Snack Like a Pro!

Denver Broncos and New England Patriots nutrition experts, give snack tips.



By Chef Robert Del Grande

Roasted pistachios straight from the store will satisfy and nourish, but for a dazzling Game Day DIY snack, try this tasty pistachio snack.

½ cup Fresh lime juice
½ cup Granulated sugar
4 Large chipotle chiles canned in adobo: approximately 3 oz.
2 tablespoons adobo sauce: from the canned chipotle chiles
6 tablespoons silver tequila
½ teaspoon salt
2 pounds Pistachios nuts in the shell
Lime wedges

Combine the lime juice, sugar, chipotle, adobo sauce, tequila and salt in a blender. Puree until smooth.
Place the shell-on pistachios nuts in a mixing bowl. Add the sauce and toss or stir until the sauce is fully incorporated into the nuts.
Transfer the pistachio nuts to a sheet pan. Pre-heat an oven to 350˚F. Toast the pistachio nuts for 5 to 10 minutes or until the nuts are nicely browned. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
To serve, place the pistachio nuts in a serving bowl. Sprinkle the nuts with salt and garnish with lime wedges.

Game Day Ready - Appetizers

Grilled Chicken Tacos with Mango Pistachio Slaw

By: Chef Ben Berryhill
See recipe >

Flautas with Creamy Pistachio Filling, Applewood Bacon and Chipotle Buttermilk

By: Chef Ben Berryhill
See recipe >

BBQ Potatoes with Candied Spiced Pistachios, Pistachio Crema and Watercress

By: Chef Ben Berryhill
See recipe >

Sweet or Spicy - Ideas for Game Day Snacking

American Pistachios with Teriyaki and Dijon Mustard

By: Chef Grant MacPherson
See recipe >

Saffron and Vanilla Pistachios

By: Chef Grant MacPherson
See recipe >

Applewood Smoked Pistachios

By: Chef Grant MacPherson
See recipe >

Spiced Maple Glazed Pistachios

By: Art Smith
See recipe >

Creole Black Skillet Pistachios

By: Chef Tory McPhail
See recipe >

American Pistachio Nuts with Texas Pete Hot Sauce

Try this Game Day DIY snack from Chef Grant MacPherson.
See recipe >

Ted Harper, the Team Sports Dietitian of the New England Patriots, and Bryan Snyder, the Team Nutrition Manager for the Denver Broncos, may be rivals on the field but when it comes to nutrition, they agree on one thing: pistachios are an ideal snack, whether you’re a professional athlete, or an armchair spectator.

Harper and Snyder meticulously plan the diets of their teams to maximize each player’s performance and recovery. The hard-hitting impact of weekly games and daily practices takes a toll on the players’ bodies and their nutrition plan is designed to help them achieve specific performance and recovery goals. But both agree that, while the “Average Joe or Joann” doesn’t take the same hits as a professional football player, he or she still needs a healthy diet to battle the stresses of everyday life. According to Harper and Snyder, a big part of one’s nutrition plan should be mindful snacking habits—are they helping or hurting his or her everyday performance?

“One very easy way to improve your overall nutrition is to replace some or all (depending on how you want to tackle the situation; gradually or with full force) of your not-so-wise snacks like chips, cheese flavored crackers, sugary ‘fruit snacks’, pre-made snack cakes, cookies, soda, or candy, with something that still tastes good, but is full of healthy nutrients,” says Harper. “Pistachios are one of the best recommendations I can make because they’re packed with many important nutrients and because they are very versatile. They lend themselves to just snack on in a pinch or can be incorporated into the larger scheme of things like adding them into smoothies, topping off oatmeal, or sprinkled over a salad.”

Pistachios contain important nutrients, such as potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus, which can contribute to a lower risk of heart disease. They’re also a great snack to help with weight management and may help prevent hypertension and lower blood pressure, according to recent studies.

The New England Journal of Medicine (11/20/13) published a study that showed people who eat a handful of nuts (including pistachios) daily had a 20% lower death rate over the course of the 30-year research project, the largest study of its kind. In addition, other supporting studies showed people who eat nuts regularly tend to remain leaner due to an association with reduced waist sizes and less weight gain throughout the course of life compared to individuals who don’t regularly eat nuts.

Snyder adds that pistachios are a great snack for anyone looking to lose a few pounds. “Not only do pistachios contain fiber and protein, but a study showed that people eat 41% less when they snack on in-shell pistachios compared to those who consumed shelled pistachios. Cracking open each nut slows down your consumption, and the empty shells serve as an unconscious visual reminder of how much you’ve eaten.”

“We’re all concerned about our heart health and living a healthy, active lifestyle. It’s important that you make smart choices with your nutrition so you can support these goals,” says Snyder.

Pistachio Fizz

By Chef Tory McPhail

1 serving


For the Pistachio Syrup:

2 ½ cups shelled pistachios
2 ½ cups simple syrup
Pinch of salt (if pistachios are unsalted)

For the Cocktail:

1 ½ ounces gin
1 ounce heavy cream
1 ounce whole milk
4 ounces pistachio syrup
1 squeeze lemon
1 squeeze lime
1 large egg white
1 dash orange flower water


For the Pistachio Syrup:

Blend pistachios and simple syrup until smooth. Then strain out the liquid.

For the Cocktail:

Combine pistachio simple syrup liquid and all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice; shake vigorously until frothy. Rim rocks glass with crushed pistachios (optional). Strain into glass and serve immediately.