Pistachio Power Bars

Rating: 
Yield: 
15 bars.
Ingredients: 

Cookie Crust
3/4 cup Natural American pistachios, finely chopped
2 1/2 cups Whole wheat flour
1 cup Rolled oats
1 cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
1 cup Butter or margarine, softened
1 tablespoon Vanilla extract
Fruit-Nut Layer:
3 tablespoons Butter or margarine
3 tablespoons Brown sugar, firmly packed
6 tablespoons Flour
6 tablespoons Frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup Dark seedless raisins
1 cup Dried apricot halves, slivered
1 cup Natural American pistachios, whole

Instructions: 

Combine sugar, butter and vanilla, beat well. Mix in flour, oats and chopped pistachios until crumbly and moist. Lightly press into bottom of 10 x 15-inch pan. Bake at 350°F. for 13 minutes.
For fruit layer, beat butter with sugar. Mix in flour and orange juice concentrate, then fruit and pistachios. Spread fruit layer on crust, distributing evenly to edges. Return to oven to bake 15 minutes longer, or until crust looks golden at edges and fruit is glossy. Cool, then cut into 15 square bars. Bars may be wrapped individually and frozen until ready to use.

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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!