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Pistachios, pistachios pistachios—so much can be said about these little green nuts. For starters, pistachios are one of the top superfoods whose health benefits are both long and deep. Sure to be a relevant and important topic at the upcoming Safe Food California convention taking place April 18-21 in Monterey, Ca., pistachios are (literally) growing and here to stay. In fact, over 550 million pounds of these nuts are expected to be produced in the U.S. this year. By 2020, that number is expected to approach 1 billion (pounds). But putting such industry growth aside, these nuts are truly made for eating. With St. Patrick’s Day square in our sites, the green color of the pistachio may be just what you need for a Shamrock-fueled recipe or two! Explore some well-reviewed recipes further below. But first, let’s check out just why pistachios are so darn healthy.

 

Pistachios are considered a "superfood" due to their clear health benefits (as long as they are consumed in moderation). For a fast, healthy snack, the recommendation is to stick to a one-ounce serving...about 45 nuts...to avoid excess cholesterol and added sodium. Image Credit: Created in-house at Portco Packaging.

Pistachios are considered a “superfood” due to their clear health benefits (as long as they are consumed in moderation). For a fast, healthy snack, the recommendation is to stick to a one-ounce serving…about 45 nuts…to avoid excess cholesterol and added sodium. Image Credit: Created in-house at Portco Packaging.

Amplifying St. Patrick’s Day with Pistachios!

Most people think the only way to consume pistachios is one at a time. Certainly a wonderful practice, the list of additional, exciting ways to leverage these tasty bits of nature is far from short. And, as a none-too-surprising side effect of their shamrock green color, some manifestations are just perfect for St. Patrick’s Day. Check out a few well-reviewed recipes below:

Pistachio Bread

Perfect for St. Patrick's Day, this green bread recipe from AllRecipes.com gets a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. Enjoy!

Perfect for St. Patrick’s Day, this green bread recipe from AllRecipes.com gets a 4.5 out of 5 star rating. Enjoy!

Crunchy Spring Rolls with Asian Pistachio Dipping Sauce

This great recipe hails from the American Pistachio Growers website. Having cooked this one myself, I can't say enough!

This great recipe hails from the American Pistachio Growers website. Having cooked this one myself, I can’t say enough!

Pistachio Arugula Brown Rice Salad

Another great, pistachio-fueled offering from American Pistachio Growers.

Another great, pistachio-fueled offering from American Pistachio Growers.

Quinoa Kale Risotto Pistachios

The third time is most definitely the charm. Here's one more great recipe from American Pistachio Growers great website.

The third time is most definitely the charm. Here’s one more great recipe from American Pistachio Growers great website.

The Red Seal Banner program offered by the DFA of California promotes industry to retail recognition of both quality and safety. Image Courtesy: DFA of Ca.

The Red Seal Banner program offered by the DFA of California promotes industry to retail recognition of both quality and safety. Image Courtesy: DFA of Ca.

Pistachios and the California Dried Fruit and Nut Industry

With its explosive growth predicted over the next 5 years and an already healthy (in more ways than one) contribution to the industry, pistachios serve as an integral part of the overall California dried fruit and nut industry. This specialty crop is helped along by the Dried Fruit and Tree Nut Association of California (DFA), whose mission is stated as follows on its website:

“Established in 1908, DFA is a technical service organization focused on addressing the needs of the food industry with a special emphasis on California’s specialty crops. With rapidly growing expectations from regulators, consumers, and retail outlets, we help companies become more proactive in their approach to food safety and quality practices. DFA offers technical services to growers, packers, processors and food manufacturers to aid in their efforts to maintain the highest standards in food safety and quality.”

Fruits of all kinds, along with other tree-grown nuts, are in great hands with the DFA who works hard (as stated) to create an environment of safety and quality while assisting with regulations and retail push. In fact, the DFA is the parent organization of the Safe Food California event taking place next month where our company, Portco Packaging (an SQF Level 3 flexible packager) will be in attendance. This annual event is part of a continued thrust in the California dried fruit and nut industry to come together and keep learning and sharing best, safe food practices. With the clear goal of continuing to bring safe and wholesome foods to market, event sponsors include some of the top growers and suppliers in the industry. With their firm foot in the field, it should come as no surprise to see pistachio producers Diamond Nuts and Wonderful Pistachios and Almonds atop the list.

Other great Safe Food California event sponsors and attendees from the fruit and tree nut categories include National Raisin CompanySunsweet, California Walnuts, Blue Diamond, Sunmaid, ShoEi, California Dried Plums, National Pecan, Valley Fig Growers, Mariani Nut Company, Mariani Premium Dried Fruit. For a complete list of sponsors go here.

AUTHOR: Dan Meyers