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Pecan Nuts and Nutrition


The many wonderful things about pecans lie not only on the extraordinary flavor the nuts have. There's more beyond that nut behind the shell.

There are a lot of research and clinical studies performed to determine the health benefits of pecans. Various scientists and researchers who have conducted extensive research are mostly geared mainly towards finding out its nutritional facts and values. Reams of studies have been made and all agreed and came to conclude that pecans are low in carbohydrates, contain polyunsaturated fats that help reduce LDL cholesterol levels, rich in pyridoxine, Vitamin B6 that is important for the regeneration of cells in the heart, zinc, thiamin, potassium, iron, minerals, and Vitamin E.

All has been said and done about how nutritious pecans can be to our body.

Other than the health benefits of pecans, there has got to be other things we can tell about the pecan. These other information may be less important than all the nutritional data written about pecans, but some info is useful information that most people seem to neglect. Here are the following:

1. Pecan shells are usually thought of as trash, and they most of the time end up in the garbage. Little do most people know that the pecan shells could be added to compost pile. If the nuts are nutritious to our body, the pecan shells can be a good source of nutrition for the soil too. This is definitely an eco-friendly way to fill a land.

2. The secret formula of making good pecan pies lies in the toasting process of the nut. To bring out the aroma and ensure crunchiness of pecans, toasting must be done with much care.

3. Pecan oil is good for salad dressing but a bit pricey.

4. Two of the most popular pecan dishes are pecan pie and pecan pralines. The best Pecan Pralines are found at Tanner's Pecans and Candies.

5. Pecans have been the staple food of Native Americans long before the white American settlers.

6. Shelled pecans can stay in the refrigerator for about nine months, and when kept in the freezer, it will last until two years. During that two-year freezing period, pecans can be repeatedly thawed and refrozen, and its flavor and color will not change or will not be affected.

7. Shelled pecans can stay good for an additional two months after being removed from the cold storage.

8. In-shell pecans stored in a cool and dry place can stay up to twelve months.

9. When you buy pecans, it is better to choose those pecans that are plump and have uniform color and size.

10. Pecans are nuts that come from the pecan tree, which is a tree indigenous to North America. In fact, the name "pecan" was bestowed on this nut by North American Indians to describe the need to use a stone to crack its shell. Although they are used extensively in many recipes, ranging from various toppings to pecan pie, pecans have also been garnering new appeal as a heart health helper.

Pecans make a Great Snack Food

If you are not yet aware of all the goodness packed with every pecan nut, then this will all sound fascinating to you. Every little thing about the pecan nut is indeed interesting. From the nut to the shell, the tree and the making, praline or sugar coated or as a chocolate add-on, the pecan nut is undoubtedly one of the great wonders of the food world. Read on to find out what I mean.

If pecan trees are in itself perfect for they can provide home to a million animals, can provide shade during the hottest summer days, can give warmth and comfort to the earthworms during the cold winter days, then the experience of eating the delicious pecans is more than perfect. That's just the beginning.

Pecans Are Nutritious

Pecans are loaded with a lot of nutritious goodness. This is something that has remained non-debatable ever since the nut was discovered to be edible. New research about this really delicious tree nut has shown that they are rich in chemicals called antioxidants that in such a way, a daily serving of pecans is encouraged, as they help ward off a lot of disease. The good thing about eating pecans is that they can also help prevent heart disease, lower the cholesterol level, and can even prevent the dreaded life threatening cancer. Pecans are loaded with phytochemicals - a group of micronutrients that are found in plants - that includes plant sterols, flavonoids, and sulfur compounds.

The Ideal Diet Snack Food

Now much concern has been raised regarding the health benefits brought about by pecan nuts. But all have been answered, and more have been surprised that not only is the nut not harmful to one's health, it can even aid one face his weight problems. For people who are much concerned about losing weight or are anxious to go beyond their ideal weight, the best snack food for them are pecans. Pecans are low in carbohydrates, a very good source of protein that are easily digestible, and contain minimal sugar, low in saturated fat, and contain no trans fat. Compared to other snack foods, your pecan nut, when eaten in moderation, is definitely beyond compare in many terms. So instead of reaching out for that bag of chips while you're on a movie marathon with friends, get yourself some praline pecans or some roasted pecans treats and you sure are not only satisfying your sweet tooth cravings, you're also doing your health one big favor.

Praline Pecans For Sweet People

Praline belongs to the confections variety of sugar syrup and nuts. Praline alone was invented way back in the seventeenth century by one of the cooks in France. Back then, pralines are made up of whole almonds that are coated individually in caramelized sugar. Then, there have been many variations to the original pralines. Different nuts can be used other than almonds like walnuts, pistachios, hazelnuts and pecan nuts. Praline pecans are now popular and are the most sought after.

A Praline Pecan or Nougat?

Is there a difference between praline pecans and nougat? Well, if you taste them, you will say "no" but when you get to know the details of the two, then the answer is "yes". Sometimes it is not easy to distinguish pralines from nougats but if you will take careful notice, you will find out that there is a slight difference between the two.

Like praline pecans, nougat comes also from the variety of confectioneries of similar origin that are made of honey or sugar and different roasted nuts which are sometimes also incorporated with candied fruits that are chopped into tidbits. Here now is the difference, if pecan nuts in praline is individually coated by the caramelized sugar, nougats are not. Instead, it is a sheet of caramelized sugar covering a particular nut or an assortment.

The Many Faces of Praline

Praline is not only limited to praline pecan. When the sugar coated pecan nuts is ground, the powder that you get here is called pralin. Pralin powder can be used as an ingredient in pastries, cakes and ice cream.

Pralin powder when mixed with chocolate is now called in French, praline, giving birth now to the famous Belgian chocolates, they are chocolate-coated various fillings. In Switzerland and France, when you hear the word praline, it refers to these Belgian chocolates, when in English it is simply termed 'chocolates'.

Praline as Seen by Different Countries

In France and Switzerland, praline refers to Belgian chocolates; they are different fillings that are enrobed by chocolates.

In Germany, Netherlands and Belgium, when you talk about pralines, they refer to the pralin powder or pastes that are used as fillings by chocolates.

In the United Kingdom, pralines are commonly referred to as the fillings for chocolates, but some also refer them to the original pralines - meaning, the sugar syrup and nuts combination like the praline pecans.

The Pecan Advantage

Pecan nuts are among the numerous nuts that has an epidemiological benefit in our body. It has been proven by research that people who consume pecan regularly have a lesser chance of having coronary heart diseases as pecans contain antioxidants that help in lowering cholesterol levels.

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