Pecans are a wonderful addition to any salad, dessert, or snack rotation. They are celebrated on March 25th, but what is there to celebrate about a nut? With lots of versatility for use and tons of health benefits, this delicious nut has a lot to say for itself.
Not Completely Nuts
The pecan is not technically a nut, which may come as a surprise to many. It is technically a “drupe,” a fruit with a single stone or pit, surrounded by a husk. The husks are produced by the tissue of the flower, and the part known as the nut develops within and contains the seed. Pecans are a member of the hickory family.
Many Different Types
There is not just one type of pecan. In fact, over 500 different varieties of pecans exist. Many of the types were named after Native American tribes or the person who discovered the type. Even with all of these variations of pecans, only a handful of types are the kind that we think of when we think of pecans. The most popular varieties of pecans are Stuart, Desirable, Moreland, Cape Fear and natives (wild seedling types). The main distinctions are size and taste; some have more of a bitter flavor profile than others. Some varieties of pecans also have thicker shells, while others have such thin shells that they can easily be shelled by hand.
How To Find Pecans
Any grocery store carries pecans, either in the produce or snack aisle, and sometimes both. They can also be purchased online through growers. Fresh pecans can even be found at local farmer’s markets when they are in season.
Pecans are best with unbroken shells and an even brown color across its hull, firm with an even mocha color within. They don’t need refrigeration and remain edible for an indefinite period of time, whether in the shell or outside of the shell.
Don’t forget, Crispers includes candied pecans on its signature Summer Salad, and also on the chicken salad. If you’re a pecan lover, then you don’t want to miss out on either one of these.
A Versatile Ingredient
The pecan can be added to hundreds of dishes, both savory and sweet. In salads, they lend a crunchy texture and a nutty flavor. They are often found in chicken salads. They can be used in baking, in muffins, cakes, and bread. They have an almost limitless amount of uses in cooking. They’re a fantastic garnish atop cakes and muffins, or as a topping on cereal, cookies, ice cream, puddings, and yogurts.
A Healthy Snack
The low sodium content in pecans makes them a wonderful snack that can replace other salty and sugary snacks. They also don’t have a high sugar content, although they are delicious sprinkled with something sweet. They are natural, so they don’t have any fillers or food coloring, or other less healthy additives. They may be candied, spiced, or roasted for a delicious treat. They are loaded with nutritious value, with antioxidants to help fight unhealthy products of the body. They are also very filling, so they will not leave you hungry.
An American Product
Pecans grow on pecan trees, which grow plentifully across more than half of the United States. They grow well in other countries as well. As long as the trees are well-hydrated, with good soil surrounding their roots, they can produce an almost unlimited supply of pecans. They are best protected from insect infestations so that they can produce the most and best fruit.
Good For The Body
Pecans have several different health benefits. They lower cholesterol naturally and are full of antioxidants that help with cell regeneration. They lower the risk for heart disease and help promote weight loss. They are chock full of 19 vitamins and minerals, making them a worthy addition to your diet. With the vast amount of ways pecans can be introduced into your diet, it’s not hard to add these benefits and more into your food intake.
A Delicious Pie
The most famous use of pecans is in pecan pies. This wildly popular dessert is sweet, crunchy, and as delicious as it gets. Whether you are looking for an easy recipe, a star of your family’s Thanksgiving dinner, or a delicious Christmas dessert, this treat that originated in the American south has no shortage of recipes available online. The main ingredients of a pecan pie are pecans, eggs, sugar, butter, and flour, and all of these together create one of the most delicious desserts a person can enjoy.
With all of these amazing facts about pecans, it’s a wonder that they aren’t a more popular delicacy.
The information provided on this site is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.