Let’s talk pistachios.
Not gonna lie, one of my favoritest nuts. Some people (like my dad) find them annoying to eat because you have to crack them open, but I think of it as part of the pistachio experience.
Even though pistachios are the nuts with the least amount of calories, they have more than 30 good-for-you vitamins and minerals. One serving of pistachios (’bout 50 of the little guys) has only 170 calories but still contain significant amounts of the carotenoids that reduce the risk of macular degeneration (aka loss of vision in the part of the eye that allows you to see fine details.) Pistachios are also chock full o’ fiber – one serving of pistachio has almost the same amount of fiber as one serving of oatmeal! Fiber, of course, makes you feel fuller and keeps your digestive system a-movin’.
And because you have to shell pistachios, it probably means you’ll eat less of them. Studies have shown that even though you may not feel full while eating, your stomach has actually reached it’s max capacity – it’s just taking a while for it to signal your brain to stop noshing. So by eating slower, you can be more aware of when you’re actually “full,” and having to shell pistachios makes sure that you’re not wolfing them down at too fast a pace.
I always buy my pistachios in-shell and unsalted. A lot of the times, I feel that adding salt to nuts lets you taste less of the “nuttiness,” so I always get my nuts sans NaCl. I want to taste that green, crunchy pistachioness, dangnammit!
Anyhoo, other than pistachios, I also roasted these bad boys:
Sweet potatoes of 2 different varieties. Mind you, these aren’t American yams – those are more of an orangey color. These are good ole-fashioned go-goo-mahs, or Korean sweet potatoes. You know, the kind ah-juh-ssi’s sell steamed and piping-hot on the sidewalks in the winter.
The potater above is the kind you’ll normally find in the afore-mentioned kiosks. Red skin, with pale yellow interior.
But THIS guy… he’s a purple Hawaiian Sweet Potato.
Notice the color difference even when they’re roasted?
The Hawaiian turn an even darker, richer purple color – an almost violet-indigo? It’s actually a really pretty color.
Now sweet potatoes in general are really good for you – they’re fat-free, and rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, and vitamins C and B6 (B6 helps in the balancing of sodium and potassium in your body, as well as red blood cell production), iron and calcium. Whew, that’s a mouthful.
BUTTTT the Hawaiians are even better for you! They’re lower on the glycemic index than regular sweet potatoes, which means that you digest them more slowly, leading to less of a spike in your blood sugar – just the same way honey or agave nectar is lower in GI than sugar. These tubers are also rich in a type of antioxidant called phytochemicals, and anthocyanins are the phytos that give these guys their purple color. Anthocyanins are also found in blueberries (you know that blueberries are called superfruits right?) and protect blood vessels, collagen, and your nervous system. And Hawaiian sweet potatoes have even more anthocyanins than blueberries. Wowza.
And I always, always, always eat my taters with skin on; I just make sure to wash them carefully. The skin is where all the fiber’s at; plus, it helps protect the nutrients in the actual flesh of the potato from escaping during the cooking process.
Now, you might be thinking that a potato is a potato is a potato. But there is a difference in texture and in taste with these guys. I’d say the purples ones are a touch firmer and sweeter. But they’re both really tasty – I eat these almost every day in the winter because I just can’t get enough of them.
Scoop them out with a fork and into my mouth they go!!
That’s all for this time. I know it was a lot of sciency stuff, and your head might be hurting – mine definitely is – but all you have to know that both pistachios and sweet potatoes are uber good for you! So eat lots of them!
Look forward to my next post – lots of veggie goodness coming up :D