Organic Pecans: Health Benefits & Recipes
Now that we are about a week into April, I thought it was fitting to bring to you some fun facts, health benefits and recipes for organic pecans! Why? Because April is National Pecan Month! Now, let’s look into why this slightly sweet, delicious nut is so wonderful!
- Pecans are a Native American tree nut which is actually a member of the Hickory family.
- Pecans were an important food for the Indian tribes of the Southern United States before Europeans settled.
- George Washington was known to frequently carry a stash of pecans in his pocket, and Thomas Jefferson dedicated part of his time to help cultivate them.
- The US produces about 80% of the world’s pecan supply.
Organic Pecans Health Benefits and why you should eat them:
1. They’re packed with 19 vitamins and minerals in just one serving (1 ounce=19 halves).
2. 1 serving contains 60% Manganese which is a naturally occurring mineral in our bodies and is a powerful antioxidant which seeks out and destroys the free radicals in our body.
3. Organic pecans have no cholesterol in them.
4. Eating just a handful a day may help protect the nervous system against neurological diseases.
5. Pecans are the highest ranked nut for antioxidant content.
6. Pecans are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid and an excellent source of phenolic antioxidants. Regular addition of pecan nuts in the diet helps to decrease total as well as LDL or “bad cholesterol” and increases HDL or “good cholesterol” levels in the blood.
7. Organic pecans are a good source of protein with about 3g per serving.
8. One serving provides 10% in your daily fiber intake.
9. They help regulate your body’s metabolism.
10. The nuts are very rich sources of several important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
11. These nuts are a good source of vitamin A, which helps vision and bone growth.
Get organic pecans in your diet:
- Eat a handful a day.
- Lightly toast them and throw them on a salad.
- Chop them up on sprinkle them on your favorite ice cream.
- Crush or grind them to make a yummy crust for your favorite protein (meat, poultry, fish, etc.).
- Soak and dehydrate them which makes them easier to digest.
- Blend them in a high power blender to make pecan butter or buy it here.
One of my favorite recipes is Chocolate Pecan Brownie Bites (or bars):
- 1 cup Organic Pecans
- 2 cups dates
- 2-4 tablespoons raw cacao powder (depending how chocolatey you want it)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract (I always use the non alcohol kind)
- A pinch or two of salt.
- 1 ounce of a dark chocolate bard chopped.
Throw all the ingredients in your food processor expect for the 1 ounce of dark chocolate and process until it blogs up into a big crumbly dough. I like to test it for stickiness: grab a piece of the dough to see if when you press it together it sticks nicely. If it’s still too crumbly sometimes I just add a table spoon of coconut oil or a few more dates. When it’s sticky enough to your liking you have a few different options: you can lay out some parchment paper on pan and scoop out by tablespoons and roll into balls, or you can form the whole dough into a flat rectangle shape. When done forming your shape you can add some of the chopped dark chocolate to the top or your balls or sprinkle over your rectangle form and press into the dough. Now chill in your refrigerator for a couple hours until firm and chewy, after chilled you can cut the dough you formed in to a big rectangle, into bars and store in the freezer for a quick snack.
More great Pecan recipes:
Sweet Crispy Pecans (personal favorite)
Grain Free Granola (feel free to use ALL pecans for the nut ingredient)
Hope you enjoy your next handful of pecans now. How do you incorporate pecans into your diet?