An Ancient Biblical Nut, Pistachios Star in Granola Bars and Maple Granola

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I love talking to Matt Swaim each week on the Sunrise Morning Show, Sacred Heart Radio about Bible foods and herbs. Check out his blog – it never fails to give me a chuckle, while educating me, as well.
Today we talked about pistachios. Here’s a bit of trivia, along with 2 of the best recipes for granola (yes, another granola, but so simple) and granola bars suitable for just about everybody. They are yummy too.
Pistachios Genesis  43:11 – when Jacob instructed his sons to go back to Egypt to try and bribe Joseph with the best fruits and nuts of Israel’s land, pistachios were included. 
Pistachios are over 9,000 years old . One of only 2 nuts mentioned in bible – the almond is the other nut, and I’ll bet the original trail mix probably included almonds and pistachios.  
Early explorers and traders on the ancient silk road that connects China to the West ate pistachios.  They are good keepers obviously and like all nuts, high in nutrition, like fiber and protein. Research has shown that pistachios can keep a heart healthy and help lower cholesterol.They are gut friendly, and are good for both the heart and the eyes.
Are pistachio nuts fattening?

They actually are the lowest calorie and have the least amount of fat than any other nut.
And pistachios have more antioxidants than green tea – 1 oz vs 1 cup of green tea. 
GRAIN, GLUTEN AND DAIRY FREE GRANOLA BARS
No baking required! Paleo friendly as well.
Ingredients
2-1/2 cups assorted nuts and seeds 
1 cup dried fruit
2 cups shredded coconut 
1/4 cup coconut oil, grape seed or walnut oil (or your favorite if you’re not going grain free)
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
Cinnamon to taste
Instructions
Chop 1 cup of nuts and seeds. Place in bowl.
Use your food processor to pulse the other 1-1/2 cups of nuts and seeds into a finer chop. Add to the bowl, stir in fruit and coconut.
Cook oil, honey, vanilla, salt, and cinnamon until mixtures starts to bubble, then pour over fruit mixture. Blend. Press down real hard into foil lined, sprayed pan. Cool completely, remove and cut into bars.
EASY MAPLE GRANOLA
Can be doubled or tripled. Not a real sweet granola. Now if you don’t like pistachios or other nuts or seeds, leave them out and decrease maple syrup to 1/4 cup.
Ingredients
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1/3  cup maple syrup
1/3 cup oil
1 to 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 cup pistachio nuts, chopped coarsely or mixture of nuts and seeds 
1/2  cup any dried fruit (opt)
Instructions
Preheat oven to 325. 
Mix oats, syrup, oil, vanilla and nuts together. Pour onto sprayed cookie sheet in single layer. Bake about 20 minutes or so, until just golden, stirring halfway through.
Cool and stir in fruit.

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