Nuts have been used for centuries for many different purposes. People have been using Nuts to add flavor and texture to their food, and some even use them to garnish their sweet dishes. Whether you are a professional chef or just amateur cooking from your home kitchen, there is a strong possibility that you have handled Nuts before. In addition to their culinary use, Nuts are also eaten as snacks; in fact, many dieticians recommend eating Nuts as snacks to control hunger and provide nutrition to the body.
Nuts come in many different shapes and sizes, but not all are the same. And even the ones that are similar also have many differences that set them apart. But many people don’t know these differences except the ones they can physically see; things like their nutritional value, history, and uses go unnoticed.
Two such popular Nuts are Pistachio and Almonds. In this article, we will talk about their differences, so you can have a better understanding of what separates them. In this way, you will have the knowledge to make an informed decision about which type of Nut you should use as a snack or in your next recipe.
Almonds grow on trees in South Asia and the Middle East. These trees give a beautiful appearance once they are fully grown and can reach a height of around 35 feet. But you can also find Almonds being grown in California, but they usually differ in taste and quality because of differences in soil and atmosphere.
If you think that we eat almonds as they are harvested, you are wrong. Because we only eat the internal kernel, which rests inside a protective hull. Almonds can only be planted in a hot and humid environment, and their requirements are quite similar to Pistachio. Almonds are grown exclusively in the regions we mentioned above because they need Mediterranean climates, and this climate is only found in these regions and some others.
The time needed for an almond tree to grow is a little less than a Pistachio tree; It usually takes about three years for it to grow fully. But things are not as simple as they look. This is because the Almond produces its best fruit after six years of growth, and then it continues producing good quality Almonds after that. But we have to keep in mind that Almond trees only live for 2o – 25 years, whereas Pistachio trees can have a lifespan of more than 100 years.
So, If you are planning to plant Almond trees, then ensure that you plan accordingly. This will ensure that you get a continuous supply of almonds, and you can establish a good crop rotation. Almond trees usually have an inconsistent yield, which means that they may produce excellent output one year, while the next year, they can produce significantly less yield. This yield is dependent on the conditions supplied to the tree.
Almonds are slightly higher in fats and lower in carbohydrates than Pistachios. Specifically, Almonds have around 24% fewer carbs in comparison to Pistachios. But Almonds have 21% more fibers in them. Fiber is an essential nutrient that we must obtain from our Diets.
It helps our bodies in regulating their digestive processes. Furthermore, Fiber is important to prevent health problems like constipation and diarrhea. The Vitamin E in Pistachios is an excellent anti-oxidant, preventing cancer, acne, and heart diseases.
Like most other nuts, Pistachio grows on trees as well. Pistachio trees are grown in a wide variety of regions, including Central Asia, the Middle East, the United States, China, and India. As Pistachio trees need a warm climate to grow, you can often see Pistachio trees growing in Arizona, New Mexico and California. But Pistachio trees are not that straightforward, and they also need cold temperatures during their dormant state.
The cold temperature helps in pollination, but the regions mentioned above are the best to grow Pistachios, as they have the ideal climate and soil conditions. The initial time required for the Pistachio tree to reach maturation is about five years, but after this maturation process, Pistachio trees bear fruit for their whole life, which is usually more than a hundred years! Pistachios are typically harvested when their Hulls (the outer protective covering) start changing color from greenish to reddish.
This change usually occurs during August and continues till September. Unlike Almonds, Pistachios are sold as they are harvested, along with their hulls. Unless you buy dehulled Pistachios. Harvesting Pistachios require attention to detail and extreme care because if you are reckless, you can easily taint the exposed part of the seed through the split in the outer covering. Some manufacturers like to dehull and process the Pistachios before packaging and shipping them.
Pistachios have a lot of healthy fats, which means they are good at decreasing the risk of heart diseases and stroke; This is because Pistachio can lower LDL levels while increasing HDL levels in our blood, and High HDL level is associated with decreased free cholesterol in our bloodstream. This is the same cholesterol that forms plaques in our coronary arteries and leads to a heart attack.
The Vitamin E and A present in Pistachio can help reduce inflammation in our bodies, which can be helpful for people who have arthritis and joint inflammation. The phosphorous in Almonds are particularly good for diabetic and hypertension patients, as it can help control these chronic diseases. You can also use Pistachios as a source of vitamin B6, which is essential for ensuring a consistent and adequate blood supply throughout the body.
So What’s the Difference Between Pistachio and Almonds?
- Pistachio Tress usually live more than 100 years and take about five years to mature, while Almond trees have a lifespan of 20 – 25 years and take three years to mature.
- Almondshave higher amounts of fats, Vitamin E, and fiber, while Pistachios have higher carbs and proteins.
- Pistachios have a more buttery, creamy, and earthy flavor as compared with Almonds.
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