Friday, October 15, 2010

Go Green this Halloween!

Fall is flying by just as fast as the summer, and holidays packed with tempting treats are just around the corner. This fall, don’t let yourself get “tricked” into unhealthy eating habits, especially with Halloween approaching. Instead, “treat” yourself (and your family) with healthy snack choices that will leave you feeling satisfied.

There are plenty of ways that you and your family can enjoy the fun this fall, and The Green Nut is here to offer up some tips on how you can “Go Green” this Halloween!

Watching a scary movie? Instead of noshing on nachos and gummy-bears, gobble up a handful of pistachios and dried apricots as a healthy alternative. Cracking open pistachios will help you keep track of what you are eating when you are paying more attention to the ghosts than the goodies.

Plenty of unhealthy goodies are always being passed around on Halloween. Make your house the fun and healthy stop on the block. Offer individual packs of pistachios, popcorn, granola bars or fruit along with the candy to trick-or-treaters. Healthy choices are always welcome – especially by parents!

Is your child’s class planning a party? Bring some healthy options into the classroom (veggies with a reduced fat dip, air popped popcorn and apples and caramel) for the kids to snack on! Not only will the teacher thank you, other parents will appreciate the extra nutrient push on a normally candy-laden day.

Carving pumpkins? Aside from the excitement of who’s going to create the best jack-o-lantern, you can’t forget about putting those pumpkin seeds to good use! After scooping out the pumpkins, rinse seeds in a colander, mix the clean seeds with your favorite Green Nut – pistachios – and toast in the oven at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes until lightly browned for a great spin on a Hallo-Green treat!
for a “green” treat of your own, check out this delectable Pistachio Gelato (below) that the whole family will love! For more delish recipes, visit
Pistachio Gelato - Gluten Free, Dairy Free

Not only will you be wearing a costume this Halloween, but you can dress up your dinner too! Trick your family into believing they are indulging in a rich and creamy ice-cream dessert with this gluten-free, dairy-free gelato recipe. This dessert-in-disguise will be a welcome treat after a day spent in wigs and capes. Happy Hallo-GREEN!

2 cups roasted, unsalted whole pistachios – use divided

2 ¼ cups of water

¼ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

2 tablespoons cornstarch

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

green food coloring – optional


Put 1½ cups pistachios in a bowl and cover completely with water. Soak for 1 to 8 hours. Drain and rinse pistachios in a strainer under cold running water until the water runs clear.

Chop the remaining ½ cup pistachios with the salt in a food processor until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside.

Put the soaked pistachios in a blender with 2¼ cups of water. Process for 2 to 3 minutes or until the mixture is very smooth. It should be the consistency of very heavy cream, e.g., pistachio cream. If too thick, add a little more water and blend.

Take ½ cup of the pistachio cream and mix with the cornstarch until completely blended.

Pour the rest of the pistachio cream into a large saucepan, combine with the chopped pistachios and sugar and cook over medium-high heat until it just starts to boil. Add in the cornstarch mixture and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. The mixture should be the consistency of pudding. Take off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. If you want the color a little greener, stir in some green food coloring drops, a few drops at a time, until it becomes the desired shade of green.

For a smooth gelato, push the mixture through a strainer into a bowl. For a chunkier texture just scrape the mixture into a bowl. Top with a piece of plastic wrap placed directly onto the surface to prevent a skin from forming. Let the mixture cool to room temperature then refrigerate for about 2 hours or until cold.

Put mixture into an ice cream machine and process for 20 to 25 minutes or according to the manufactures instructions.

The gelato can be eaten immediately or stored in the freezer in an airtight container. Take out of freezer for about 5 minutes to soften before serving.

Makes about 1 quart.

*Please note – if you make this recipe with salted pistachios, leave the additional salt out of the recipe.

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