Pistachio butter is simply pistachio nuts made into a spread in the same way peanut butter is made from peanuts. Just like the pistachio nut, pistachio butter is a little sweet and green in color. The shade of green varies, as does the shade of green for the pistachio nut itself. It is often sold in health food and other specialty grocery stores.
At its purest, pistachio butter is made simply by pureeing pistachio nuts into a spread. Some recipes add ingredients like sugar, honey, or even other nuts. The spread can also be bought in chocolate flavors, which of course changes the coloring from its usual green. Other nut butters are also made in the same way; almonds, walnuts, pecans, and cashews can also be made into nut butter spreads.
These nuts have long been a popular snack food, so it may have been just a matter of time before pistachio butter was invented. The nut is used in many recipes, especially for Indian and Mediterranean cuisines. Pistachio nuts have a distinctive sweet taste, making them great for use in desserts, even ice cream.
Pistachio butter can be used on sandwiches, crackers, or in any way peanut butter would eaten. Many people find that one of the best ways to bring out the savory taste is to serve it as a dip for raw fruits and vegetables. Since pistachio nuts have a distinctive taste, pistachio butter blends well with most any other ingredient for homemade dips and dressings.
No matter how it is used, pistachio butter should be refrigerated after opening. If stored properly, it can be kept fresh for as long as three months. Since pistachio butter is typically an unprocessed spread, the oils and solids sometimes pull apart inside the jar. This is common in all unprocessed nut butters; simply stirring it will smoothen the mixture.
When compared to other nut butter spreads, pistachio butter is among the healthiest. Pistachio nuts are lower in fat and calories, and higher in protein and fiber than most other common nuts. They are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and other such nutrients. Antioxidants and healthy fats also make pistachios good for the heart.
Pistachios have an interesting history. They come from the Pistacia vera plant, one of the oldest flowering trees to harvest nuts. This plant is among nine species of aromatic trees and shrubs. Though it originated in the Middle East, the pistachio nut is now cultivated in Central Asia, the United States, and Mediterranean countries as well.