Article updated June 2023.
The Aussie ski season is underway and hopefully, you’ve done some preparation in the gym, fetched your snow gear out of the garage, and even taken on the crazy ski gear sale at Aldi for that spare pair of thermals. One thing it’s worth thinking about before you head off is what to take for snacks when you’re out on the slopes. There’s nothing worse than queuing for ages when you’re hungry and missing out on the best part of the day when you’ve paid that much for a lift pass! Maybe you’re a simple muesli bar person, or a weirdo like my friend who stashed a hard boiled egg in her pocket. Either way, pistachios are a fantastic option for a healthy and simple energy boost to keep you on the snow for longer.
Why are pistachios such a great snack?
A day or two of junk food on the slopes isn’t going to kill you, but there are better ways to replenish your body’s energy reserves and give it the protein and carbohydrates it deserves so you can finally tackle the black run or that weird and wonderful trail off the track. Not only are pistachios delicious, but they also offer huge nutritional benefits including;
- They are high in unsaturated fats for brain and cell membrane function,
- They are high in linolenic acid, which acts as an anti-inflammatory,
- They are high in fibre, which helps with cholesterol and digestive function,
- They contain high levels of magnesium, copper, and vitamin B1,
- Very high in vitamin B6. This is important for progesterone, neurotransmitters, and energy levels,
- Pistachios are also powerful antioxidants from polyphenols such as lutein, alpha and beta carotene, and tocopherol,
- Pistachios contain arginine – a precursor to nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels.
There are lots of studies that show consumption of pistachios can have a positive effect on cardiovascular and metabolic health. In the case of roasted and salted pistachios, the sodium intake is a great way to replenish what you’ve been losing through sweat while you’re having fun in the snow, without the added sugars that many popular sports drinks contain.
Plus, the process of “shelling” pistachios can also be a handy way of slowing yourself down a little while you snack, versus simply tossing a handful of pre-shelled cashews or peanuts into your mouth.
Are pistachios grown in Australia?
Did you know that prior to 1994, all pistachios consumed in Australia were grown in Iran or California? These days, pistachios are grown in orchards along the Murray River in NSW, Victoria, and South Australia, and are usually harvested in March.
Local production is slowly replacing the imported variety, but our homegrown product is still supplemented by pistachios from the US, Iran, and Turkey. It’s easy to see where your pistachios are grown by checking the packaging.
Creative ways with pistachios for snacking:
If you enjoy making your own nutritious snacks and are partial to a bliss ball or two, we highly recommend this recipe from goodMix Superfoods. The goodMix product bases are all made from the highest quality ingredients and are an easy way to maximise the nutritional value of your smoothies, cereals, and salads by adding them to whatever you’re making.
True Protein has thrown down this wicked Cranberry and Pistachio Protein Fudge recipe that the team at WNiF are going to try out for sure.
Image courtesy of Zane Balodis
Pistachio snacks ready to go
If you love the simplicity of a pre-packaged bar, but like the idea of incorporating more pistachios into your day, you can try Carmen’s Raspberry and Pistachio Seed Bars, which are available from most big supermarkets. The pistachio content is low (around 5%), but still, a more nutritional option than some of the other nut bars on the shelf.
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