Nutty-figgy Pistachio Sports Snacks

4 servings, 4 slices each.

5 tablespoons Roasted/salted, shelled American pistachios
1 ¼ cups Dried California figs (moist-style) stemmed
2 teaspoons Grated orange peel


Remove 8 whole pistachios, halve them and set aside for garnishing. Finely chop 2 tablespoons of remaining pistachios in food processor, remove from container and set aside. Combine remaining pistachios, figs and orange peel in processor, process until mixture forms into ball, less than 1 minute. Shape into an 8 inch log, then roll in reserved chopped nuts. Chill until firm, then cut into 16 slices. Place halved pistachios in center of each.
Note: If you do not have a food processor, turn figs and all but 8 pistachios onto board and chop together with large knife until fine. Mix grated orange peel then shape as above.

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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!