April is National Pecan Month!
Posted on Monday, April 1st, 2013 at 4:38 pm
Did you know that April is National Pecan Month? This delicious and versatile nut is the only native North American tree nut. In fact, America produces around 80% of the world’s pecan supply. Texas even made the pecan tree their national tree in 1919. With so much love for the pecan in the states, it’s no wonder why we devote a whole month to it!
In addition to tasting great, pecans are extremely nutritious. Pecans are a great source of monounsaturated fatty acids, which are great for your heart and overall health. They are high in healthy unsaturated fat, which can help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and increase HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels in your blood. Some research even shows that diets high in dietary fiber and monounsaturated fatty acids help prevent artery disease and stroke.
Pecans are also packed with more than 19 vitamins and minerals including vitamins A, B and E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc. They also contain a lot of your dietary fiber with just 1 ounce containing about 10% of your daily recommended intake! The high level of vitamin E helps protect your mucus membranes to keep you free from infection and protects your skin from harmful free radicals. They’re also high in B-complex vitamins, which make them a great energy-boosting snack!
Pecans are fantastic because there are so many ways to enjoy them! You can enjoy eating them plain as a mid-day snack, or added to some of your favorites. Pecans can be used in place of croutons to give your salad a little crunch. Try them chopped on top of oatmeal, cereal or even ice cream. Of course, they’re delicious in baked goods like pecan pie, cookies, cinnamon rolls, and more.
You can find bulk amounts of pecans for a better deal. You can store shelled pecans for up to two years in your freezer. A sealed plastic bag is best when storing this way. They’ll also last about 9 months when stored in an airtight container in your refrigerator.