These healthy, baked Pistachio Crusted Chicken Fingers bake to golden perfection, and are sure to be a new family favorite! We serve ours with a homemade chili orange sauce – a tangy (clean eating) version of sweet and sour sauce.
One of the reasons I encourage others who aren’t intolerant to gluten to try more gluten free recipes is because they offer a wider range of nutritional benefits.
The SAD (standard American diet) is wheat-heavy. If you think about a typical, non-gluten free day, it’s so easy for wheat to account for half of someone’s daily calorie intake. Two slices of toast at breakfast (along with eggs or fruit), a sandwich for lunch (more bread), a cookie or muffins with your coffee in the afternoon, and then pasta for dinner. Wheat, wheat, wheat, …and more wheat.
If you’re choosing whole grains, wheat isn’t terrible for you. However, modern wheat is grown to increase yield, not nutrition density, and the crops that are most widely grown (dwarf wheat) is has vitamin densities 20-30% lower than ancient varieties.
On top of that, grains themselves are already less nutrient-dense than foods such as nuts, seeds, and vegetables, so relying too heavily on grains also deprives your body of valuable nutrients.
Replacing some of your typical fare with (healthy) gluten free alternatives is a great way to counteract that. Gluten free goods aren’t always better for you– if you check the ingredient labels of a lot of the supermarket options, they are packed with starches and gums.
A big reason I make mine at home. The same reason I prefer homemade salads to the ones in most restaurants (packed with cheese and bacon and mayo-laden dressings, rather than the good stuff– veggies, fruit, nuts and seeds).
These baked Pistachio Crusted Chicken Fingers pack in the nutrients. Pistachios are such a nutritional powerhouse. One of the lowest calorie nuts, they are full of fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They are recommended for people who want to lose weight and have been found to reduce belly fat.
Little changes, like swapping the breading on your chicken, add up to a clean eating lifestyle that improves overall health (without sacrificing your favorite meals!).
Pistachio Crusted Chicken Tips
- Make is Gluten Free: Be sure to buy certified Gluten Free Brown Rice Crisp Cereal.
- Make it Ahead: These are delicious the next day cold! I haven’t tried freezing this recipe yet, but imagine they would be just fine – I do freeze my oven baked chicken nuggets, halfway thaw them, then reheat at 425 degrees for 10 minutes and we love them.
- Make it Paleo/Whole30: You can omit the brown rice crisp cereal and double the amount of pistachios in this recipe to make these Paleo, however, they don’t get as crunchy.
- For the Family: Xander isn’t the biggest chicken fan, but he loved these- he even was dipping his in the chili sauce! This baby loves flavor.
Nutritional data for Pistachio Crusted Chicken and images courtesy of www.NutritionData.com.
Other Pistachio Recipes:
- Pistachio Hummus, by The Healthy Maven
- Salted Almond and Pistachio Chocolate Bark, by Joy of Kosher
- Pistachio Crusted Salmon, by Vitamin Sunshine
- Roasted Beet and Carrot Quinoa Salad, by Vitamin Sunshine
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