Gluten Free Pistachio Fruit Bars by Carol Kicinski

Rating: 
Yield: 
24 bars.
Ingredients: 

2 cups Roasted pistachios
2 cups Raw almonds
1 cup Sesame seeds
1 cup Dried apricots
1 cup Dried tart cherries
½ teaspoon Kosher or sea salt
½ cup Grapeseed or canola oil
6 tablespoons Agave nectar or honey 

Instructions: 

Preheat oven to 350° F. Line a 9 inch by 12 inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the paper to stick up by a couple inches on two sides.
Place the almonds and sesame seeds on separate baking sheets. Toast the almonds and sesame seeds until warm, lightly browned and fragrant – about 10 minutes for the almonds and about 5 or 6 minutes for the sesame seeds. Watch carefully so they don’t burn. Let cool slightly.
Place the pistachios in a food processor fitted with a steel blade and grind until they are coarsely chopped. Add the almonds, apricots, cherries and salt and process until the nuts and fruit come together in a sticky ball. Add the oil and agave honey and process until you have a thick cohesive dough. Add the sesame seeds and process in long pulses until they are blended into the dough.
Press the mixture into the prepared pan evenly and firmly. Refrigerate until cold and firm, about 1 hour. Remove the parchment paper with the chilled mixture from the pan and cut the mixture into 24 squares.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!