Welcome to April, my friends. And Happy National Pecan Month! Pecans are, without a doubt, one of my most favorite nuts for a variety of reasons.
Did you know pecans are packed with more than 19 vitamins and minerals? That includes vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins and zinc. Scientific evidence also suggests that eating 1.5 ounces of pecans per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce risk of heart disease.
While most folks automatically think of dessert applications when it comes to pecans, this nut is pretty versatile. For example, let’s talk about Honey Garlic Pecan Chicken. Pecans add additional protein, fiber and amazing flavor to an otherwise boring boneless, skinless chicken breast. My family loves this meal. It works great with pork chops, too!
Pecan Chewies are one of the very first recipes from SouthernBite.com. They’re gooey, caramel-y, blondie-like perfection. They also hold a special place in my heart because they’re one of the first things my wife ever made for me. This is one of those recipes that often gets overlooked for being a little boring, but after one taste, you’ll see these are far from ordinary, despite the ordinary ingredients used.
Pecans are great for breakfast, too. Buttermilk Pecan Coffee Cake is the perfect pick-me-up. It’s just right for busy mornings but special enough for the weekend. And here’s a great tip: When recipes call for chopped pecans or pecan pieces, buy them that way. Chopped pecans are more affordable and save the extra step of having to chop pecan halves for recipes.
When you’re ready to impress, pull out this Easy Caramel Pecan Cheesecake. Eliminating the fuss of a water bath, which other cheesecake recipes call for, makes this one a piece of cake. And if your cheesecake does crack, no worries. You’ll top it with a delicious caramel pecan sauce, so no one will ever know.
Whether you try one of these recipes, or just eat them roasted and salted, be sure to add some pecans to your diet this month to take advantage of all the great health benefits. It’s also a great way to support U.S. farmers who produce more than 300 million pounds of pecans for us each year!
Now for the real test. Which way do you pronounce it? puh-KAHN or PEE-can?