What You Can Do With Your Pecan Tree Nuts
Pecan trees grow mainly in the southern regions of the United States, and Texas even claimed it as its state tree back in 1919. While you can find pecans in almost any grocery store across the country, they’re a southern delicacy. Mature pecan trees can produce thousands of nuts each year, which might make you wonder what to do with so many. Discover what you can do with your pecan tree nuts, so none of them go to waste.
Harvest Your Pecan Nuts
Although it might take several years for your tree to produce nuts, harvesting is the first step to enjoying your pecan yield. You’ll need a bucket or container to collect your nuts.
- Check for ripeness. You’ll know your pecans are ripe when they’ve fallen to the ground. You should gather them as soon as possible, or else the critters will beat you to it.
- Collect them. Gather the pecans that have already fallen to the ground, and then gently shake the tree to dislodge nuts that’re close to falling.
- Examine for quality. Discard any nuts with wormholes or other signs of damage.
- Let them dry. Lay the pecans out—still in their shells—to dry for approximately two weeks.
- Test for dryness. Break a few shells and try to crack the pecans in half. They’re ready to eat or use if they break crisp and cleanly.
You can extend the shelf life of your pecans by keeping them in their shells. Store them in an air-tight container in a cool and dry place for the best results. You can keep shelled pecans in the refrigerator for up to six months or in the freezer for more than a year to keep them even longer.
Cook With Pecans
Cooking with pecans is probably the most popular thing you can do with them, but they harbor more culinary possibilities aside from desserts. Try these unique recipes with your next pecan haul!
Apple Cranberry Pecan Salad
Salads don’t have to be boring. You can turn a bland dish into something delicious and nutritious with different flavors and textures. Add apples, pecans, cranberries, and your favorite dressing to a bowl of fresh leafy greens for the perfect salad.
Butter Pecan Chicken
If you love chicken dishes, this is one to write down for later. Chicken is incredibly versatile, but you might feel you’re running out of ways to prepare it.
First, you’ll want to cook your chicken breasts until golden brown. Remove chicken from the pan and set it aside. Add pecans, chicken broth, brown sugar, honey, butter, and spices to the pan to simmer before adding the chicken back in.
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Butter pecan ice cream is a popular choice for many people, and now you can make it at home! Although you can use a machine if you have one, it’s not a requirement for this recipe.
First, cook your pecans in a pan with butter, brown rum, sugar, and vanilla extract. In a blender or food processor, combine the pecans with whipped cream and condensed milk. Freeze the mixture for 24 hours for the best results.
Pecan Stuffed Mushrooms
Pecan stuffed mushrooms are the perfect appetizer for your upcoming dinner party. Saute the diced mushroom stems with garlic, olive oil, pecans, and bread crumbs. Fill the mushroom caps with the mixture and bake for 30 minutes at 400 degrees.
Cinnamon Pecan Waffles
Put a delicious spin on breakfast with these cinnamon pecan waffles. Grind pecans and cinnamon down in a food processor, and add them to your waffle batter. Cook as usual, and garnish with extra pecans and whipped cream if you desire.
Bacon Pecan Cheddar Cheese Ball
A cheese ball is always an excellent addition to any family gathering or holiday celebration. Combine cream cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, diced pecans, bacon bits, green onion, garlic powder, dried oregano, and Worcestershire sauce and form into a ball. Coat the exterior of the ball with ground pecans if you desire.
Use Pecans as Medicine
While you don’t have to have a prescription for pecans, consider using them as a natural dietary supplement to improve your health.
Weight Loss Supplement
Pecans are full of protein and healthy fats, making them the perfect addition to a wholesome diet. Pecans keep you full and increase your metabolism; as a result, they might help you lose weight when you pair them with physical activity.
Great Source of Fiber
Pecans are high in fiber, promoting colon health and regular bowel movements. Foods rich in fiber digest more slowly than others, keeping you fuller for longer and reducing spikes in your blood sugar. Additionally, eating adequate fiber may reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and colon cancer.
Aside from fiber, pecans also contain loads of antioxidants and vitamins to keep you healthy. The powerful antioxidants can boost your immune system, and the vitamins keep your body running strong. Make pecans a part of your daily routine to keep your health in tip-top shape.
Feed Your Local Wildlife
If you have an excess of pecans, you should consider feeding your local wildlife. Small mammals such as squirrels, birds, and chipmunks enjoy pecans just as much as you do. Add some pecans in with birdseed or other animal food to provide them with a balanced diet.
Additionally, deer enjoy the leaves and twigs from your pecan tree. While the animals might steal your pecans if you don’t harvest them quick enough, you can feed them pecans purposefully.
Pro Tip: Providing good food to wild animals is a great way to keep them coming back!
You can do so many things with pecans outside of desserts, and the health benefits make them one of the best nuts you can eat. If you already grow pecans on your property, knowing what you can do with your pecan tree nuts comes in handy when you have a large harvest. On the other hand, Plant Me Green offers pecan trees for sale online if you always want to have these buttery nuts at your fingertips.