Friday, March 25, 2011

Nutty about Friday

So I’m a wee bit bummed today...scratch that, make it really bummed. I stayed up late last night, watching college basketball, hoping that my team – the University of Wisconsin - would make it into the Elite Eight. Alas, it was not meant to be - my boys were foiled again, this time courtesy of a little team called Butler. No more Big Dance for the beloved Badgers. Sigh. Sad face.

Anyway, I drowned my sorrows, so to speak, with a low-calorie waffle topped with pecans this morning. Why? Because it’s International Waffle Day, as well as National Pecan Day. Woo hoo! Nothing like combining two of my favorite things.

By the way, for those of you who feel nuts are too fatty, research published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that pecans rank highest among all nuts and are among the top category of foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity, meaning pecans may decrease the risk of cancer, coronary heart disease and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s. In other findings, a review published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggests that nuts like pecans may aid in weight loss and maintenance.

And here are some fun facts for you, courtesy of the National Pecan Shellers Association:
* 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!

And, of course, I'm including a few sugar-free recipes, courtesy of Splenda.com.

Pumpkin Waffles
Banana Pecan Waffles with Rum Raisin Syrup
Cinnamon-Pecan Monkey Bread
Sweet Potato Bisque with Apple-Bacon Chutney and Spicy Texas Pecans

Finally, since today is Friday and I'm feeling a bit wicked, here is the new song - titled "Friday" - that everyone is buzzing about. Thank you Rebecca Black, buwahaha!



Ack. Now here is a REAL song to help rinse that terrible song out of your eardrums.

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