At Peach Valley Café, we’re nuts for pecans – not just for their spectacular flavor, but for the one-of-a-kind power packed into every little handful.
Want to learn more? Just read on – in honor of National Pecan Month, we’re exploring the ins and outs of this beloved nut.
What’s in a name?
To really get to know the pecan, you just need to take a look at its name.
“Pecan” actually stems from an Algonquin word for nuts like the pecan (including “cousins” like the walnut) that needed to be cracked open with a stone.
Incidentally, if you’re wondering if you pronounce the word correctly (is it PE-kan or pe-KAN?), rest assured: there really isn’t a “right” way! It’s one of those “tomato, tomato,” differences that are sure to vary as you go from person to person, state to state. Of course, a delicious pecan pie is just as sweet, either way you say it.
What one little nut can do
We always hear about the benefits of “good fats” versus the kinds we try to avoid – but where do we find those good fats? Pecans happen to be a great place to start: each serving is high in monosaturated fat, and studies suggest the nuts can help lower cholesterol and promote heart health, too. Magnesium in the pecan helps fight inflammation, while manganese promotes a thriving brain and immune system. Rich in fiber, too (one small serving gets you about 10 percent of your daily needs), pecans can help keep your digestive system healthy as well. It’s a lot to ask of a small handful of nuts, but pecans are more than up to the task.
Our favorite pecan pairings
You can’t go wrong with a handful of pecans for a quick afternoon snack – they’re warm, sweet and wholesome, perfectly easy to enjoy. But when it comes to the kitchen, pecans happen to “play nice” with a wide variety of ingredients – and pairing any of these items with pecans is sure to please. Consider brown sugar, caramel, chocolate, molasses and other rich fixings to really bring out the pleasant pecan flavor.
Ever the team player, pecans are just as apt at complementing savory flavors. Their inherent sweetness helps to play off the notes found in soft, luxurious cheeses, such as brie – so consider pairing the two at your next dinner party!
When shelling pecans, it’s often recommended to boil or microwave the nuts first so as to soften up their shell. Of course, if you just can’t wait, a quick trip to Peach Valley will deliver you the pecan flavors you’re craving, no work required – try the aromatic blend of pecan and cinnamon in our rich Pecan Cinnamon Roll Pancakes or ask for them sprinkled atop your Belgian Waffles. Either way, you can’t go wrong by enjoying pecans’ sweet, subtle flavor early on in the day.
Do you have a penchant for pecans, too? Whether you’re at home or enjoying a family day out, this is a simple treat worth snacking on.