Passive as a Pecan

Farm pic

My visit to the state of NC was one of relaxation, rejuvenation and reflection.  In the company of family we found time to stroll some luscious farmland in search of the perfect cabbages, collards and sweet potatoes.  In the process we stumbled upon a nice harvest of broccoli, unroasted peanuts and the unsuspecting pecan.   Much to our surprise; the cabbages, collards, sweet potatoes, peanuts and broccoli all came at a surprisingly low price.  We (Mom, Rosie and I) wandered the farmland and took pleasure in the beauty of the crop while basking in the sunshine, wishing that these moments could last forever.  It was the stuff that day dreams are made of.  Each row of vegetables was perfectly symmetrical reminiscent of lined paper and all like things that command order.  As we made small talk, and snapped pictures, one of the resident farmers rode closely behind us a golf cart with a large basket in tow, ready to harvest the veggies of our choice at a moment’s notice.  After the veggies were selected, pictures snapped, and our stomachs growl gave way to movement, we made our way back to the vehicle.  On the way back I noticed a scattering of pecans.  I stooped down to gather a few for the ride back.  Who would’ve known that the flavor in those pecans would’ve been so nostalgic?

Pecans are not only super flavorful, and nostalgic, but theyre also the only tree nut that grows naturally in North America. North Carolina produces 4 to 5 million pounds of in shell pecans yearly. That’s a whole lot of nutrition.  Research suggests that pecans contain unsaturated fat and can help maintain good cholesterol.  Pecans also contain 19  vitamins and minerals which include;  vitamin A, vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, folic acid, and B vitamins.  Eating pecans are also responsible for increased levels of antioxidants in the body which wards off the effects of bad cholesterol.  All in all pecans are delicious, and extremely nutritious.  And although they were ever so passive and unassuming as they lay there on the ground that day in NC, they are quite possibly the most delicious nut I’ve ever tasted.  The best part of it all is that they’re in season.  Try them in this simple recipe, share em with a friend and enjoy the beauty, delicious flavor, and nutrition that is the pecan.

Enjoy in good health,

Chef Will Hall

Spicy Pecans

Makes 4 cups

30 minutes or fewer

These nuts look great packaged in tall narrow cellophane bags tied with raffia or ribbon. Other nuts, such as peanuts, hazelnuts or almonds, can also be used.

1 Tbs. vegetable oil

4 tsp. vegetarian Worcestershire sauce

2 tsp. ground cumin

2 tsp. ground coriander

1 tsp. chili powder

⅛ tsp. cayenne or more to taste

4 cups pecans

2 tsp. sea salt

Preheat oven to 300°F. In small bowl, whisk oil, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, coriander, chili powder, and cayenne. Place pecans in large bowl, pour mixture over nuts and toss to cover evenly. Sprinkle with salt. Spread nuts on a foil lined baking sheet and bake until nuts are more brown and dry, about 20 minutes. Cool completely and store in airtight container until ready to use.

Package in clear bags and tie with a colorful pipe cleaner or twine.

Citations:

Marketing. (n.d.). Retrieved December 22, 2014, from http://www.ncagr.gov/markets/commodit/horticul/pecans/

NC Pecan Growers Association. (n.d.). Retrieved December 22, 2014, from http://www.ncpecans.org/

Pecans: #1 in Antioxidants Among Nuts According to ORAC Values – ILovePecans. (n.d.). Retrieved December 22, 2014, from http://www.ilovepecans.org/pecans-1-in-antioxidants-among-nuts-according-to-orac-values/

Spicy Pecans. (n.d.). Retrieved December 22, 2014, from http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipe/spicy-pecans/

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