Think outside the pie and grab a handful of pecans! With American adults and children snacking more, it’s time to spotlight the natural, healthy, fuss-free pecan.
The National Pecan Shellers Association (NPSA) has a proposition for you. This April, consider snacking healthy and snacking on pecans. A one-ounce serving of 15 to 20 pecan halves packs a nutritious punch:
- Pecans contain more antioxidants than any other nut variety according to ORAC values
- Pecans can help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels
- Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals
- Pecans are a natural, high-quality source of protein and naturally sodium free
Peppy Spiced Pecans
4 cups pecan halves
4 TBS unsalted butter
3 TBS dark brown sugar
3 TBS light brown sugar
1 tsp dried ground orange peel
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp water
In a dry skillet, toast the nuts for about 4 – 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir the nuts occasionally until they begin browning. Add the butter stirring to coat the nuts as it melts. Toast and stir for about a minute until the nuts brown further. Add the brown sugar and spices and distribute them in the pan. Stir for about a minute then add the water to create a syrup and stir to coat the nuts. Cook for another minute stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and spread on a piece of parchment paper over a cooling rack. Serve as a garnish, snack, appetizer, or package as a gift.
Recipe courtesy of Popoff Enterprises, Inc.
Deep Fried Pecan Pies
1 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
½ cup light corn syrup
2 large eggs
5 tablespoons butter
¼ teaspoon salt
2 cups chopped pecans
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (14.1-ounce) packages Pillsbury refrigerated pie crusts
Vegetable oil for frying
In a medium-sized saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, eggs, butter and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat to a simmer and stir in the pecans. Simmer for about 8 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the vanilla. Bring the crusts to room temperature. Unroll one on a lightly floured surface and cut circles using a 4-inch circle cutter. Re-roll the dough and repeat until all of the dough has been used. You should end up with about 24 circles. Place a heaping tablespoon of the pecan filling mixture in the center of a pie crust circle. Lightly moisten the edges of the crust with water, then fold the crust over, crimping the edges with a dinner fork. Repeat the process until all of the pie crusts have been used. In a large dutch oven, heat about 1 inch oil in the bottom to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Fry the pies in batches for about 1 to 2 minutes on each side – or until golden brown. Drain on paper towels then lightly dust with powdered sugar. Serve warm.
Recipe courtesy of SouthernBite.com – Stacey Little