Pine nuts are something that do not immediately come to our minds when we plan the next meal, especially in India. In fact a lot of people wonder if pines even have nuts (ok, kidding!). Well, not all but certain species of pine trees do produce edible nuts and they are quite rich in protein apart from being exquisitely tasty. Pine nuts are also rich in antioxidants and have the capacity to suppress appetite, thus making it ideal for those who are trying to lose weight. So, let us have a look at a few easy recipes that will make the most of this wonderful ingredient.
You can easily buy Himalayan and natural Pine nuts (also called Chilgoza) are Pure Mart here
1. Spinach with pine nuts:
Spinach does not have any fat or cholesterol but it is high in zinc, protein, fibre, vitamins A, C, E and K, vitamin B6, calcium, iron, potassium, magnesium and many other minerals. What more can one expect from a simple green leaf? One of the easiest ways to eat spinach is to simply boil it in water till it gets soft. On the other hand you can add awesome flavour by frying the pine nuts with a spoon of oil till they turn golden. Once you drain and dry the spinach, you can then mix it with the nuts and add salt and pepper as per your taste. Yes, it is as easy as that! And so healthy! Who thought palak and chillgoza was a match made in heaven? :-)
2. Beans with pine nuts:
Green beans are not as rich in protein as the rich beans but they are full of vitamins A, C and K, Besides and also rich in thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, potassium, as well as magnesium. The dearth of protein can be taken care of by adding pine nuts. Follow the same procedure as the previous recipe by just cooking the beans in salted water for a few minutes. Fry the pine nuts in a bit of oil and you can also add garlic if you want additional flavours. Eventually mix and serve by adding a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper. Simple and easy.
3. Pasta with pine nuts:
We all eat pasta as a filling staple food. But its value can be enhanced with the addition of pine nuts. Boil and cook the pasta to begin with and then keep it aside. Chop some tomatoes and keep them ready. Lightly saute the pine nuts till they turn brown and then add the tomatoes and stir. Add salt and other ingredients as per your taste and cook them till the tomato turns into an uniform gravy. Finally mix the pasta with them and serve. Remember that Pasta is probably not as healthy as beans or spinach, but a great lunch option!
4. Tofu with pine nuts:
In case you want to replace your protein shakes with something tastier, you can go for this power packed mix of tofu and pine nuts. Tofu is the soy equivalent of cheese but unlike the dairy products, it is low on fat, calorie and cholesterol. So, to begin with, cook the tofu pieces in a little bit of oil and keep tossing them occasionally until they turn uniformly brown. On the other hand chop a cucumber and mix it with olive oil and salt. Mix them both and then add the pine nuts to make the most powerful salad ever.
5. Quinoa with pine nuts:
If you want something more exotic then go for quinoa which is a good, gluten free source of vitamins and minerals. If you can't find Quinoa since it's locally grown in South America, try replacing it with Rajgira that you can find online easily. These seeds make a good combination with pine nuts. Just rinse and drain the quinoa and saute it lightly in olive oil. You can add salt and other regular ingredients as per your taste. Roast the pine nuts separately on a pan until they turn brown. Once both are cooked, mix them thoroughly and serve with a sprinkling of olive oil and pepper.
Here's another bonus recipe with spinach, quinoa and pine nuts (also the source of the image).
Which Pine nut recipes have you tried so far? Please do share! :-)