? How can you salt unsalted pistachios? We recommend pistachios without salt. However, if you would like to have salted pistachios occasionally, you can either buy them salted or salt the pistachios yourself (salt the pistachios afterwards). To do this, place the pistachio kernels in a salt water bath, leave to soak for about 15 minutes and then dry the pistachios. Roasting pistachios yourself works like this: roast in the oven at 180 °C for about 10-15 minutes, turning occasionally. Can you roast shelled pistachios in a pan? Shelled pistachios are best roasted in a pan, without adding fat, at low temperatures (about 5-10 minutes).

What can you use pistachios for? Ground kernels are used in pesto, puree and baked goods such as cantuccini (cantucci), Christmas biscuits, cakes or other sweet pastries. Pistachio kernels are an important ingredient in sweets such as Mozart balls, baklava or pralines. Chopped, the beautiful green seeds can be used excellently for decoration and thereby visually highlight dishes and delicatessen products. Pistachios are also suitable for garnishing salads (e.g.lettuce , romaine lettuce ) or dishes with quinoa , couscous or tofu . The aromatic taste of pistachios goes particularly well with fruits such as mangos , pomegranate seeds or apricots .

Pistachio ice cream is also very popular, especially in Italy and America. "Pesto di pistacchi" is a Sicilian national dish, where it is served with pasta as well as meat and fish.

Vegan recipe for pistachio pesto

Ingredients : 200 g pistachio kernels (works with roasted and unroasted ones ), 1⁄4 bunch of fresh basil , 1 clove of garlic , 1 tbsp yeast flakes , a little salt , 2 tbsp lemon juice ,pepper , 100 ml extra virgin olive oil (olive oil tastes better, but cold-pressed rapeseed oil has a healthier fatty acid ratio).

Preparation : Blanch the pistachios for about 5 minutes, as this makes it easier to remove the skin. Drain the kernels and remove the skin around the kernel. Puree the pistachios with yeast flakes, garlic, torn basil leaves, lemon juice and oil in a high-performance blender and season with salt and pepper.

Tip : You can also use pistachio kernels for vegan pesto without cooking them. If the skin is difficult to remove, you can leave it on.

Vegan recipe for pistachio cake

Ingredients : 180 g unsalted pistachios, 150 g spelt flour , 2 tsp cream of tartar baking powder , 150 g raw sugar , 1 pinch of salt, 2 cups fresh spinach (gives a more intense green color), 200 ml oat milk (or almond milk ), 70 ml refined rapeseed oil , 2 tsp apple cider vinegar .

Preparation : Grease a rectangular baking pan about 25 cm long and preheat the oven to 175 °C top / bottom heat. Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt and add finely ground pistachios to the mixture. Puree the spinach, oil and milk alternative in a blender and mix into the flour mixture. Finally, carefully stir in the apple cider vinegar and pour the mixture evenly into the greased pan. After 35-40 minutes in the oven, do the toothpick test and, when the vegan cake is ready, let it cool.

Tip : As a glaze, you can mix vegan cream cheese with powdered sugar and spread it on the completely cooled cake. Decorate with chopped pistachios. Alternatively, you can simply serve the cake sprinkled with powdered sugar.

Vegan recipes with roasted pistachios can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Purchasing - Storage

Pistachios can be found in or shelled, raw, roasted, unsalted or salted all year round in supermarket chains such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer , Billa etc. Unroasted, fresh pistachios can also be bought in health food stores, organic shops, organic supermarkets ( Denn's Bioladen , Alnatura ) or online. If the pistachio kernels are still in the shells, the shells make up about half of the weight, i.e. a 250 g pack contains about 125 g of edible pistachios.

There are round and elongated varieties available on the market. The best varieties include "Kerman" from Iran and "Femminella" and "Minnulara" from Sicily.

When buying unshelled pistachios, make sure that as many of the kernels as possible are slightly open, as this is a sign of ripeness. Closed pistachios are unripe and not suitable for consumption. The kernels should be whole, without any breaks and without any discoloration or brown spots. In general, the greener the kernels, the better the quality.

When buying pistachios, make sure they are organically produced due to the possible aflatoxin contamination (mold). A musty smell from the stone fruit can indicate mold. High-quality (organic) pistachio kernels can be obtained from producing countries such as California or Turkey. There you can also find the kernels fresh and unroasted (seasonal). Raw pistachios are crisper, have a more delicate taste and are also significantly healthier.

The availability of roasted pistachios varies depending on the size of the store, catchment area, etc. If you are interested, click on our recorded food prices for the DA-CH countries (above under the ingredient image). There you will find current prices from various supermarkets and their price development.

Storage tips

Unshelled pistachios can be kept for several months if stored in a dry, cool place. The best way to store the shelled stone fruits is to store them in an airtight box in the refrigerator; they will keep for up to four weeks. Due to the high oil content of the kernels, there is a risk that the nuts will develop a rancid taste if stored at room temperature for a long time - or they will quickly start to mold if stored in a damp place. 4 This mold is often not obvious. By freezing the kernels, it is possible to extend the shelf life of the pistachio kernels to around a year.

Can you make pistachios crispy again? To make the kernels a little crispier again if they have lost their crispiness, you can briefly roast them in a pan.

Ingredients - Nutritional values - Calories

Roasted pistachios have a considerable energy content of 572 kcal/100g. The fat content is quite high at 46%, and saturated fats make up around 5.6%. The fatty acid ratio between omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids (LA:ALA) is unfavourable at around 62:1, see next chapter. Carbohydrates make up around 28%, fibre 10% and protein makes up around 21%.

Of the vitamins , pyridoxine (vitamin B 6 ) is the best represented at 1.1 mg/100g. This water-soluble vitamin is important for protein metabolism and plays an important role in many enzymatic reactions. In addition to dried marjoram, dried oregano and dulse also have similar levels of this B vitamin. Eating 100 g of these ingredients covers 80% of the daily requirement. Brewer's yeast provides around 4.4 mg of pyridoxine per 100 g, but you consume far less of it. 5

When it comes to macrominerals, pistachio kernels also contain a good amount of phosphorus (469 mg/100g). Phosphorus is essential and particularly important for bones, teeth and cell membranes. With a natural and balanced diet, you can easily cover your needs. Almonds with 481 mg/100g and hemp seeds with 468 mg/100g have similar phosphorus values. Too much phosphorus is consumed through industrial foods such as soft drinks and convenience foods; in severe cases, this oversupply can lead to a decrease in bone density. 5

Manganese is the most important micronutrient in pistachios. This content of 1.2 mg/100g is on a par with fenugreek seeds and Brazil nuts . Pine nuts have a higher proportion of the essential trace element at 8.8 mg/100g. Manganese is important for connective tissue and cartilage and plays a significant role in carbohydrate metabolism.

Iron is also worth mentioning, at 4 mg/100g. Dried peaches and green spelt meal are very similar to roasted pistachios, at 4.1 and 4.2 mg/100g respectively. Dried herbs have significantly more iron, but we consume much less of it (eg basil has 90 mg/100g). 5 Iron is a component of hemoglobin in red blood cells and is responsible for oxygen transport in the blood.

Pistachio kernels also contain a lot of essential oil, resins, acids and phenols. 6

The complete ingredients of roasted pistachio kernels, the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health effects

Are pistachios healthy? How healthy are pistachios? Regular consumption of pistachios may have a protective effect against lung cancer and other types of cancer. The stone fruits contain a lot of gamma-tocopherol, a form of vitamin E. This vitamin acts as an antioxidant, protects against free radicals, i.e. against cell aging, and as a result may reduce the risk of cancer. 7 Secondary plant substances , such as beta-sitosterol, have a similar effect. Roasted pistachios have around 210 mgof beta-sitosterol , which can be described as a lot.

Do pistachios have any health benefits? A crossover study shows that regular consumption of pistachios can reduce cardiovascular disease: by lowering cholesterol by 8% in a diet that includes 30% of calories from pistachios. 8 This actually applies to all nuts, so it is worth paying attention to other health values as well. Pistachio kernels have a significantly poorer ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids (roasted 62:1, raw 49:1) than other nuts, such as walnuts with 4:1 or macadamia with 6:1. The ratio should be closer to 1:1, as omega-3 fatty acids (e.g. alpha-linolenic acid) have an anti-inflammatory effect in the body and omega-6 fatty acids (e.g. linoleic acid) have a predominantly pro-inflammatory effect.

In general, a daily amount of around 30 g of nuts is recommended, as they are said to reduce heart disease (in this study, this includes not only pistachios, but also walnuts, almonds , cashews , hazelnuts , pecans , pine nuts , macadamia nuts and Brazil nuts ). This effect is most effective when unhealthy snacks containing salt, sugar, saturated fats or trans fats are replaced with nuts. In this paper, it is recommended that people with pre-existing conditions prefer raw nuts and avoid roasted or salted ones altogether. 9

Anemia caused by iron deficiency can be slightly improved by eating pistachios every day. The kernels contain a relatively high amount of iron and copper. This combination works against anemia and this effect is increased by the additional consumption of fresh, vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables. 10 Vitamin C promotes the absorption of iron in the intestine, which in turn has a positive effect on blood formation. 11

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects

Are pistachios healthy or unhealthy? Are roasted pistachios healthy? Roasting nuts and seeds does produce an intense, typical aroma, but a certain reaction, the Maillard reaction, can lead to the formation of acrylamide. This substance, which is considered to be carcinogenic, can form at temperatures of around 120 °C through a reaction between the amino acid asparagine and the naturally occurring sugar. Depending on the type and variety of nut or seed, the asparagine levels vary greatly and the roasting temperature is also a decisive factor. In almonds, the formation of acrylamide begins at around 130 °C and accelerates considerably from 145 °C. 12,13 Higher temperatures usually promote the formation of acrylamide more than the duration of roasting. 14

A lack of hygiene and frequent contact with the soil can contaminate the opened, "laughing" pistachios with microbes during the traditional harvest. If stored in damp conditions, there is also a greater risk of infection by mold, especially aflatoxins (toxic metabolic products of mold). Aflatoxins have a harmful effect on the liver and kidneys and increase the risk of developing cancer. In addition, treating the stone fruits with insecticides is harmful to health. Pistachios are subject to strict tests when imported into the EU, which reduces such contamination. 15

Do pistachios have side effects? Like other nuts (e.g. almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, etc.), pistachios can trigger severe allergic reactions. Symptoms of the allergy are itching or burning in the mouth, on the tongue or on the skin. The neck and face are most commonly affected, and in the worst case, an allergic shock occurs. The 32 allergens currently known are often stable to processing methods such as heating or roasting. Cross allergies and real food allergies are also possible. To date, there is no effective immunotherapy in circulation. 16

Folk medicine - natural healing

You often read that pistachios are important for people with weight problems. However, this also applies to other nuts. Because of their high fat and protein content, nuts keep you full for a long time, and the high fiber content also makes a significant contribution here. 17 With pistachios in particular, opening the shell can slow down the speed of consumption. 18 The remaining shells show you how much you have already eaten - which can lead to you eating less than with shelled pistachios. 19 You usually eat significantly less of the salt-free version, which leads to a lower calorie intake. In addition, the fat contained in the kernels is said to not be fully usable and the body therefore excretes some of it undigested. 20

However, if you eat more than 70 g of nuts per day over a longer period of time, you can gain weight due to the high fat content.

Ecological footprint - animal welfare

Raw pistachio kernels have an ecological CO 2 footprint of 3.9 kg CO 2 eq/kg. 23 This is quite high compared to walnuts in shell (0.9 kg CO 2 eq/kg) or peanuts in shell (0.8 kg CO 2 eq/kg). 24 Due to the additional work step of roasting, it is assumed that the amount of emissions will increase even further compared to raw pistachios. To reduce emissions during this work step, the kernels can be dried using solar energy. 25

The amount of water required to produce 1 kg of pistachios is 11,363 liters, similar to the amount required to produce 1 kg of walnuts (shelled: 9,280 liters; in shell 4,918 liters) or hazelnuts (shelled: 10,515 liters; in shell: 5,258 liters). 26 However, in comparison to walnuts, pistachios are sometimes grown in areas where water scarcity is a major problem, such as Iran. The impact of pistachio cultivation on the environment is correspondingly high, particularly due to the necessary artificial irrigation with water from aquifers, but also due to the use of pesticides. 27

The sustainable use of pistachio residues is currently a research topic. Previous studies show the suitability of pistachio shells for various purposes - for example, for the production of bio-oil 28 , so-called nanopaper 29 but also in wastewater treatment (of heavy metals). 30

Worldwide occurrence - cultivation

Where do pistachios come from? The pistachio tree ( Pistacia vera ) thrives in subtropical regions all over the world. 4 Finds date back to ancient times. Immigrants imported the pistachio from the Middle East to America around 1880. 50 years later, pistachios came onto the market in the USA as a snack. The best-known pistachio growing areas are in Iran, California, Turkey and Syria. 15 In Europe, Greece (e.g. Aegina, Salamina, Euboea etc.), Italy (Sicily) and Spain (Andalusia) are the largest and most interesting growing areas for pistachios.

Found in the wild

In Iran, the real pistachio Pistacia vera and two of its relatives ( Pistacia atlantica and Pistacia khinjuk ) occur naturally. Only Pistacia vera is grown commercially. The other species are used as rootstocks for P. vera . 3

Cultivation - Harvest

For the ingredient pistachios (raw) you will find information on the cultivation and harvesting methods of pistachios.

Further information

The evergreen pistachio tree ( Pistacia vera ) belongs to the sumac family (Anacardiaceae). The cashew nut also belongs to the same family. To distinguish Pistacia vera from other species, it is also called a real pistachio. From a botanical point of view, pistachios are not true nuts, but rather stone fruits (drupes) - like almonds, macadamia nuts (depending on the scientific opinion) or cashews. 21 In a non-strictly botanical context, however, they are often referred to as nuts for the sake of simplicity, even in medical studies. 9

The name "pistachio" comes from the Persian word peste, which is derived from the Middle Persian word pistag. It was adopted into Latin and then into German as pistacia.

Alternative names

Pistachio kernels are also called Aleppo nuts or pistachio almonds. 4 They were given the honorary name "green almonds" because the green kernels are the most valuable. 10 The pistachio is sometimes also known as the "laughing nut".

In English the pistachio is called pistachio, pistachio nut, pistache, green almond.

Other uses

The wood of the pistachio tree has a beautiful light-dark color, is hard, heavy and easy to work with. It is occasionally used to make knife handles and musical instruments. 22

In the past, the seeds were used as a dye and as a remedy for many diseases (e.g. toothache, liver cirrhosis).

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