With the exception of that strange, green instant pudding from my childhood, my experience with pistachios was rather limited until I married my husband, Mike. My Aunt Mary used to make this awesome dessert called Watergate Cake and it was a lovely shade of pistachio green and it contained that same pudding. Recipe coming soon!! But thats not what today is about! Granola. Today is about granola.
So. My husband loves pistachios and has always preferred to buy the ones roasted, salted and cracked in the shell. He snacks on them regularly and he has passed that nutty love of lime green nuts onto our children. They eat them whenever they can get their hands on them and when I came across a recipe that made them the star player in granola, I couldn’t pass it up. I always add them to my favorite granola bar recipe for color and flavor, but this recipe takes the obsession one step further. One tasty, crunchy, healthy, and addictive step further. So good in fact, I passed some of this along to my neighbor when I was testing and tweaking this recipe, and even though I sent it with yogurt to eat as well, she skipped the dairy and just inhaled the granola by itself. Then she pestered me for more! Good indication of a winner, don’t you think?
In general, I prefer to save a buck or two and crack them myself. Or rather, I give them to Mike and he cracks them for me. (Some of those suckers are tough!) Pistachios are on the expensive side so when they are on sale, I buy what I can and enjoy them. I always plan to buy ahead and freeze them, but we eat them too fast! Like most nuts, pistachios are incredibly good for you and contain a wealth of nutrients. Just a handful can give you your daily allowance of more than a half dozen vitamins and minerals, in addition to healthy fats and antioxidants. I would love to mention all of the benefits of these fantastic nuts, but I think that we should really just stick to the most important factor: They are GREEN!!! You faithful readers know about my obsession with all things green, afore mentioned here and here. How do you pass up such a cheerful color? Pistachio green paint is so popular, the 60′s and 70′s had people painting their entire kitchens with it. Those people knew something groovy when they saw it, huh?
If you are not familiar with the taste of them, this granola is the perfect segue into discovering your love of happy, green, pistachios. Healthy, nutty, crunchy, and incredibly toasty, we love it sprinkled over yogurt or poured in a bowl with some milk and eaten like a cereal. Absolutely fantastic. And much less of a commitment than painting your cabinets green.
Mixed and ready to toast in the oven!
All done! Perfectly toasty and delicious!
*Todays recipe is the second part of a healthy eating series I am doing over on J Rose Fitness, a healthy living Facebook page! Jessica McKenzie is an online Beach body coach and you can check out her page here. Be sure to like her on Facebook to get regular healthy living tips and inspiration! Click on the links below to see the other recipes in the series.
Recipe adapted from Mountain Momma Cooks
I do double this recipe, but most of the time I like enjoying this small batch. I make this often, but it isn’t my regular go-to formula for granola so we treat it as something special.
1 1/2 c rolled oats
1/2 c shelled pistachio nuts, roughly chopped if desired
1/3 c sliced almonds
3 T grape seed or canola oil
3 T honey, preferably raw
1 tsp vanilla
small pinch of salt (if your nuts come salted, omit this ingredient)
Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine nuts and oats. In a large measuring cup, microwave the remaining ingredients until just warm enough to soften the honey and stir the mixture smooth. Pour over the oats and pistachios, mix thoroughly, and spread on a parchment lined sheet pan. Be sure the mixture is in a nice, thin, single layer so that the heat can circulate well and toast your granola evenly! Bake for 10 minutes, then gently stir the mixture well, spreading it evenly out on the sheet pan again. Toast for another 5 minutes, stir again, then toast for a final three minutes. Granola should be golden brown and don’t worry-it will crisp up as it cools. Remove and let cool completely. Store in an airtight container or freeze.