Last Updated : Feb 13,2018
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Pecan" is from an Algonquian word, meaning a nut requiring a stone to crack. The fruit is an oval to oblong nut, 2.6-6 cm long and 1.5-3 cm broad. The nut itself is dark brown with a rough husk 3-4 mm thick that starts out green and turns brown at maturity, at which time it splits off in four sections to release the thin-shelled nut. Pecans, like the fruit of all other members of the hickory genus, are not true nuts but technically a drupe (fruit with a single stone or pit). Pecan trees may live and bear edible nuts for more than three hundred years. The nuts of the Pecan are edible, with a rich, buttery flavor. They can be eaten fresh or used in cooking, particularly in sweet desserts but also in some savory dishes. 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.
Slice the nuts into thin or thick slices as per the recipe.
The mixed nuts can be roasted on a hot plate for 2 minutes on a medium flame. Let it cool down and then they can be stored as it is or further powdered for various recipe.
Roasted and chopped pecans
Roast the nuts on a hot plate and then place them on a chopping board. Chop the nuts finely or coarsely with a sharp knife and use as garnishing
Roasted and sliced pecans
The nuts can be roasted on a hot plate and then sliced into thin and thick slices as per recipe.
Roasted and powdered
Dry ground the roasted pecans into fine or coarse powder as per recipe. The powdered nuts can be stored in an airtight container and used as desired.
Wash the mixed nuts and place them on a chopping board. Chop the nuts finely or coarsely with a sharp knife and use as garnishing.
How to select
When you buy pecans, it is better to choose those pecans that are plump and have uniform color and size. Check the expiry date before buying.
· One of the most common desserts with the pecan as a central ingredient is the pecan pie, a traditional southern U.S. recipe.
· Pecans are also a major ingredient in praline candy. Praline belongs to the confections variety of sugar syrup and nuts
· Pecans are used in nougats also. If pecan nuts in praline are individually coated by the caramelized sugar, nougats are not. Instead, it is a sheet of caramelized sugar covering a pecan nut or an assortment of different nuts.
· Pecan oil is good for salad dressing but a bit pricey.
How to store
In-shell pecans stored in a cool and dry place can stay up to twelve months. 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.
· Pecans are a good source of protein and unsaturated fats.
· A diet rich in nuts can lower the risk of gallstones in women.
· The antioxidants and plant sterols found in pecans reduce high cholesterol by reducing the "bad" LDL cholesterol levels. Clinical research published in the Journal of Nutrition (September 2001) found that eating about a handful of pecans each day may help lower cholesterol levels similar to what is often seen with cholesterol-lowering medications.
· 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.
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