Photography: Hector Manuel Sanchez @hectormsanchezphoto
Fall has finally made its appearance, and I couldn’t be happier about it! The bright autumn colors, holidays, pumpkins, and the leaves – it’s all soooo magical! It truly is one of the most wonderful times of the year.
The cooler breezes are blowing in and I’ve been dreaming about all the new recipes I’m going to whip up this holiday season – the yummy baked goods and endless comfort foods. And, yes…maybe a healthy side or two! (You guys know it’s been a goal of mine to eat healthier this year.)
One of the ingredients I’ve been learning lots about lately is pecans! I’ll be incorporating pecans into my home cooked meals and goodies from here on out because they’re so intricate and nutrient dense. Though they taste naturally sweet, pecans actually contain a high amount of good monosaturated fats and lots of other essential nutrients our bodies so desperately need. Some of these nutrients include plant protein, fiber, flavonoids, copper, manganese and zinc. Who would have thought a simple pecan could be such a nutritional powerhouse?! Furthermore, they have lots of dietary fiber that’s great for sustaining an appetite – you will stay full for a longer amount of time. Unlike other tree nuts, pecans contain the lowest amount of carbs, have zero cholesterol, zero sodium, and are gluten-free! Pecans are also indigenous to America which is another reason they’re so unique and different. You can find them locally or online, and they are harvested in over a dozen Southern states!
To kick off the harvest season, I whipped this delicious Fall Harvest Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette I found here courtesy of the blog As Easy As Apple Pie.
It is packed full with SO MANY healthy ingredients like butternut squash, kale, apples, quinoa, cranberries and yes….PECANS! Just take a look at all these gorgeous ingredients!
This salad comes together in less than an hour and could definitely be used as a full entree! Not only is this salad extremely hearty and healthy, it is absolutely beautiful when plated. It’s full of rich, deep harvest tones that are sure to wow your guests!
Normally, when we think of pecans, our mind goes straight to desserts like pecan pie. However, this nut is super versatile and can be used in or on top of so many different foods, including oatmeal, salads, parfaits, pasta, dips, and even tacos! Pecans offer unending possibilities for all of us to enjoy.
Are you incorporating pecans into your holiday baking? If so, I would love to learn about your favorite recipes in the comments below. Bonus points if your recipe falls into the category of healthy eating! But if not, a little naughty during the holiday season is perfectly acceptable. 🙂
And definitely let me know if you have a pecan tree in your yard, so I can hop over and do a little personal harvesting! 🙂
Happy holiday baking! Can’t wait to see what you create with your pecans!
*Post sponsored by the American Pecan Council.