Homeland and history of the pecan
These nuts grow on a tree that is also called Caria Illinois. It is native to the southeastern United States, where it can bear fruit for up to 300 years in hot and humid climates.
The Indians ground the pecan-nut into mush and made a drink out of it. It was given to infants when their mothers lacked milk and old men and wounded soldiers to maintain their strength. Now the pecan tree is considered one of the symbols of the state of Texas.
This nut is similar to the walnut, its close relative but has an oblong shape and a smooth thin shell. On the contrary, there are no partitions. The kernels taste like walnuts but are softer, more tender, and sweet.
What is useful for pecans?
The product contains many organic compounds and trace elements useful for the human body: vitamins B4, E, C B3, B5, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, and manganese. Pecans contain a lot of omega-3 fatty acids.
Pecan contains oleic acid, monounsaturated fats, and antioxidants to prevent heart attacks and strokes. Magnesium maintains the elasticity of blood vessels. Manganese contributes to the mobilization of protective forces of an organism, improves resistance to infections. Phosphorus is important for the health of bones and teeth and also helps to cleanse the body of toxins. Vitamins A and E and ellagic acid — antioxidants that prevent the destructive activity of free radicals, inhibit the aging process of the skin. Vitamin B3 protects against the formation of cholesterol plaques in blood vessels. Carotene, which is rich in the product, has a positive effect on vision. B-group vitamins strengthen the immune system, help the nervous system cope with stress, and increase hemoglobin.
When it is dangerous
So that the pecan benefits do not turn into harm, you need to know about contraindications. With skin diseases and a tendency to constipation, you should use pecans with caution. And if you are allergic, overweight, or diabetic, you should give it up altogether. Contraindications are also liver diseases.
Pregnant women should pay attention to the inclusion of pecans in the diet. Doctors do not recommend giving this product to children under three years of age.
How it is used in medicine
Although the product is high in calories and contains much fat, according to experts, it is good, saturated fat. Studies have shown that pecans can lower cholesterol. It can even be used for diabetes in reasonable amounts, as omega-3 inhibits the disease’s development, improves well-being, and prevents complications.
The product is recommended for fatigue, lack of appetite, beriberi, anemia, frequent spasms, and convulsions.
Application in cooking
In the US, this is one of the favorite nuts. It is an ingredient in cookies, bread, pies, hot dishes, and salads are made with it.
The product can be eaten raw, and fried-heat treatment will enhance the vanilla notes in the taste. It can be added to meat, fish dishes, and coffee. The nut is perfectly combined with cheese, Hercules, vegetables, mushrooms, rice, and fruit.
It is also used to make alcoholic tinctures, which are attributed to a tonic effect.
How to select and store
The nut in its unpeeled form should be a soft coffee color. If it is darker, it is better to refrain from buying. There should be no darkening, scratches, or dents on the shell.
It is better to buy peeled nuts in vacuum packaging — the kernels quickly lose their useful properties in the air.
If the shell is hard to separate, it is unripe fruit. Before storing the product, it is better to dry it for 10 days. In the shell, it can be stored in the freezer for two years, peeled-a year. If you put it in other parts of the refrigerator, the period is one year and two months, respectively.
How to use it correctly
The nut is very high in calories; in 100 grams of the product, almost 700 kcal. Therefore, it should be consumed in moderation. The recommended dose is 30-40 grams per day. If you eat it more than 100 grams at a time, it is fraught with digestive problems. Overeating can even lead to nausea and headaches.
Pecans are best consumed immediately after cleaning. In peeled nuts, the taste spoils, a bitterness appears in it.