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Breaking the Vicious Cycle

The Official Website for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet The Official Website for The Specific Carbohydrate Diet


Pistachio nuts

Tanya writes:
Pistachio nuts are legal, but the skins can be really tough for newbies. And don't get the pink dyed ones, or the salted ones because they can have starch added to them.

I worry more about pistachios because the shells are cracked open.

Pistachio nuts, which are related to cashews and mangoes, grow inside a hull so you have the nut, the shell, and then a hull around the shell. About 2 or 3 weeks before the nut is ripe, the shell starts to split, but the hull stays intact. With Turkish pistachios, which are smaller than California pistachios, the hull is kept on until they are ready to be processed. But in California, they take the hull off within 24 hours of picking so that the hull doesn't stain the shell. The hull is pink and that is why they stain pistachio nuts pink because originally in the Middle East, they were sold in the pink husk.

Once hulled, the nuts (still in their split shell) are soaked in brine and then dried and roasted. If we were going to have a problem with them, it would be because there was an illegal in the brine, and I don't know that we can be sure there isn't one.

I did find instructions for salting and roasting your own and you can get unsalted, unroasted pistachios at the health food store (they taste very boring). You could also use this method for salting and roasting your own whole pumpkin seeds (we used to do this when we were kids at Halloween).

Here are the instructions,

Home roasting allows you to prepare pistachios according to your own personal taste: shorter roasting time for crisp pistachios with minimal roasted flavor, and longer roasting time for a stronger roasted flavor.

Dissolve 2 to 3 ounces of salt in 4 ounces of water (1/2 cup). Pour this salt solution into a deep saucepan over high heat. Add about 8 to 10 cups of pistachios and stir until all water has evaporated and salt is deposited on the nuts.

Spread nuts on a cookie sheet in a preheated 250 degree F. oven and roast 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours, depending upon taste preference. Stir every 30 minutes.

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