Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gobble Up Some Green this Thanksgiving

Often times we’re busy celebrating our thanks and forget to be mindful of our diets. Between stuffing, mashed potatoes and pecan pie, Thanksgiving often turns into a carbs-giving! A study done by the University of Toronto found that pairing pistachios with high carbohydrate meals may decrease blood sugar peaks after a meal, which may be of benefit to long-term blood sugar control. Controlling blood sugar is a potentially important mechanism by which pistachios could help reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes[1].


“Go Green” this Thanksgiving by incorporating pistachios throughout your meals and snacks to help curb spikes in blood sugar. Having trouble finding ways to sneak the “green” into your holiday goodies? Try these tips:


· Put away the cheese balls and spinach dips and set out some pistachios as an appetizer. Try TheGreenNut.org’s White Bean Dip With Pistachios and Cilantro for a great dip option. Eating pistachios half an hour before your main meal will help curb your appetite.

· Give side dishes a hearty-holiday flavor! Roast fresh squash, sweet potatoes or pumpkin and sprinkle with your favorite green nut. Not only will pistachios add a nutritious punch, but their vibrant green hue doubles as decoration on the plate.

· Add pistachios into higher carbohydrate-packed dishes, like stuffing. Simply mix in ¼ cup of pistachios into your current stuffing recipe for a healthy boost.

· Season your favorite cookies or baked goods with pistachios, not only will it add over 30 vitamins and minerals to your dessert, but you’ll also boost the protein content. Stir pistachios into thicker batters, or sprinkle on top right before baking.
 
We also have this month’s featured pistachio recipe for Delicata Squash with Orange & Pistachios – the perfect, healthy side dish for your Thanksgiving dinner! For more holiday dish ideas, visit http://www.thegreennut.org/
 
 
Recipe of the Month: Delicata Squash with Orange & Pistachios


This recipe will be a refreshingly healthy switch from all of the other carb-loaded side dishes on Thanksgiving. With the use of seasonal veggies, simple seasonings and a splash of sweetness from the orange juice, it’s a dish that will certainly make you thankful for your taste buds.
 
 
Ingredients


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

2 shallots, halved and sliced

1 large delicata squash, halved lengthwise, seeded and thinly sliced (about 4 cups)

1 teaspoon orange zest

3/4 cup 3/4 cup orange juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons chopped salted pistachios


Instructions

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.

Add shallots and cook, stirring, until softened and beginning to brown, about 2 minutes.

Add squash, orange zest and juice, salt and pepper.

Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook, stirring once, until the squash is almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes.

Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed and the squash is tender and beginning to brown, 12 to 15 minutes more.

Garnish with pistachios.

Nutritional Information: (Amount Per Serving) 122 calories; 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 4 g mono unsaturated fat); 0 mg cholesterol; 17 g carbohydrates; 3 g protein; 2 g fiber; 308 mg sodium; 168 mg potassium

[1] Research Citation: Kendall CWC et al. Effect of pistachios consumed with different common carbohydrate foods on postprandial glycemia. FASEB J. 2007;21:832.2

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