Low Fat Cinnamon & Vanilla Crusted Pistachios By: Chef Tory McPhail

16 Servings

1 cup egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 pound roasted, salted unshelled pistachios


Preheat oven to 275º. Pour the egg whites into the clean bowl of an electric mixer and turn on full speed to start fluffing the meringue for about one minute. Add the sugar, cinnamon and vanilla and continue to whip on high for an additional minute, or until the sugar has dissolved and feels smooth to the touch and the meringue has reached stiff glossy peaks. Remove the whisk and the bowl from the mixer.

Fold in the pistachios using a rubber spatula until incorporated fully. Working quickly, scrape out the pistachio meringue onto a greased cookie sheet and spread out evenly. Place the cookie sheet into the oven and bake for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes remove the pistachio meringue from the oven, mix thoroughly to redistribute evenly and then place cookie sheet back in the oven. Repeat this process every 15 minutes – for about an hour - until they're completely dry and crunchy. Turn off oven, crack the oven door and cool the pistachios for at least an hour. At this point the pistachios are ready to be transferred to an air-tight container and may be held for several weeks in a cool dry location.

Nutritional Information per Serving: 207 calories, 8 g protein, 13 g fat, 2 g saturated fat,18 g carbohydrates, 12 g sugars, 3 g fiber, 0 mg cholesterol, 147 mg sodium.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!