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Eat Well Mar. 12. 2013
Desserts

Pistachio Ice Cream

Mar. 12. 2013
Desserts
McKel Hill

McKel Hill

MS, RDN, LDN, Dietitian

Pistachio Ice Cream is a delicious, thick, creamy, and super simple dessert recipe to add into your recipe box. This week marks the week before St. Patricks Day, where green themed food comes out to play (and it’s completely normal), which gives me a week to play with my food even more than usual. This week I have a couple recipes as a tribute to St. Patricks Day, to start off is one of my favorites. Pistachio Ice Cream.

Oh ice cream, how do I love thee. I thought I’d share my go-to recipe in the kitchen when I’m craving something sweet (which is all too often I must say). This ice cream base can be used in a variety of ways; Vanilla, Chocolate, Pistachio, Raspberry, Tropical Tango (my version of a rainbow sherbet), etc. In the future I’ll be posting variations for all of these, but today my focus is on the almighty pistachio nut!

I remember when I was younger, we would have spumoni ice cream in our house. At first, being a very curious child, I thought it was a “weird grown up” ice cream, possibly because it wasn’t laced with sprinkles, chocolate chips, or cookie dough balls. I did my best to avoid the green part in the ice cream tub and focused on the chocolate and cherry portions. As I grew older, I grew to appreciate the green part, which I now know was pistachio. Spumoni ice cream is an Italian ice cream that incorporates fruits and nuts. The pistachio  and cherry flavors are consistent in spumoni as the other flavor may vary from vanilla or chocolate.

Why pistachios rock? Pistachios are small nutrient power houses incased in a shell. They’re vitamin and mineral rich, contain antioxidants, and not to mention a convenient snack that’s fun to eat! Pistachios also have been shown to increase HDL (Happy cholesterol, you want this Higher) while lowering LDL (Lousy cholesterol, you want this Lower) and increasing your antioxidant levels and carotenoids such as lutein, beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, and gamma-tocopherol (vitamin E).

When shopping for pistachios, you’ll see several varieties such as raw, dry-roasted, roasted, salted, lightly salted, and unsalted. I suggest sticking with the unsalted, raw varieties as much as possible to control for an unwanted added oils when roasted and added sodium/flavorings.

Nutrient breakdown of PISTACHIOS |

  • Energy source (both calorically and nutrient dense)
  • Healthy fats | mostly mono-unsaturated fat, omega-9 (23.2g) oleic acid and omega-6 (13.5g), linoleic acid per 100g
  • Protein | 21g of protein/100g
  • Fiber | 10g of fiber/100g
  • Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B6, Folate (B9)
  • Vitamin E
  • Copper (especially a great source of)
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Zinc
  • Selenium

I love this recipe because of it’s simplicity in all fashions: simple to make, simple ingredients, and simply healthy.

Pistachio Ice-Cream
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 1-2
This ice cream base can be used in a variety of ways by adding additional flavors.
Ingredients
  • 2 frozen bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 cup of homemade pistachio milk (see Guide to Nut Milks)
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina
  • Dash of cinnamon
Instructions
  1. Add all ingredients (except the pistachios) into a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until thick and creamy, this should resemble frozen soft serve ice cream.
  3. Add additional pistachio milk if needed.
  4. Stir in chopped pistachio nuts or use as a garnish.
  5. If adding toppings, flavorings (i.e. chocolate chips, nuts, fruits, etc.), you will add them last.
  6. Spoon into a large bowl.
  7. Enjoy!

TIPS |

  • Preparing // When making my weekly grocery shopping trip, I always buy extra bananas and allow the bunch to ripen on the countertop. Let these bananas get super spotty (we like our spotted bananas). The natural sugars will develop to their fullest potential which will decrease the amount of sugar/sweetener you needed while making the ice cream.
  • Bananas // Peel the bananas prior to putting them into a freezer safe storage bag, I like to break mine in half for easy measurements in the future.
  • Thickness // The amount of almond milk you use may vary depending on how thick/thin you like your ice cream.
    • For example, there have been many times I’ve added in too much almond milk, but I’m not complaining I just had a thick “milkshake” instead.
  • When adding your additional flavors or toppings, do this last.

Have you ever tried making ice cream made from fruit? Have you tried pistachio ice cream? Comment below, I’d love to hear your story!

Happy green ice cream making!

McKel

The Recipe

Serves 1-2

Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 frozen bananas, peeled
  • 1/2 cup of homemade pistachio milk (see Guide to Nut Milks)
  • 1/4 cup pistachio nuts, shelled and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon of organic vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon of spirulina
  • Dash of cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Add all ingredients (except the pistachios) into a high speed blender or food processor.
  2. Blend until thick and creamy, this should resemble frozen soft serve ice cream.
  3. Add additional pistachio milk if needed.
  4. Stir in chopped pistachio nuts or use as a garnish.
  5. If adding toppings, flavorings (i.e. chocolate chips, nuts, fruits, etc.), you will add them last.
  6. Spoon into a large bowl.
  7. Enjoy!

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  • marcia nelms

    you do such a fabulous job combining the science behind nutrition and our everyday food choices!! This is a fabulous recipe

  • When I initially commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four e-mails with the
    same comment. Is there any way you can remove people from that service?

    Thanks!

    • If you go back into the email, there should be an unfollow link at the bottom, click that and it should keep the emails from coming. Let me know if you’re still having issues with it! Thanks (sorry for the comment email flooding haha)

  • Shiva

    Hi I just discovered this site ( and your profile on insta ) One question how can I get my ice cream to be green like yours? xoxoxo

    • Hi there, I’m glad you came on over from the Instagram world to here! I use a dash of spirulina 😉

  • This is exactly the 2nd article, of yours I personally checked out.
    But yet I personally like this particular 1, “Pistachio Ice Cream” the most.

    All the best ,Kim

    • Hi Kaylee,
      Thank you, I’m glad you found this blog post helpful and you’re enjoying the recipe!

  • Your website is wonderfully laid out and easy to navigate AND you have beautiful photos to accompany healthy recipes. Ice cream is my specialty! I use all types of fruit and posted one not too long ago with persimmon, but one of my favorite has got to be figs. It’s incredible. Mango is incredible as well!

  • Susan

    Yeeeuuuummm!!!

    Just whipped this up and it’s so good!! I didn’t have enough pistachios to make milk or to put into the ice cream, so I substituted with half almond milk, half coconut milk, and used pecans and cashews as well. The flavor is wonderful!!

    Thank you for yet another delicious/nutritious recipe! xx