Have you heard of “The Pistachio Principle?” The Pistachio Principle is a simple, mindful eating concept that can help fool yourself full, without feelings of deprivation.

The premise of The Pistachio Principle is that consumption of in-shell pistachios may help to slow eating because the leftover shells offer a visual cue about the amount of pistachios you’ve consumed. And that can potentially reduce your calorie intake.

pistachio principle

Pistachios are by far my favorite nut. For years, I’ve created original recipes using pistachios, ranging from flat breads to decadent brownies. But my favorite way to eat pistachios is right from the shell. They’re perfect for snacking along with Sunday night’s TV lineup of “The Good Wife,” “Downton Abbey,” and “Revenge.”

And I can personally attest that eating in-shell pistachios can be a great workout for your fingers. Prying open those pistachio shells helps reinforce hand-eye coordination and strengthens nimble fingertips.

Celebrate The Year of the Skinny Nut™

Pistachios have been acknowledged as a top food trend for 2015. Considered to be “The Nut of the Year,” pistachios are known as the “Skinny Nut” because they’re one of the lowest calorie, lowest fat nuts, and among the highest in protein. Pistachios can make for a great, everyday healthy snacking choice for those who are looking to satisfy a salty snack craving in a smarter way. Incorporating in-shell pistachios into a snack routine can help to get you back on track in 2015 after an over-indulgent holiday season.

To kick off 2015 – The Year of the Skinny Nut – I wanted to share a few of my favorite snack pairings that include in-shell pistachios.

Pistachio Snack Pairing #1

pistachio skinny nut yogurt mango pairing pistachio principle

In-shell Pistachios + Fresh Mango Slices + Raspberry Yogurt + Low-Sugar Mango-Orange Juice

For a snack to satisfy, it needs to have flavor, texture and hit all the right sweet, savory notes on the palate. My first perfect snack pairing with in-shell pistachios includes fresh mango slices that refresh and provide a mild sweetness. A few spoonfuls of creamy, low-fat raspberry yogurt provides a nice balance to the mango, while also adding back good bacteria into your body’s immune system. Top it all off with a hydrating low-sugar mango-orange juice blend.

Pistachio Snack Pairing #2

pistachio skinny nut apple carrot pairing pistachio principle

In-shell Pistachios + Carrot Chips + Honeycrisp Apple Slices + Earl Grey Tea

For an afternoon snack that adds a mega-satisfying crunch, pair in-shell pistachios with chilled carrot chips, some Honeycrisp apple slices and a calming cup of Earl Grey tea. If you love crunch in your snack, every food component in this pairing really delivers.

You can learn more about the benefits of incorporating in-shell pistachios into your 2015 snacking plans when you enter “The Year of the Skinny Nut Sweepstakes” hosted on the Pistachio Health Institute Facebook page. The sweepstakes runs from January 7 – January 31, 2015, and you have a chance to win a year’s supply of pistachios. YUM!!!

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.