“I received free samples of Wonderful Pistachios mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by Wonderful Pistachios and am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.”
One of my favorite things about feeding my son is getting the chance to experiment with new recipes to see what he likes, and doesn’t like. Recently, my son has been all about pistachios, or as he calls them “tatoos”. Pistachios are luckily a softer nut and my son has been able to chew and swallow them without issues. But nuts are considered a choking hazard for toddlers so chopping them up into smaller pieces is one way to make them safer, especially if your little one isn’t used to chewing nuts yet.
Wonderful Pistachios provides a great source of fiber, protein and heart healthy fat. Making them a great addition to make a meal or snack satisfying and filling. Pistachios are known as The Colorful NutTM that helps you snack colorfully: pistachios’ green and red-purple hues come from antioxidants. And kids love color so adding pistachios into meals and snacks can be a great draw to get them to try new foods. Pistachios are also known as The Happy NutTM because not only do they taste great but they also provide positive health benefits. So it’s a food that you can feel good about feeding yourself and your kids!
Since my son has been such a big fan of pistachios I thought they would be a great way to entice him to try some other foods he hasn’t been so crazing about yet, like fish. As I talked about in one of my last posts, a great way to get kids to try new foods is to make them more familiar. And one way to do that is to pair a familiar food with a new food. So I came up with these Pistachio Crusted Tilapia Nuggets to make the tilapia look a bit more familiar and approachable. And it worked! He did take a few bites. I wouldn’t say he loved it, but it was a positive feeding experience. One of the 5 to 20 exposures, that will eventually get him to be a fish fan.
To go with the Pistachio Crusted Tilapia Nuggets, I made a quick avocado lime dipping sauce. Because as much as I love nuggets of any form they need a sauce! The citrus from the lime in the sauce pairs really well with the fish and nuttiness from the pistachios. You could also pair these nuggets with another sauce you know your kids like.
This recipe is also a fun one for your kids to get involved in preparing with you. Because the recipe includes uncooked fish and raw eggs I would recommend kids who are a bit older to help with the preparation. Or older toddlers who are not going to lick their fingers!
Pair these Pistachio Crusted Tilapia Nuggets with some rice or roasted sweet potato and raw veggie sticks or a cooked vegetable for a balanced meal.
- 1 pound tilapia
- ½ cup (about 4 ounces) shelled Wonderful Pistachios
- ½ cup whole wheat panko crumbs
- 2 eggs, beaten
- ⅓ cup white whole wheat flour
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- 1 avocado
- 2 tablespoons of plain greek yogurt
- juice of ½ a lime
- 1 teaspoon cilantro leaves, minced
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- dash salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line 9x13 baking sheet with aluminum foil. Set aside
- Cut tilapia into 1½ inch squares.
- In a small food processor or coffee grinder add pistachios and process/grind until most are a granny/crumb like texture.
- Using three bowls: to the first bowl add whole wheat flour, to the second bowl add eggs and beat them, to the third bowl add the pistachio crumbs, panko and salt and mix to combine.
- In batches take some of the tilapia square and evenly cover in whole wheat flour shaking off any excess flour, then drop them into the beaten eggs making sure to evenly coat in egg mixture then shaking off excess egg, then roll in pistachio mixture to evenly coat then place on foiled lined baking sheet. Continue until all tilapia squares have been coated in the mixture.
- Bake for 15 minutes.
- While fish is baking make the dip. Add avocado, Greek yogurt, lim juice, cilantro leaves, garlic powder and salt. Mash ingredients together until you reach and mostly smooth consistency. You can also add mixture to a small food process and process until smooth.