All types of nuts belong in a healthy pantry.
Besides being a pretty and crunchy addition to snacks, desserts, and breakfasts, they also pack a lot of nutrition and health benefits for your heart and brain.
Pecans are one type of nut that can’t be missing from your kitchen.
They stand out for being beneficial for weight control and the prevention of metabolic syndrome.
High in monounsaturated fatty acids, pecans can improve the way your body regulates glucose and fat, improving satiety and reducing cholesterol and blood sugar levels.
You don’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to enjoy pecans – use them year-round in granola, bars, cookies, muffins, creamy sauces, trail mixes, bread, and salads.
Let’s get to know a little more about this nutty nutrient
A Well Stocked Pantry – Pecan Halves
What are Pecan Halves
Pecans are the seeds from the fruit of the Pecan tree, which is native to Mexico and the United States. The Pecan tree can keep producing pecans for up to 300 years.
Pecans are the second nut with the highest fat content, right behind macadamia nuts.
It contains mostly monounsaturated fatty acids. In a 1-oz serving (10-12 pecans), you can find 20g of fat – 12g being monounsaturated fat -, 2.6g of protein and 3.9g of carbohydrates.
Monounsaturated fats are beneficial for heart health.
Studies have shown that pecans can reduce total cholesterol levels and prevent the excess of leptin (the satiety hormone) in your blood after eating. This is important because too much leptin could lead to leptin resistance – a risk factor for obesity.
Pecans can also lower blood glucose levels and improve the antioxidant capacity in your blood.
In other words, pecans help you stay on a healthy weight, prevent obesity, and protect your cardiovascular system.
What to look for in buying Pecan Halves
It’s important you choose unsalted pecan halves and make sure there are no other added ingredients.
The only ingredient on the label of your package should be raw or roasted pecan halves.
Whether you choose raw or roasted halves is completely up to you.
Roasting helps to make the nutrients in the nuts easier to absorb. This is the most convenient choice if you want to use them mainly for snacks and quick meals.
If you want to try an exciting new recipe at home, choose raw pecans. This way you can roast, soak, cook, or caramelize them at home.
If you want to blend pecans in smoothies, sauces, or raw desserts, you can buy them raw and either roast or soak them at home before using them.
It’s recommended you treat pecan halves – and other nuts- with either of these methods to help release the nutrients within the nuts.
How to Eat Pecan Halves
Pecan pie is pretty good, but you can use your pecans in any recipe that calls for nuts.
My favorite ways to use them are in baked goods, raw desserts, and granola.
Here are some great recipes for you to try:
Where to buy pecan nuts in Singapore
Looking to buy pecan nuts in Singapore or internationally? Check out these two great options: