Ah, National Pecan Day. One of our favorite days of the year. Here are some fun facts about pecans you might not have known:
First, some Pecan history.
- They're locally grown in the U.S. It is said the Native Americans were the first to cultivate Pecans for consumption. Today there are over 1,000 types of pecans and many of them are named after Native American tribes.
- They gained popularity because they were easy to shell and tasted great. The word Pecan meant "nut you could crack with a stone."
- Both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson planted pecan tress at their homes.
- 80 percent of the world’s pecan production comes from the United States, and they grow in Georgia, New Mexico, Texas, Missouri, Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Arkansas, California, Tennessee and Hawaii.
- Pecans are incredibly difficult to cultivate, and weren't domesticated until the late 1880's.
- Albany, Georgia is the pecan capital of the U.S., boasting more than 600,000 pecan trees. Every year, Albany hosts the annual National Pecan Festival, which includes a race, parade, pecan-cooking contest, and the crowning of the National Pecan Queen.
- Pecan trees usually range in height from 70 to 100 feet, but some trees grow as tall as 150 feet or higher. They're amazing trees, and can produce seeds (the Pecans are seeds, in case you didn't know) for up to 300 years.
Although knowledge of cooking with pecans has advanced greatly since the Native Americans first discovered them, their health benefits and great taste need no improvement. What’s so great about pecans? Here’s a brief on what makes them so amazing:
- 1 cup of halves = 684 calories, 9g of protein, and 14g of carbohydrates making it a rich source of energy.
- Pecans are rich in key nutrients for weight-loss management; minerals like magnesium, iron and phosphorous; and vitamins A, C & E.
- They contain antioxidants, as well as oleic acid, a fatty acid which has been found to reduce the risk of breast cancer.
- Pecans aid in the elimination of toxins and waste from the body, thereby improving the appearance of your skin.
Pecans have a rich, buttery flavor that makes them great by themselves or as an added ingredient in cooking. The pecan’s primary role in the culinary world is sweet! It lays primarily in the desserts sphere-- for example, a beloved classic, the Pecan Pie. But pecans have many uses and you can easily incorporate Olomomo pecans into your healthy diet.
You can try a handful of raw pecans for a taste of history, or take it to the next level with our Olomomo Roasted Maple Masala Pecans. We suggest one of these delicious pairings:
- Toss pecans into your salad for added protein and flavor on a bed of spring greens, sliced bell peppers, shaved carrots, green onions, and dried apricots or raisins.
- Pecan-crusted chicken breast is very easy to pair with just about anything, especially curried vegetables and rice.
- Add chopped pecans to your preferred stuffed pepper filling and bake them until warm and delicious. Seriously, this is a must try with Olomomo Maple Masala Pecans.
Do you have a favorite pecan recipe? Share below or on Facebook.