April 13, 2012

Now that you've recovered from dying and decorating Easter eggs and can't eat another piece of Easter candy,  consider turning to another celebration.  April is National Pecan Month and there are plenty of good reasons to be eating pecans.

The main reason I eat pecans is that they taste great, and every time I eat them, I think about gathering pecans in my grandmother's back yard and then sitting in her kitchen with a nut cracker and a metal pick, digging the nut meat out of the shells.   But in addition to great taste, pecans contain disease-fighting antioxidants, are sodium-free, and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.  Like other nuts, pecans are a source of what we are learning to call "the good kind of fat". (You can learn more about the health benefits of pecans at  www.ilovepecans.org)

If you've only been thinking about pecans in terms of Thanksgiving and pecan pies, you might want to think again.  Of course, there is no law that says you can't eat pecan pie in April, is there?   But there are some fantastic pecan recipes that are perfectly suited for the spring season and can help you in your effort to celebrate Pecan Month: Chicken Salad with Grapes and Pecans, Fettuccine with Zucchini and Pecans, Pork Chops with Roasted Green Beans and Pecans, Georgia Pecan SaladPecan Sandies, Caramel-Pecan Brownies, (photo below) and Praline-Pecan French Toast (photo above).

 So now, for the most important pecan issue.  How do you pronouce this tasty nut? pi-KAHN, pi-CAN, or PEE- kahn? (Websters' says all three are correct, by the way.)

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