Pecan Nut – The North American Favourite

Undeniably, pecan nuts do look like walnuts and this similarity is no coincidence – botanically, the pecan tree is part of the walnut family. It reaches 30 to 44 metres in height and develops an opulent tree top. The pecan tree predominantly grows in North America, where its fruit is the most popular. The pecan nut tree is the official tree of Texas and the 14th of April is National Pecan Day. Outside of North America, pecan nuts are cultivated in Australia, South America, China and South Africa. 

Food Facts Food Facts

Pecan Nut

Class

hickory

Calories

730 kcal per 100g

Nutrients

4.5g carbohydrate, 9g fibre, 72g fat, 11g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store cool and dry at 10-18°C in the cellar or refrigerator

Shelf life

up to 12 months

Pecan Nut – A Close Relative of the Walnut

Pecan nuts are light brown, oval and between 3 to 5 centimetres long. They are usually ready for harvest in late autumn, between October and December. Their shells are soft and can usually be opened without a nutcracker, revealing two halves similar to those of a walnut, which are shaped somewhat like a brain. Pecan nuts are known for their mild, sweet flavour and relatively soft texture.

Pecan Nut – Storage

Unpeeled pecan nuts can be stored for a long time before they begin to spoil. When stored in a dry and cool place, they can keep for up to a year. Even when peeled or packaged, pecan nuts can last for just as long. Once the packaging has been opened, pecan nuts should be kept in the fridge and used quickly. Fresh pecan nuts are easily recognisable by their rich brown colour; if they are yellow or black they may already be mouldy and taste rancid. 

Pecan Nuts – A Refined Taste in Pastries

Pecan nuts are a tasty snack for on the go. To allow the flavour to fully develop, roast the pecan nuts in a coated pan without oil. Be careful however, as just a few seconds make the difference between perfectly roasted and burnt. Successfully roasted pecan nuts are particularly aromatic. They are a great addition to salads, soups, yoghurt or muesli. However, they really shine as an ingredient in sweet pastries like biscuits, brownies or a delicious pecan nut cake. Their flavour harmonises particularly well with apples, chocolate flavoured dough or, for a classically North American spin, with maple syrup.

Pecan Nuts – Nutritious Value

Pecan nuts are high in calories and fat so should only be enjoyed on occasion, but the fats they contain are mostly unsaturated. They are also rich in vitamin E and manganese, a mineral that contributes to maintaining strong bones. This makes a handful of pecan nuts now and then a good addition to your diet. 

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