Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Pecans and me, and sugar free recipes!

So I've previously mentioned my penchant for nutty snacks, whether it be cashews, macadamias or pistachios. One of my faves, though, is the pecan. Not only does it taste great, it's also pretty nutritious. Seriously! According to the National Pecan Shellers Association, research shows that adding just a handful of pecans to your diet each day may help inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping prevent coronary heart disease. In addition, landmark research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that pecans are among the top category of foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity. Finally, research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that pecans may aid in weight loss and maintenance. The review cited studies indicating that nut consumption may increase metabolic rates and enhance satiety. Soooo...isn't it wonderful that I just so happened to write about this topic on National Pecan Day?! Grab yourself a handful of pecans to enjoy today - guilt-free, of course! And yes, I'm including a few low-cal, sucralose-sweetened pecan recipes for you to try out. Enjoy!

Spicy Texas Pecans

Caramel Apple Pecan Cheesecake

Black Bottom Pecan Pie

Cinnamon Pecan Monkey Bread

Fun Facts:
* There are over 1,000 varieties of pecans. Many are named for Native American Indian tribes, including Cheyenne, Mohawk, Sioux, Choctaw and Shawnee.
* Some of the larger pecan shellers process 150,000 pounds of pecans each day. That’s enough to make 300,000 pecan pies!
* The U.S. produces about 80 percent of the world’s pecan crop.
* Pecans could improve your love life? If the body does not get enough zinc, it may have difficulty producing testosterone – a key hormone in initiating sexual desire in both men and women. Pecans provide nearly 10 percent of the recommended daily value for zinc. So, pass on the oysters and reach for a handful of pecans!

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