Go ahead, go nuts. This April, celebrate National Pecan Month by recognizing the nut that reduces your risk of heart disease, lowers cholesterol, and contains fiber, protein, and more antioxidants than any other. Crowned as a heart healthy food choice by the American Heart Association, pecans offer a tasty treat good for any time of the day.
National Pecan Month - History
Pecans get some good PR
The National Pecan Shellers Association led the industry’s efforts to fund research into the pecan's health benefits.
The National Pecan Shellers Association (NPSA) was born
It supports and promotes the interests of pecan shellers and the global industry to assure quality, safety and integrity of pecan products worldwide.
Pecans are processed
Pecan processing has risen to between 250 and 300 million pounds today.
Pecans are discovered
It's the only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America.
National Pecan Month Activities
1. Host a “pecan potluck”
With so many varieties of pecans available, and so many dishes eager to add them, invite guests to bring their own personal “pecan invention."
2. Learn the different kinds of pecans
Amazingly, there are over 500 different varieties of pecans with slightly different characteristics like flavor, texture, size, color, and shape. Discover which style you like best.
3. Learn new recipes
Serve with cinnamon, salt, honey, chocolate, or as a brittle. Pecans are an easy ingrediant to mix with almost anything. Explore the endless options and enjoy a healthy boost to your meal.
4 Nutty Facts About Pecans
1. Pecans call North America home
The only major tree nut that grows naturally in North America, the pecan is considered one of the most valuable North American nut species.
2. How the pecan got its name
The name “pecan” is a Native American word of Algonquin origin that was used to describe “all nuts requiring a stone to crack.”
3. The South is “Pecan Country”
The southern states of the U.S. are the primary locations for pecan production, stretching from California all the way to Florida and the Carolinas.
4. How to pronounce “Pecan”
To this day there is debate over whether to say “PEE-can” or “puh-KAHN." It is universally agreed that the pronunciation is a regional preference, but in the end, both are right depending on whom you ask.
Why We Love National Pecan Month
A. Pecans are good for you
Pecans are rich in fiber, which helps your heart. They can reduce the risk of heart disease, coronary artery disease, strokes, and some forms of cancer.
B. Pecans are really good for you
The fiber contained in pecans promotes colon health — reducing the risk of colitis, colon cancer and hemorrhoids.
C. Pecans are really, really good for you
Pecans are a rich source of manganese, which is a powerful antioxidant. This trace mineral helps boost your immune system and protects your nerve cells from free-radical damage. Adequate intake of manganese is vital for nerve and brain function.