Recent studies have shown that pistachios in particular significantly reduced levels of LDL cholesterol while increasing antioxidant levels in blood serum. This wonder food, in its un-salted and dry-roasted state, has also been shown to prevent any addition of unwanted fats and additional sodium in the diet that may adversely affect cardiac health and increase hypertension.
With all of these known health benefits, I have been so happy to see that Kysen has begun to ask for pistachios for his afternoon snacks! Almost 4-years-old now, he happily shells his own pistachios, eating them one by one. I decided to make him a St. Patrick’s inspired treat of pistachio muffins (but to him every muffin is really a cupcake!). With his new-found love of the Dr. Seuss classic “Green Eggs and Ham,” and his growing appreciation of the pistachio nut, I thought he might not mind the green-colored confection (even if he is very suspicious of every other kind of green food).
Not to worry, he had no qualms about eating a sweet snack that happened to be green–maybe next time I can try a spinach muffin?
I sprinkled the tops of the muffins with coarse white sugar (which I also used for the St. Patrick’s Day chocolate-covered strawberries) before I popped them in to bake. Sometimes it is hard to find this AA coarse sugar, so if you need to you can order it through SupplyVillage. If you don’t want to trouble yourself tracking down this special sugar, just top the muffins with chopped pistachios! Enjoy, and I wish you the “top of the mornin'” with these yummy muffins!
Sweet Pistachio Muffins with Sugar Crust
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 cups all purpose flower
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 box instant pistachio pudding
- 1/4 tsp. sea salt
- 2 eggs well-beaten
- 1 1/4 cups milk
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- 3/4 cup canola oil
- 3-4 drops green food coloring
- AA coarse sugar (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375.
- Combine dry ingredients first: flours, sugar, salt, baking powder, and pudding mix.
- In separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, canola oil, almond extract and food coloring.
- Add wet mixture to dry mixture until just moistened.
- Fill baking cups 3/4ths full with muffin batter. Use cupcake liners for easy removal.
- Sprinkle liberally with coarse sugar before putting muffins into oven to bake.
- Bake 20 minutes, or until muffins test done. Tops should be golden brown and crackling!