Five Things to Do with Pecans (None are Pecan Pie)
If there is one thing that is synonyms with the holiday season it is pecans. Whether whole, toasted and spiced, stuffed in a pie or covered with chocolate, pecans always make an appearance this time of year.
Chocolate Covered PecansThe good news is that with little saturated and no trans-fat, pecans themselves are considered to be heart healthy. They are also a good source of protein, potassium, thiamine, and are ranked among the top 20 foods for antioxidant capacity. While pecans have many health benefits and uses, many people get stuck in doing the same ol', same ol'. This year, why not get creative with our pecans and discover new ways to bring the traditional holiday nut into your festivities. A quick search on Pinterest will quickly help get your creative juices flowing. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Cookie Bouquet - Instead of bringing a pie as your contribution to the holiday meal, Try a pecan cookie bouquet. Insert long lollipop sticks or a wooden skewer before baking. If the stick comes through a bit on the other side, patch it up with a little extra dough. When the cookies are done baking, display in a basket using a piece of green florist foam at the bottom to insert the sticks, fill the base of the basket with tinsel or decorative paper filler and voila!
- Use the Shells - Did you know that pecan shells are an economically friendly way to season on the grill? Add pecan shells to your briquette and allow them to burn. Place your food on the grill to cook over the pecan smoke. This acts as a natural seasoning as it adds the flavor and smell of pecans to meats.
- Homemade Granola- Homemade gifts made with love are the best gifts. Make some granola with blueberries and pecans, store in a decorative jar and give as gifts to unexpected holiday guests.
- Maple Crumbles - Try spreading holiday cheer with the latest and wildly popular pecan product, Maple Crumbles. These provide a different and exceptional flavor when added to oatmeal, salad or ice cream.
- Upgrade your stuffing- kick that stuffing recipe up a notch by adding pecans and cranberries or pecans and apples, experiment with different pecan-fruit combinations for a flavor that will surprise your guests.