Fun Facts about Pecans

 

pecan facts

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The Nutritional Value of Pecans

“More pecans, please!”

Pecan pies are a tasty Thanksgiving dessert, but did you know that pecans have health benefits? They have natural antioxidants and have been known to reduce bad cholesterol. Fresh, in-shell Georgia pecans are great for cracking and great for you heart!

Pecans are the only tree nuts in the U.S. native to America. They have been growing on American soil for hundreds of years. Here are just a few nutritional facts about this native American tree nut:

Good Source of Protein

Pecans are a good, natural source of protein. In one serving size of pecans (about 1 cup, chopped) there are 10 grams of protein. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that they may help with maintaining and losing weight.

Rich in Nutrients

Pecans provide nutrients that the human body needs, such as: vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, thiamin, manganese, potassium and zinc. A handful of pecans have a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. They are also a natural source of fiber.

Natural Antioxidants

In recent years, studies have shown that eating pecans every day can help prevent heart disease. The Vitamin E naturally occurring in pecans is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are an important part of everyday health; they help prevent the risk of heart disease and cancer. Pecans contain a high capacity for antioxidants compared to other nuts.

Remember to eat pecans for your health! Click here to order a bag of our in-shell new crop pecans, available in November.

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Dress Up Your Salad with Fresh Pecans

strawberry-pecan-salad

Salad with Strawberries and Pecans

Everyone loves praline and maple pecans, but our fresh pecans are also great addition to your pantry. They are great for both snacking and adding to side salads and dishes. Pecans are great for texture and protein, and they pair well with fruit and cheese. Throw out the ranch and try one of these great salad ideas!

  • Romaine and red leaf lettuce with sliced strawberries, pecan halves, and blue cheese with a with a drizzle of sweet, reduced balsamic vinegar.
  • Mixed greens with cherry tomatoes, onions, bell peppers and feta cheese in our Creamy Vidalia Onion salad dressing.
  • Arugula salad with pears, pecans, and goat cheese tossed in white-wine vinegar, olive oil and mustard vinaigrette.
  • Chunky chicken salad with chopped grapes, apples and pecans on a bed of iceberg lettuce with a warm, toasted croissant.

Sweet, roasted pecans are tasty on salads too! They still pair well with blue cheeses, fruit and vinaigrettes.

Happy Salad Tossing!

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How to Toast Pecans

Toasted pecans are wonderful as a topping on desserts, pancakes or a warm bowl of oatmeal. Store them in an airtight container for snacking! Here are a few tips for toasting your pecans:

  • Buy pecan halves or unshelled pecans. Fresh, whole pecans are best!
  • Make sure to use cooking spray or a little butter to coat pecans before toasting. It will help prevent sticking and burning. If you prefer to toast dry pecans, you may want to use parchment paper.
  • If you have been storing pecans in the freezer, let them thaw completely before toasting.
  • Once you have toasted your pecans, you can chop them into pieces and store them in the freezer for later use.

Toasting pecans in a pan:

Melt salted butter in a nonstick pan. Toss pecans in butter on medium-high heat until warm, toasted and nutty. Lay pecans on paper towel to let them cool and dry.

Toasting pecans in the oven:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly spray baking sheet with cooking spray (or lay down sheet of parchment paper). Spread pecans evenly over baking sheet, making sure there is only one layer of pecans. Toast for 2-3 minutes, turn pecans over with a spatula, and toast for another 2-3 minutes. Keep an eye on your pecans, because they will burn quickly. When you smell a warm, nutty aroma, they are ready to eat!

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Peach Ice Cream

Wondering what to do with all those frozen peaches? Try making some fresh, homemade peach ice cream – it isn’t just for summer! It’s also the tastiest way to use your last batch of peaches and make the most of those warm, Fall afternoons. (Hint: Don’t want to go to the trouble of making homemade peach ice cream? Mix some frozen peach slices with good, store bought vanilla ice cream!)

Peach Ice Cream

2-2 ½ cups frozen peaches, chopped and peeled
2 cups heavy cream
1 can sweetened condensed milk
½ cup sugar
1 tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp vanilla or almond extract
½ tbsp honey, optional

Directions:

Combine frozen peaches (tips on freezing peaches), lemon juice, and ½ cup sugar and stir. Cover and let sit in until peaches thaw. Process peaches and mix in other ingredients. Cover and chill for 3-4 hours, then pour mixture into ice cream maker and make according to instructions.

Serve in a mini pie crust with fresh raspberries for a garnish!

Recipe adapted from: Creations by Kara

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Salted Caramel Praline Cheesecake

Pecan and Caramel Cheescake

For the Crust:

1 cup pecans * I added a bit more, I needed extra for garnishing my mini cheesecakes

1 stick plus 1/2 teaspoon unsalted butter, melted

1/4 cup sugar plus 2 1/2 tablespoons extra for pecan roasting.

2 tablespoons heavy cream

Pinch of salt

2 packets graham crackers (about 10 ounces), crushed

Set Oven at 375. Line baking sheet with parchment paper, * important because you will not want to wash the sticky mess off of your pan when finished cooking. Mix pecans with 1/2 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon sugar and the 2 tablespoons cream with a pinch of salt. Bake for about 5 minutes. They should be toasted and bubbly. With a fork, pick out pecans so they don’t get stuck to the pan, let cool.

Set aside 14 -16 pecans to garnish the cupcakes. If doing a traditional cheesecake using a spring form pan you will need about 12 pecans for garnishing the top. Take the rest and place in a food processor along with the graham crackers, pulse to make fine crumbs, next add melted butter and sugar. Pulse until fine. Pour into pan and form with hands a sturdy wall for your cheese cake.

For the Filling:

3 8oz packages cream cheese,

1 13-14 oz. can dulce de leche

2 tablespoons all purpose flour

3 teaspoons kosher salt * I used 2 teaspoons Fleur de sel

1 ¼ cup granulated sugar * I used 1 cup of sugar

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

4 large eggs, at room temperature

With a electric mixer cream together cream cheese, add can dulce de leche mix until smooth and creamy. Add flour and salt. Mix for about 5 minutes making sure all lumps are gone. Add sugar, mix until smooth. Add Vanilla. Beat in egg one and a time for about 30 seconds, but please don’t over beat. Pour cream cheese mixture over your prepared crust.

Bake at 300 degrees. I baked my cheese cake in a loaf pan and as well as muffin tins. I divided my batter and guessed on the time of cooking for the loaf pan. *If using a spring form pan remember to put foil around the bottom of the pan to insure no water gets in. Place in a water bath. The original recipe says to bake for 55- 65 minutes which is for the spring form pan size. Of course mine did not take so long due to my small choice of pans. Cupcakes 18-23 minutes, *they may take longer so don’t be afraid to jiggle them, look for a wobbly center and firm sides. That should be about the right look. Cracked is not a sign that they are fully cooked. So don’t over cook them. Bake the loaf pan for about 40 minutes. Let cool completely and then transfer to Refrigerator to firm up for 4- 8 hours.

Recipe Property of Baking Chic.

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Georgia Peach and Ricotta Bruschetta

Georgia Peach & Ricotta Bruschetta

Ingredients:

One ripe Georgia peach, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Olive oil
1/4 cup loose torn basil leaves
1 cup ricotta
2 tsp lemon juice (or more to taste)
Small baguette slices (or bite-sized pieces of your other favorite bread), toasted
Salt and pepper

Instructions:

Heat 1 Tbsp olive oil in a saucepan and lightly sauté the peach cubes. Remove from heat but keep warm.

Mix together the lemon juice, ricotta and a pinch of salt. Spoon and spread a big dollop onto each toast. Top with basil leaves and peaches. Finish with freshly ground black pepper.

Recipe and Image Property of PDX Foodlove.

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Grilled Peach Salad with Arugula and Goat Cheese

ingredients

1/4 c balsamic vinegar
2 Tbs honey
3 Georgia peaches, pitted and cut into 6 wedges
1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
6 c arugula
3 Tbs crumbled goat cheese

instructions

  1. Bring balsamic vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until vinegar has reduced to about 2 Tbs. Remove from heat, and stir in honey. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Prepare grill to high heat. Place peach wedges on grill rack; grill for 30 seconds on each side or until grill marks appear but peaches are still firm. Remove from grill.
  3. Toss olive oil with arugula, and arrange on a platter. Top with peach wedges. Sprinkle with goat cheese, and drizzle with the balsamic syrup.

Recipe and Photograph Property of Koko Cooks.

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Georgia Peach and Creamsicle Smoothie

Recipe and photo property of A Sun Shiny Day.

This easy to make smoothie is delicious and so refreshing!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium ripe peaches (diced)
  • 2 cups cantaloupe (diced)
  • 1 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

1. Place the diced melon and peach in a plastic bag and freeze for a day or overnight.
2. After fruit is frozen, add the ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. You may need to add more milk to reach your desired consistency.
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Deliciously Addictive Vidalia Onion Dip

Image Property of Woods Life Blog.

Vidalia Onion Dip

Ingredients:

  •            2 tablespoons olive oil
  •         1/2 a vidalia onion, diced
  •         1 cup plain yogurt drained in a cheesecloth overnight
  •         1 cup sour cream (or a mix of sour cream and cream cheese at room temp)
  •         Dash chipoltle powder (or cayenne)
  •         kosher salt and pepper to taste
  •         squeeze of lemon (optional)

Directions:

Preheat a cast iron pan on medium heat and add the oil.  Lower the heat and cook the onions for 15 – 20 minutes until golden.  Cool slightly.  Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Refrigerate for a couple of hours.  If using cream cheese let it sit at room temperature for a while to soften the cheese after your remove it from the fridge.  Feel free to mix up the amounts of yogurt, cream cheese and sour cream.
Recipe Property of A Dish Soup.

 

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