As far as nutritious snacks go, you can’t get much better than nuts. They provide good flavor, an addictive and satisfying crunch, and they are packed full of nutrients. Pecans are among the most popular of the nutritious nut craze, and for good reason. They have a rich, sweet, almost buttery flavor, and are packed full of monounsaturated oils, with a healthy fat content of over 70% – higher than its other nutty counterparts. So what benefits can the pecan provide for you? Continue reading
There are a lot of different takes on the Paleo diet, but this quote from Wikipedia sums it up nicely: …the “contemporary” Paleolithic diet consists mainly of meat, fish, vegetables, fruit, roots, and nuts, and excludes grains, legumes, dairy products, salt, refined sugar, and processed oils.
Humans evolved millions of years ago in a much different environment than our own. The so-called Paleo diet takes its name from the Paleolithic period, which began when humans first started to use stone tools. The theory behind the diet is that our modern pattern of food consumption contributes to obesity and chronic disease. By altering our eating habits to more closely resemble those of Paleolithic humans, we achieve weight loss and better health.
Although the broad concepts behind the diet emerged in the 1970s, public awareness of the Paleo diet took off after Dr. Loren Cordain published his 2002 book, “The Paleo Diet.” Now, millions of people adhere to Paleo principles when choosing the different foods they eat.
The Paleo diet is based on the notion that for optimal health, modern humans should go back to eating real, whole unprocessed foods that are more healthful than harmful to our bodies.
Pecans are a very popular food choice among Paleo enthusiasts. This tree nut is high in polyunsaturated fats and contains manganese, copper, and thiamine. Of course, shelled pecans are delicious by themselves whether you eat them raw or whether you roast them in the oven for a few minutes. Try the recipe below and see just how delicious Paleo can be!
Paleo Candied Pecans
- pecan halves – 1 pound, about 4 cups
- egg whites – 1
- water – 1 Tbsp
- raw honey – 1/2 cup, liquified (I set my honey jar in a cup of hot water to liquify)
- ground cinnamon – 1 tsp
- sea salt – 1/2 tsp
- Preheat oven to 250º F.
- Line a shallow, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place egg white and water in a large bowl. Stir with a whisk until frothy (think bubble bath).
- Add pecans and stir well with a wooden spoon until they are evenly coated.
- Combine honey, salt, and cinnamon in a liquid measuring cup. Pour over nuts and stir well to evenly coat.
- Transfer pecans to the lined baking sheet. Arrange in a single layer using a rubber spatula.
NOTE: Discard any leftover liquid that may be left in the bowl.
- Bake for 60 to 90 minutes, stirring at approximately every 15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and immediately transfer to a glass baking dish to cool.
NOTE: It is very important to remove the nuts from the parchment before they cool—they will stick.
- Once cool, break into pieces and store in an airtight container at room temperature
Caramel Popcorn Pecan Crunch will be a delicious treat to bring to tailgate parties or family gatherings to enjoy while watching the weekend football games. This easy recipe would also be a great idea to use for tasty gifts for the upcoming holidays. Find an attractive gift bag, fill it with pecan crunch, attach the recipe to the top and present it to the special people on your list. Pecans added to any recipe contribute to the nutrition value of that dish. Pecans provide antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and heart health properties.
20 cups popped popcorn
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla
4 cups large pecan pieces
1 tsp soda
- Combine brown sugar, butter, salt and corn syrup in a large saucepan.
- Bring to boil. Continue boiling for 5 minutes, stirring often.
- Remove from heat and add vanilla and soda, stirring quickly. Pour over the popped popcorn and pecan pieces that have been placed into a large oven safe pan. Mix well.
- Bake for 1 hour in a 250 degree F oven. Stir every 20 minutes.
- Cool on large cookie sheets and ENJOY!
*Variation – Chocolate chips could be added for an extra taste for all the chocolate lovers.