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Try this vegan pistachio ice cream!

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

February is American Heart Month! So, to celebrate, all my friends from 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 examined when nuts are eaten in portions of 1.5 ounces per day (about 1/3 cup). In addition, eating a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce the risk of heart disease. Not only are there heart benefits to eating pistachios, but there are many other reasons to eat 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 broken, it is a great visual cue for portion control! In a preliminary behavioral study, people ate 41% less with an average of 211 fewer calories when they had to shell them versus people who ate them straight from the bag. That’s actual mindful eating! 

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

Last but not least, they are the Happy Nut TM because they have great taste and are good for you! That makes me 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 many things with them! Not only do they make a great snack, but 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 loveliest green ice cream I had ever seen. When I asked what kind it was, I 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. They took us out for gelato, and I picked the pistachio flavor! I just loved it and wanted to learn to make my own quick batch at home! I needed to find something easy to keep the ingredients on hand. Here is what I came up with. I hope that you like the result!

I went into making homemade vegan ice cream when my son, who was vegan during high school and college, wanted a creamy, fabulous dessert!

Recipe for Vegan Pistachio Ice Cream

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 shared them with us! He inspired me to make my own, and he taught me how to make it how to make it! Instead of high-fat dairy and my electric ice cream maker, I wanted to make homemade vegan ice cream 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 five servings

Three rice bananas

1 cup pistachio butter

One teaspoon of freshly ground coriander

1-2 teaspoons grated orange peel

Two 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:

(About 2 cups of shelled pistachios will make 1 cup of pistachio butter).

Place 2 cups pistachios in a food processor and process for 5-10 minutes until 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 excellent without it. See how pretty and green it is! You can add to sandwiches everywhere where you would use other nut kinds of butter!

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 smooth and has a pudding-like consistency.

Pistachio Recipe Contest

Add the mixture into a plastic container and put it 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 the 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 the ice cream 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 grandmothers! I think the Wonderful Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream looks so lovely in them!

Make Some Pistachio Vegan Ice Cream

I hope that you get a chance to make pistachio ice cream.

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 nicknames for them that I wanted to share! This is the week of Mardi Gras, and with pistachios’ purple and green, it could even be the official Mardi Gras Nut!

I also thought about the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour music album and all the colors on the cover, and I thought of pistachios, with all their health benefits, so they could even be the Magical Nut!

Anyway, I hope that by checking out my post and trying this recipe, you will be even more inspired to try pistachios in a variety of ways and even use them where you had used other nuts before! Let me know if you try out this vegan pistachio ice cream recipe 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!

You might be interested in the Growing Vine Community if you want to make health changes but need social support.

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