Pistachios are one of the most beloved nuts in the world. They are used both separately and in very many dishes: from salads to hot dishes and desserts, although they can be most popular as a snack at noon: fried, dried and lightly salted. The taste of pistachios is almost impossible to describe, and there is no other such taste. These wonderful nuts have a long and interesting history. Pistachios appeared in the Middle East and are one of the oldest flowering nut trees. Recent archaeological finds in Turkey suggest that people enjoyed them as early as 7,000 year BC. Blooming in hot climates, pistachios spread from the Middle East to the Mediterranean, quickly becoming a treasured delicacy among members of royal families, travelers and ordinary people. Pistachio was used as a folk remedy for diseases ranging from toothaches and ending with liver diseases. The high nutritional value of pistachios and long shelf life also made it an indispensable attribute of the first researchers and traders. Along with almonds, travelers often transported pistachios along the ancient Silk Road, which linked China with the West. Pistachio "nuts" are actually seeds of red or yellow plum-like fruits, the flesh of which is removed during processing. However, everyone calls them a nut because they look like nuts and are cashews.
Pistachio trees are hardy and can survive in poor soil and adverse weather conditions, provided there is sufficient root drainage, but they do have two requirements: a cool winter to disturb the peace of the bud, and a long, hot summer with low humidity for proper maturation.
This limits the areas of the world where they can be grown, the two main regions — Turkey, and the United States (California) — which, in turn, limits production. Production requires a lot of manual labor in the collection and sorting, it should also be noted the so-called two-year cycle of pistachio trees, that is, only once every two years the pistachio tree gives the maximum yield.
Pistachio nuts are not only tasty, they are also very healthy, these edible seeds of the tree Pistacia vera contain healthy fats and are a good source of protein, fiber and antioxidants. Pistachios contain more antioxidants than most nuts and seeds, useful for weight loss, as well as heart and intestinal health. They also have several other important nutrients, including vitamin B6 and potassium.
Dates are the fruits of date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), which originates from the areas surrounding the Persian Gulf. Currently this tree is widely cultivated in many parts of the world. According to archaeological data, this palm tree existed on Earth for up to 50 million years. Date palm is one of the oldest fruit crops, and the history of the cultivation of dates begins with the period of the ancient Egyptians. Usually this palm tree grows in semi-arid regions with high groundwater levels. Date palm grows to a height of 25 to 30 meters and has a crown with a diameter of six to ten meters. The fruits of dates are formed in clusters, developing from the sinuses of leaves. While date palms require a high level of groundwater, they also need very hot weather for fruiting. The fruit is oval or cylindrical in shape, 3−7 cm in length and 2−3 cm in diameter, and ripe dates vary from golden yellow, amber, bright red to dark brown, depending on the type of variety.
There are over a thousand varieties of date palms. "Mazafati", "Zahedi", "Shakhani" and "Mejul" are some of the main varieties popular for their rich taste and superior quality.
Amazingly tasty dates — one of the most popular fruits, which contains an impressive list of phyto-nutrients, vitamins and minerals necessary for normal growth, development and general well-being.
Fresh dates consist of soft, easily digestible pulp and simple sugars, such as fructose and dextrose. 100 g of dates contain 277−380 calories, depending on the variety. The fruit is rich in fiber, which prevents the absorption of LDL cholesterol in the intestine. They contain the healthy flavonoid polyphenolic antioxidants known as tannins. It is known that tannins have anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic properties (they prevent slight bleeding). Dates contain vitamin A (contains 149 IU or 5% of the recommended daily allowance per 100 g), which, as is known, has antioxidant properties and is necessary for vision. In addition, the maintenance of healthy mucous membranes and skin is also required. Dates are an excellent source of iron, containing 0.90 mg / 100 g of fruit (about 11% of RDI). Iron, which is a component of hemoglobin inside the red blood cells, determines the ability of the blood to carry oxygen. In addition, they are excellent sources of potassium. 100 g contains 696 mg or 16% of the daily recommended level of this electrolyte. Potassium is an important component of cellular and bodily fluids that help regulate heart rate and blood pressure. Thus, they provide protection against stroke and coronary heart disease.
Dates are also rich in minerals such as calcium, manganese, copper and magnesium. Calcium is an important mineral that is an important component of bones and teeth and is needed by the body for muscle contraction, blood clotting and nerve impulses. In addition, the fruit has a moderate level of B vitamins, as well as vitamin K. It contains useful amounts of pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), niacin, pantothenic acid, and riboflavin. These vitamins help the body absorb carbohydrates, proteins and fats.
Raisins are dried fruits of certain grape varieties. The grapes were grown back in 2000 BC in Persia and Egypt. The ancient Greeks and Romans decorated the places of worship with raisins, they were also awarded to them as prizes of winners at sporting events. The main producers of raisins are Turkey, Greece, Uzbekistan, by the mid-20th century, the United States and Australia also mastered industrial production. Izyum varieties are quite a few, among them there are several main, most popular:
1. "Malayer" - light brownish, seedless variety, differs even in the same size of berries;
2. "Sultani" - light or brownish raisins, not containing seeds;
3. "Golden" - sugary seedless variety of golden color;
4. "Shigani" - dark-colored variety, not containing seeds.
According to its quality characteristics, seedless raisins are also divided into 3 varieties: highest, first, second.
Raisins can contain up to 72% sugar by weight, most of which is fructose and glucose. They also contain about 3% protein and 3.7−6.8% dietary fiber. Raisins, like prunes and apricots, are rich in antioxidants, but contain less vitamin C than fresh grapes. Raisins are low in sodium and do not contain cholesterol as an excellent source of iron. Scientists have shown that among people with a slight increase in blood pressure, regular consumption of raisins (three times a day) can significantly lower blood pressure.
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