It’s green on the outside, black in the middle, and white on the inside. And there’s even a brown layer. What could it be?
- a) a Russian doll
- b) a Gremlin
- c) a genetically modified olive
- d) a pili nut
- e) your molar after eating Halloween candy
(D). The pili nut It is grown in several southeast Asian countries and Papua New Guinea, but is only exported from one farm in the Philippines. This nut is unknown to most of North America and probably to you, so I’m happy to be the messenger of good news.
What’s it like?
It is soft and buttery, a cross between a macadamia, pistachio, and raw butter! You can see how well it hides under its green and black armor—like a treasure!
Who will like it?
So many people! It has the lowest carb content and highest fat content of any nut—so if you are embracing the ketogenic diet you will want to get your hands on some. Also if you are vegan and looking for a good protein source, here it is. If you’re on a paleo diet or a nut lover, or a big fan of butter: this nut is for you.
It’s also the perfect snack for kids: kids who are starving before their soccer game; kids who got up late for school and are grabbing one thing on the way out the door; kids who want a bedtime snack to tie them over till the morning; kids who are asking for oversalted synthetic popcorn at the theatre; kids in a hot climate who need an unrefrigerated snack . Even better: pair it with a piece of fruit and some water.
What makes it so nutritious?
- complete protein (contains all the amino acids). Here are some other non-meat sources.
- rich in omega-3 fatty acids which have been shown to help prevent heart disease and stroke, may help control lupus, eczema, and rheumatoid arthritis, and may play protective roles in cancer and other conditions.
- packed with antioxidants. These molecules protect your body against the oxidative activity of free radicals in your body. They also have anti-aging effects.
- highest level of magnesium of all nuts. Magnesium is critical for over 300 chemical reactions in the body like keeping your heart beating and your immune system strong.
- full of additional minerals phosphorus, calcium, and manganese. Like magnesium, these are all critical for bones and muscles and tissue repair.
- grown in volcanic soil, which is packed with nutrients. Soil composition is something most people don’t consider when buying food, and yet it essentially determines the nutrient quality and density of whatever is grown in it.
Where can I find them?
Pilis are hard to find because they’re hard to grow; no one can figure out how to produce them quickly and on a large scale. It takes 5-6 years for the trees to bear fruit and the harvesting season is short. Even more challenging is that the kernels are inside a tough shell, they’re difficult to extract, and the process cannot be automated. Only experienced farmers know how to whack them just right to break the outer shell without damaging the nut. My favorite new company is Pili Hunters, and they offer a range of fantastic pili products, all pure, keto, and fair trade. Here is their story:
Pili Hunter products:
- the original pili nut product with coconut oil and himalayan salt. I love these so much I got a monthly subscription on Amazon!
- variety pack of different flavors like rosemary and chili.
- nut butters: , pili, pili-hazelnut-cocoa, pili-green-matcha, and more!
I found a pili vegan yogurt! It’s delicious, and exploding with my favorite ingredients:
- organic, sprouted pili nuts
- young plantains which are low-glycemic and rich in resistant starch, a good-for-your-gut prebiotic. Creamy texture and subtly sweet taste.
- organic coconut cream—Coconut is rich in both flavor and nourishing fats. silky and indulgent.
- only real fruit. No added sugar, flavors, colors, or gums.
- cassava root—rich with fiber and antioxidants, produces creamy finish.
- lime juice—a little tartness
- probiotics—blend of live vegan cultures produces 50 billion probiotics.
Available at Whole Foods Market and other natural grocers. Made by Lavva.
Note: I am familiar with all the (commercially available) non-dairy yogurts, and this one, by far, gets the GFF stamp of approval.
Give it a try! These products aren’t cheap, but real food rarely is. Plus, you only need a handful or spoonful a day–they’re very filling.