Monday, June 27, 2011

Wake Up Your Tastebuds With This Little Gem In a Shell

Since making the switch from no longer eating peanuts many years ago I have always been on the lookout for other protein sources. First, I got hooked on Chili Lime Cashews that Trader Joe's promptly discontinued, then came Planter's South Beach Mix whose price skyrocketed during the South Beach And Atkins Diet Craze. I then moved on to Blue Diamond Natural Oven Roasted Almonds in the Cinnamon Brown Sugar Flavor which Super Target discontinued, now I only buy them on sale and with a coupon at my local Meijer or Walgreen's.

When my fix for this flavor of almonds became limited, I started seeing lots of commercial's, ads in magazine and coupons for pistachios. After doing some research on pistachios, they appear to be quite heart healthy. Year's ago as a kid in the 1960's, I recall seeing people eat them, they were red and left your hands stained with red dye for days or weeks. I do not remember if I tried them back then and did not like them or if I was afraid to try them? According to my research back then,  they were imported from Asian countries and dyed to cover the imperfections.

I do not know about all the other savvy couponer's, frugalistas or those on a fixed budget out there, but I dislike when I clip a coupon for a new product and then it takes months for it to show up in a store, worse is when the coupon expires before you can even find the product. Perhaps the companies secretly plan this into their marketing ploy to build up your anticipation for there new product? The companies are "smiling all the way to the bank" , they are "banking" that you will buy the product after all those months of you carrying the coupon, even if it is not on sale.

My cardinal rule is to try to use a coupon for everything that I can and to only buy items on sale and use coupons on that as well. Once in a while a product is very appealing that I buy it only because I have a coupon and it is not on sale. This past Saturday I was shopping at my local Super Target and I had 2 coupons for $1.00 off Everybody's Nuts California Pistachios. I had been carrying around these coupons since March waiting for them to appear in a grocery store. I justified my purchase of these 2 small bags of Pistachios because I already received some gift cards for other items purchased. I decided to use one of my gift cards for this purchase along with my 2 coupons. This way my products were free and I was not buying them only because I had 2 coupons.

Although pistachios are high in both fat and calories, they still take a lot of work to further open the shell to eat, so I always wind up eating less of them. You need to balance this with all your calories and fat grams to be able to still include them as a smart & heart healthy snack. They do have quite a bit of sodium in contrast to unsalted cashews or almonds. I truly enjoy eating a 1/3 of cup of Pistachio's with there 6 grams of protein over bag of Potato Chips or Pretzels.

The are sold in 3 flavors Salt & Pepper, Chili & Lime And Garlic & Pepper. Because of my love for all things Chili& Lime And Garlic & Pepper I purchased these two flavors.All packages guarantee that all of your Pistachios will be cracked with an open shell, the company offers a free bag if you find one that is not cracked at all.

Here are the pic's of the two I purchased. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do. Eat them plain as a snack or for extra protein in a salad or add them to a stir fry.

 The chili & lime is not to spicy, it has the just right bite to it. These are perfect without the shells to add into a salad or by themselves as a snack. It was very hard to restrain myself from eating the whole bag instead of the 1/3 cup serving size, these were amazing.

Being the fan I am of all things garlic & onion this is the perfect way to season a pistachio. Even though both of these flavors have a higher sodium content then the Planter's South Beach Mix, you can't taste it at all. If I did not already know there was sodium in this flavor, I would think they were salt free.

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