Autumn is finally here. The leaves are changing colors, the air is crisp, and you can finally throw on a cozy sweater and enjoy a hot mug of cocoa. Continue reading
Health benefits make investigating all about pecans worthwhile. Pecans get their origins from Mexico and the southcentral and southeastern regions of the US. While not technically a nut, and instead a drupe (a fruit with a single stone or pit surrounded by a husk), the pecan is still everyone’s favorite ‘nut’ – and for good reason. Continue reading
The pecan’s versatility is such that it can be used in pesto. Using pecans as an added ingredient in a pesto recipe adds an interesting flavor. Pecans will also enhance the overall nutritional value of any dish because of all the different vitamins and minerals found in them.
Chipotle Pecan Pesto uses pecans instead of pine nuts. To view recipe go to http://www.delishplan.com/chipotle-pecan-pesto/
What is pesto? A sauce that is made with basil, pine nuts, olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese blended together and served hot or cold over pasta, fish, or meat. Pesto originated around the 16th century in the northern Italy. The name Pesto comes from the Genoese word pestâ. Pestâ means to pound or to crush.
Here is a list of different ways to use pesto:
- On Bread – spread a generous amount of your favorite pesto on a slice of your favorite type of bread. Sprinkle with some fresh Parmesan cheese and broil until toasted and warm.
- Dip – make vegetables more exciting when you serve them with a delicious pesto dipping sauce. This goes especially well with grilled veggies during the summer.
- As a Sandwich Spread – instead of mayo on your sandwich, try pesto.
- Marinade or Meat Sauce – marinade meat in pesto with some kind of acid (vinegar or citrus juice) and a little extra olive oil added to thin it out.
- Pizza Sauce – rather than a marinara, use pesto as a sauce for your next pizza.
- Green Beans -toss 1 pound steamed green beans with 3 tablespoons pesto and the juice of 1/2 lemon.
If you’re looking to establish your very own pecan orchard, there are many things you need to consider before going into this possible business endeavor. Pecan orchards take a lot of time, careful planning and management, and a well-planned, well organized orchard will always prove to be more efficient and require less input than one which is not. To help you along your journey as a proud pecan orchard owner, we’ve decided to go over a few basics and characteristics your pecan orchard should have to get you started. Continue reading
The holidays are right around the corner, and with them comes the necessity of gifts galore for all your friends, family, and loved ones. While gift shopping can be one of the most difficult and stress-inducing times of the year, it doesn’t have to be. Rather than stressing over the perfect gift from the mall or other department stores, why not gift them with one of our Pecan Gifts and Tins instead? If you’re not totally convinced that this is the perfect gift to give this year, here are a few reasons why pecans are the perfect gift for this holiday season. Continue reading
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
Our pecan orchard is in warp speed this time of year gathering our fresh Louisiana pecans signifying the start of the 2015 pecan harvest at Little Eva Plantation. Within the last previous two to three weeks the orchard floor has been cleaned of many broken limbs clearing the ground beneath each tree which enable the pecan harvesters
to not miss a pecan as these machines go around and around each tree gathering nuts beneath the trees. Each variety is typically harvested individually. – Candy variety is an earlier maturing nut and is usually always harvested first. Then comes Elliott, Desirable, Branch, Stuart, Caddo, Sumner and Melrose.
When the pecan harvester’s bin is full, the nuts are dumped into a pecan wagon.
Next stop is the cleaning plant. Once the filled pecan wagon arrives at the cleaning plant, the nuts are dumped into a pit and are then carried by conveyors and various elevators up and down and around and through the dirt machine where dirt clods and large sticks and other debris are removed and blown into our trash trailer. Next the pecans make their way to the Savage in-shell color sorter. Savage Sorters employ high-resolution color cameras and highly specialized color-sorting software to identify and separate stick-tight nuts and other light debris. In a split second the machine uses a small blast of air to separate them out from the good-product flow. The sorting criteria is completely adjustable on the simple-to-use touch-screen computer terminal. Even novice computer users can learn the simple tasks involved. After color sorting, the pecans proceed to the Savage pecan sizer where they are sized and then bagged in bulk bags and labeled as to variety, size, date of harvest, and what section of orchard the bagged pecans came from. Filled super bags are then moved into the warehouse. Next week I will blog about the cracking and shelling process.
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.
Natchitoches pecans is proud to announce that The Clementine Hunter Collection will be available to order on our website in early October. This unique collection will make great gifts for the upcoming holiday season along with our signature gourmet pecan gifts, pecan candies, and other pecan products for everyone on your gift list.
Doug Gitter created Gitter Gallery and The Clementine Hunter Collection because he wanted to share his love of contemporary American self-taught art with others and wanted to take artwork which was once affordable and make it affordable again so that others could enjoy a piece of American history. The hand-painted ceramic platters and bowls and dinnerware are 100% handmade and no two pieces are exactly alike. Each piece has its own distinctive shape whose textured surface allows you to feel the passion in Clementine’s work. These pieces can be hung on the wall, displayed on a bookshelf, or used as favorite serving pieces for any occasion. All ceramics are food, microwave and dishwasher safe. Each of the Hand-Embroidered Pillows and Linen Hand Towels are works of art also.
The pillows are embroidered on 100% organic cotton. It takes 2 artisans two weeks to create one beautiful pillow and each pillow is unique because each artisan has their own stitching style. Each hand towel is silk screened then embroidered by hand on 100% linen and is beautifully presented in a gorgeous organdy reusable gift pouch.
With every purchase from The Clementine Hunter Collection, a portion of the proceeds goes toward preservation and interpretation of the Clementine Hunter House at Melrose Plantation, a National Historic Landmark.
Clementine Hunter is Louisiana’s most famous artist and considered one of the most important self-taught American artists of the 20th century. Her work can be seen in the Smithsonian Institute, the New Orleans Museum of Art, the Museum of American Folk Art in New York, the Oprah Winfrey Collection in Chicago, and countless other museums and private collections across the country. Clementine, called Tebe by her family, was born at Hidden Hill Plantation in 1886. Hidden Hill was renamed Little Eva Plantation in the 1950’s. She moved to Melrose Plantation in 1902 where she lived the rest of her days until she died on January 1, 1988 around the age of 101.
A self-taught artist without formal training, Clementine produced colorful paintings that depicted her memories of life on a southern plantation. She worked in the cotton fields and pecan orchards, and was later a domestic servant in the Big House at Melrose Plantation. Clementine began painting “about 1940”. She would paint scenes of baptisms, weddings, zinnas, fishing, playing cards, cotton picking and pecan picking. She would remember things and then sketch them out and paint them.
We are especially fond of Clementine’s Pecan Picking pieces since Natchitoches Pecans grows and offers for sale top quality Louisiana pecans grown on Little Eva Plantation. According to Clementine, “I always liked to pick pecans. It was hard work. You had to stoop over a lot. You had to gather at least three hundred pounds or better a day to make it worthwhile. Extra money was made by pecan picking. Life was hard, but if you toughed it out you could get by. During the times when money was scarce and they wasn’t too much to eat, a pinch of snuff helped kill the appetite.”
As Christmas and Thanksgiving season is just around the corner, it is not too early to start considering gifts for those on your gift list. Go to www.natchitochespecans.com secure website to view our selection of fresh Louisiana pecan halves, cracked pecans, pecan gift tins, Clementine for the Holidays wooden pecan gift box, and many other pecan items. Corporate orders are welcome.