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Get Nutty in the Kitchen…with Pecan Recipes

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Pecan-Recipes

“Pah con” or “pee can”? No matter which way you say it, this nut can’t be cracked when it comes to nutrition. In fact, the American Heart Association has certified pecans as heart-healthy food when enjoying them as part of a healthy eating pattern.

More on the Nut

With this being National Pecan Month, what better time to learn more about this fascinating nut? The pecan comes from the pecan tree, which is part of the hickory family. This tall tree is native to the United States and Mexico. The name “pecan” came from an Algonquian word with the meaning “a nut requiring a stone to crack.” The seed itself, or to be technically accurate, the drupe, has a rich, buttery, sweet taste and is available year-round. (Source)

Nutrition

Pecans are full of nutrients, vitamins and minerals that you need for optimal health. Among the more than 19 healthy substances in the nut are vitamins A, B and E, magnesium, zinc, fiber, folic acid, calcium, phosphorus, potassium and protein. Pecans have a great amount of “good,” heart-healthy, unsaturated fats, which can lower total cholesterol when consumed in moderation. They contain more antioxidants than any other nut, according to ORAC values. Pecans are also sodium free. (Source)

Getting Pecans in Your Diet

While you can easily grab a handful of pecans (a one-ounce serving is 15-20 halves) as a perfect snack, they also make for a wonderful ingredient in many healthy recipes. Since they are so versatile, it’s easy to get a healthy amount into your diet. Aside from the notorious pie, pecans can be added to salads, cereals, muffins, chicken tenders (as a breading), breads, pestos, cookies, yogurt and more! Here are a few recipes for you to take a crack at:

 

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Sugar-Free Cinnamon Pecans

Amy of Super Healthy Kids has a way to get kids in on the pecan action. She shares her recipe for delicious sweet and salty pecans that are sweetened naturally with dates. Her kids love them as an easy snack. Beware: these may test your portion control limits!

Get the recipe here!

 

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Healthy Pecan Sandie Shortbread Cookies

Imagine making cookies with no butter or sugar! Haylie does just that with this recipe for sweet, delicate shortbread cookies found on her Haylie Pomroy website. She tweaks the system by using almond flour, xylitol and coconut oil. Gotta love the healthy twist!

View the recipe here!

 

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Baked Pecan-Crusted Chicken Fingers

Sally nailed it with this great idea for a breading replacement found on Sally’s Baking Addiction. This recipe is her favorite way to enjoy chicken strips, which are baked, not fried. You could substitute a healthy flour in place of the all-purpose flour, I’m sure. So good!

See the recipe here!

 

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Spinach, Pecan and Apple Salad

Sadie and her team share this spectacular salad recipe on Barre3. The apple, pecans and hemp seeds, not to mention the spinach, really pack a nutritional punch! The maple balsamic dressing adds some zest. This may be your new favorite salad!

Get the recipe here!

 

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Maple Pecan Bananas

This delicious dessert is a scrumptious way to eat clean. It’s a quick and easy recipe from the Clean Eating Recipes blog. Enjoy the natural sweetness of pure maple sugar and a hint of coconut with the browned banana slices and crunchy pecans. Bananas are a clean, healthy fruit to boot!

View the recipe here!

 

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Real Food Pecan Pie

And, last but not least, the pie! This is a grain-free, dairy-optional pie recipe from Wellness Mama. Katie experimented a lot with recipes until she nailed it with this pecan treasure. Coconut oil makes a great substitute for butter, and pure maple syrup adds just the right amount of sweetness. While it isn’t meant to be an everyday treat, it is nice for those special occasions. Yum!

See the recipe here!

If you love pecans and have a healthy recipe to share, we’d appreciate hearing from you!

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