Pecan Day – March 25th

 MARCH 25th – Pecan Day  

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National Pecan day

Pecan day is a commemoration of the plating on a pecan tree by George Washington at the Mount Vernon estate March 25th 1775. The pecan tree sapling was gifted to him by Thomas Jefferson, who had planted a few trees from the southern US at Monticello, VA.

The pecan, native to southern North America, is sometimes called “America’s own nut.” First cultivated by Native Americans, it has been transplanted to other counties but as failed to achieve wide use or popularity outside the US.

There are many ways people can show their love for pecans – like grabbing a handful to munch on, adding them to salads, making a delightful pecan pie, eating pecan crusted fish for dinner or having pecan ice cream.

Share the joy by throwing a fun Pecan Day party and these nuts are a wonderful party snack that can be served in a variety of styles such as popular praline-flavoured pecans. Plant a lovely pecan tree to make the it a memorable day to always come back to.

History

The history of pecans can be traced back to the 16th century. The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species.

The name “pecan” is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.”

Originating in central and eastern North America and the river valleys of Mexico, pecans were widely used by pre-colonial residents. Pecans were favored because they were accessible to waterways, easier to shell than other North American nut species and of course, for their great taste.

Because wild pecans were readily available, many Native American tribes in the U.S. and Mexico used the wild pecan as a major food source during autumn. It is speculated that pecans were used to produce a fermented intoxicating drink called “Powcohicora” (where the word “hickory” comes from).

It also is said that Native Americans first cultivated the pecan tree.

LINKS to great recipes

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Southern Living recipes

Eating Well Recipes

All recipes – dessert recipes

Recipes on Pinterest

 

NUTRITION

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Amount Per 100 grams
Calories 690
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 72 g 110%
Saturated fat 6 g 30%
Polyunsaturated fat 22 g
Monounsaturated fat 41 g
Cholesterol 0 mg 0%
Sodium 0 mg 0%
Potassium 410 mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 14 g 4%
Dietary fiber 10 g 40%
Sugar 4 g
Protein 9 g 18%
Vitamin A 1% Vitamin C 1%
Calcium 7% Iron 13%
Vitamin D 0% Vitamin B-6 10%
Vitamin B-12 0% Magnesium 30%
*Per cent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

 

Health Benefits

Offering unique and amazing benefits to the human diet, pecans are in the top 15 foods known for their antioxidant activity, according to the USDA. One of those antioxidants is vitamin E, which scientists say may convey neurological and cell protection. The vitamin E in pecans may also play a role in coronary heart disease prevention because it keeps blood lipids from oxidizing in your body, which can be equated with rusting.

Another phytochemical contributing to its antioxidant activity is ellagic acid, which helps keep several carcinogenic properties from proliferating. Betacarotenes, lutein, and zeaxanthin in pecans also help rid your body of harmful free radicals, protecting it from disease, cancer, and infection.

Pecans are also chock-full of minerals. Manganese, of which pecans offer a whopping 245% of the daily value per serving, is very good for your heart. Pecans contain 65% of the daily value for copper, critical for energy production in your cells, and 33% each in magnesium (helping to maintain a healthy immune system, nerve function, heart rhythm, and muscle and bone strength) and zinc (for optimal immune function, protein synthesis, DNA synthesis, cell division, and wound healing). The phosphorus, iron, calcium, and selenium content in pecans hold their own as nutritional assets.

On the same scale, one serving of pecans offers a 48% daily value of thiamin (which helps cells convert carbohydrates into energy and aids in heart, muscle, and nervous system function), 42% of the daily value in fiber, and 20% of protein in one serving. Of the 78 grams of total fat, 7 are saturated. Pecans are packed with fatty acids like oleic acid that your body needs, which is great for weight control. Plant sterols in pecans offer further cholesterol-lowering ability.

 

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