Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Pecans

     I was given a rather large bag of pecan halves by my sister the other day. She knows how much I bake during the holidays. I have people ask me why my baked goods with pecans are different. They comment that they might make the same thing, but mine is better. Resisting the temptation to tell them that I sprinkle everything with Fairy Dust, I tell them how to prep pecans to make them the best. That's not fairy dust! If you didn't spend so darned much time blogging and cleaned the house, you'd see what kind of dust it really is!


     Several years ago I purchased a cookbook called Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon. I like Sally. I have met her before. She's not only trained in nutrition and cooking, but she tells you what is really happening with food in the US. She is at the helm of the Weston A. Price Foundation, a non-profit that encourages traditional foods for the best health. The book is interesting as a cookbook, but the first section tells it like it is about foods produced in this country. There are fascinating food facts on  the sides of the pages with the recipes. Those paragraphs could make an awesome book on their own.We changed our family's diet drastically after reading this eight years ago. They have a very interesting website that's full of information on some hot topics in the world of health.

Back to the pecans. Pecans are very healthy. They contain mostly mono-saturated fats and are chock full of minerals. All nuts contain enzyme inhibitors that can hamper digestion. To get the most from this healthy food, they must be soaked in salt water and dried out. I place the pecans(4 cups) in a large bowl with salt (2 teaspoons) and cover them with water.

It's like swimming in the ocean!
    

 They soak overnight and in the morning, I drain them and place them in the food dehydrator.


     The book says that they can be dried in the oven (150 degrees or less) for 12-24 hours. I have never tried drying in the oven because my oven would not hold at that temperature. Mine varies, and you cannot go over 150 degrees. My dehydrator works well and they are usually ready to store in an air-tight container just before I go to bed. I have never enjoyed snacking on a handful of pecans because there is a certain heaviness  to them and they always taste a bit oily. This method makes them crisp and light. They make a wonderful snack and improve baked goods considerably. Another added benefit is improved shelf life. If they stay around that long!! This works for walnuts, peanuts (raw-skinless), pine nuts, hazelnuts, almonds ,macadamia and cashews as well. All nuts, except for pecans and walnuts, take 1 tablespoon of salt.

     Try it! Then, when friends say your baked goods are better, tell them you just sprinkled them with fairy dust (and keep on blogging/blog reading).

9 comments:

  1. Pecans are high in price here in Calif. I love them toasted, omg... pecans add that something extra to a bake good...

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  2. I never knew about prepping pecans. I'll definitely do this in future. But that's between you and me, as far as anyone else knows, I'm sticking with fairy dust!

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  3. Pecan trees are very prevalent here in Texas. Glad we don't have any on our property as the squirrels would weight 15 lbs. each! The acorns are rich enough for them!!! :)

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  4. Thanks I did not know that. I love all kinds of nuts (:) Pecans and other wise. I will try that, it is a nice and simple way to make nuts better. Thanks

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  5. Thanks for the Tip. I have not heard of this method and I usually just toast them before using. Guess I will have to get a food dehydrator.

    Shawn

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  6. Great idea...they look yummy too!!

    Thanks for the visit awhile back. Hope you can stop by and say hi. Also read about my up and coming Have a Holly Jolly Christmas Recipe swap. I would love to have you participate and share some of your family recipes, crafts or traditions. :)

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  7. I had no idea! just got my annual shipment of nuts I will certainly try this. I guess I'll have to get the fairy dust off the dehydrator

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  8. New follower from Fun follow Friday...cute blog..hope you follow back

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  9. What a great post! Now I have to get a dehydrator. I'll have to check this Sally Fallon out too!

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