Picking Pecans – The Health Benefits, Tasty Treats & More!

Picking Pecans – The Health Benefits, Tasty Treats & More!

We’ve been living in our urban home for over 10 years now.  In our backyard has resided several large trees, one being a pecan tree.  In all our years we never once harvested our pecans, when I think about it, I just about want to hit my head on the wall!  I had a wonderful, FREE resource of what could be a life-time supply of this healthy pecan nut. UGH… Well, now I KNOW (as in having considered their importance and benefit to our families health and enjoyment) we are having a blast collecting as many nuts as we can this year!  This will be our FIRST pecan harvest, and I am amazed at our fast growing supply.

Because I’m new to Pecans I thought I’d do a study on them, their benefits and even find some wonderful pecan recipes.  I invite anyone and everyone to share their knowledge and any recipes they may have and want to share with others as well.  You can use the form provided on the website below the article.

Below is a wrap up of what I have learned on the grand home-grown Pecan treat!  You’ll notice the resources are provided with the clickable titles and links.

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Pecans Nutrition Facts and Health Benefits

Pecan nuts are rich source of energy, provide 690 cal/100 g and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for wellbeing.

Regular intake of pecan nuts in the diet help to lower total bad cholesterol and increase good cholesterol levels in the blood.

Pecan nuts are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall antioxidant activity, including polyphenolic antioxidant ellagic acid, vitamin E, beta-carotenes, lutein and zeaxanthin. Research studies have been suggestive of that these compounds help body remove toxic oxygen free radicals and thus, protect body from diseases, cancers, as well as infections.

Anti-proliferative properties of ellagic acid are because of its ability to inhibit DNA binding of certain carcinogens such as nitrosamines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons; thus protecting body from cancers.

Pecans are an excellent source of vitamin-E. Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.

The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.

The nuts are also rich source of minerals like manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.

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How long do pecans stay good?

Typically up to 2 years, but the older they get the more they lose their good flavor, so the sooner you eat them, the better!  But what you don’t eat now you can store up for another day!

It is recommended to keep them DRY (away from moisture) and in their shells.  Keep them in airtight containers or freezer bags inside the refrigerator or freezer in order to preserve the freshest pecan flavor.

The same is true of most nuts, as nuts typically contain a lot of oil and can become rancid if not stored properly. Storing them properly, however, is easy. Keep them dry, cold and well sealed.  Nuts in general may stay fresh enough to eat for as long as 2 years.

Tips:

  • Let the nuts dry out for the first 2 or 3 days after harvesting before you put them in the containers.  This will help prevent mold growth.
  • Unsalted nuts stay fresh longer than salted nuts.
  • Whole nuts keep longer than nuts that are chopped or ground.

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How to Crack Open Your Pecans Easily

Texan Nut Cracker on Amazon

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Enjoy some wonderful pecan recipes!

Honey and Pecan Treat Recipe

2 cups pecan halves, shelled
1/4 cup honey

Directions:

1 Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans in an even layer on baking sheet. Roast 12 to 15 minutes. Remove from baking sheet and place in large bowl.
2 In saucepan combine honey and pecans. Cook over medium high heat, stirring until mixture simmers and foams (about 4-6 min).
3 Place on baking sheet lined w/wax paper and separate with fork. Cool completely. Store in air tight container.
4. enjoy your tasty treat!

Recipe Resource: Food.com
Click Here for more yummy Pecan and Honey Treats

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Alaska Salmon Bake with Pecan Crunch Coating

makes 6 servings

PREP 20 mins
COOK 10 mins
READY IN 30 mins

Ingredients

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons butter, melted
5 teaspoons honey
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup finely chopped pecans
3 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley
6 (4 ounce) fillets salmon
salt and pepper to taste
6 lemon wedges

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). In a small bowl, mix together the mustard, butter, and honey. In another bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, pecans, and parsley.
Season each salmon fillet with salt and pepper. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Brush with mustard-honey mixture. Cover the top of each fillet with bread crumb mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes per inch of thickness, measured at thickest part, or until salmon just flakes when tested with a fork. Serve garnished with lemon wedges.

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What can you do with the left-over empty pecan shells?

  • Pecan shells make great compost & mulch for next years garden!  And, they help to keep the weeds, insects and animals out of the garden!
  • Pecan shells burn easily, which makes them ideal for kindling a fire.  Simply lay them underneath smaller pieces of wood or wrap them in newspaper or a cardboard roll.
  • Pecan shells are also widely used in Barbequing as it gives the barbeque meat a tender sweet taste.
  • Another great use of ground up pecan shells is to use with home-made exfoliating soap scrubs and beauty products.  After you grind them up in your food processor or coffee grinder you can add them to your  soaps, body scrubs or facial cleansers. The rough granules help exfoliate dead skin. Exfoliate whenever you notice your skin is becoming dry and flaky.

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Many thanks for Pecan Stock provided by OfGermanBlood

More great info on pecans: http://www.ehow.com/how_4548700_best-way-store-nuts.html

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