By posting this recipe, I am entering a recipe contest sponsored byWonderful Pistachios and I am eligible for prizes associated with this contest. I was not compensated for my time.

February is American Heart Month! So to celebrate, all my friends with The Recipe Redux and Wonderful Pistachios have partnered together to share some heart healthy recipes to celebrate the month!

Pistachio and most other nuts are great to have as part of a heart healthy diet! Scientific studies have looked when nuts are eaten in portions of 1.5 ounce per day (which is about 1/3 cup) in addition to eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. But not only are there heart benefits to eating pistachios, there are lots of other reasons to eating them too! And they also have lots of fun nicknames that I want to share with you!

-They are the Fit Nut TM because they are high in protein and fiber.

-The Skinny Nut TM because they are the lowest in fat and calories of snack nuts.

-They are even the Mindful Nut TM because when you crack all those nuts and see all those shells that have been cracked, it is a great visual cue for portion control! In a preliminary behavioral study people ate 41% less with an average of 211 less calories when they had to shell them versus people who ate them straight from the bag. That’s real mindful eating! 

– I love the fact that pistachios are the Colorful Nut TM with their beautiful green and red purple hues which come from antioxidants.

-And last but not least, they are the Happy Nut TM because you get the great taste along with being good for you! That makes me real real happy and they almost look like they are smiling back at you too!

One of the best things about pistachios is that you can do so many things with them! Not only do they make a great snack, they can be crushed and used in a breading or a topping, added to salads, soups or wraps and sprinkled in all sorts of recipes for a pop of color, flavor and nutrition!

So in honor of heart month, pistachios, Valentine’s Day, Mardi Gras and my husband’s birthday, I made some Wonderful Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream! I want to tell you a little story about my love affair with pistachio ice cream. Several years ago, I walked into my favorite ice cream shop in town and saw the most lovely green ice cream that I had ever seen. When I asked what kind it was and found it was pistachio! I had never seen freshly made pistachio ice cream before, just the little light green stuff in the box probably made from a dry mix. And this pistachio ice cream was as tasty as it was beautiful!

Last summer, I went to visit my friends in Napa Valley and they took us out for gelato and I picked pistachio flavor! I just loved it and wanted to learn to make my own quick batch at home! I needed to find something that was easy that I could keep the ingredients on hand. Here is what I came up with, hope that you like the result!

Wonderful Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream

The secret ingredient is homemade pistachio butter! And I want to share how I made it. Our friend Alan, has made a few batches and has shared it with us! He inspired me to make my own and teach you how to make it! Instead of high fat dairy and my electric ice cream maker, I wanted to make a vegan version using frozen bananas and freshly squeezed juice from some Halo Mandarin Oranges . The pistachios, orange and coriander pair so beautifully, I hope you will love the results!

Makes 5 servings

3 rice bananas

1 cup pistachio butter

1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander

1-2 teaspoons grated orange peel

2 tablespoons honey

Juice from 1-2 Halo oranges Halo Mandarin Oranges, depending on the size ( until you get a pudding like consistency when it is blended)

Toppings for ice cream: crushed pistachios, orange zest and flaked coconut

To make the pistachio butter:

(Keep in mind that about 2 cups of shelled pistachios will make about 1 cup of pistachio butter).

Place 2 cups pistachios in a food processor and process for around 5-10 minutes until it is smooth. If you are using a little unsalted, you may want to add a pinch of salt and you also could try adding a teaspoon of honey but it is great without also. See how pretty and green it is! You can add to sandwiches and everywhere where you would use other nut butters!

After you have made the pistachio butter, add the frozen bananas, freshly ground coriander, grated orange peel and freshly squeezed orange juice to the food processor. Process until it is smooth and has a pudding like consistency.

 

 

Pistachio Recipe Contest

Add the mixture into a plastic container and put in the freezer to make this vegan ice cream happen! For a small batch of 5 servings, use 8 by 8 container but if you doubled the recipe, you may need a slightly larger container.

Pistachio Nice Cream

Freeze ice cream for at least 5 to 6 hours or overnight. Take it out for a few minutes to let it get soft enough to scoop or spoon out. Put in your favorite ice cream dishes or bowls. Garnish with crushed pistachios, orange zest and flaked coconut.

 

Healthy Vegan Dessert

I love these amber ice cream dishes! They were my grandmother’s! I think the Wonderful Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream looks so lovely in them!

As I was thinking about the vibrant green and purple and all the health benefits that pistachios provide, I thought of a few more fitting nick names for it that I wanted to share! This is the week is Mardi Gras and with pistachios’ purple and green, it could even be the official Mardi Gras Nut! I also thought about the Beatle’s Magical Mystery Tour music album and all the colors from the cover and thought pistachios with all their health benefits, so they could be even be the Magical Nut!

Anyway, I hope by checking out my post and trying this recipe that you will be even more inspired trying pistachios in a variety or ways and even using them where you had used other nuts before! Let me know if try out this vegan ice cream and how you like it! As a registered dietitian nutritionist in Asheville, NC, I love to create delicious recipes that are healthy and everyone will enjoy! I also want to encourage you to check out all the other great recipes from my friends at The Recipe Redux link below!

 

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