Simple Ways to be Heart Smart

Discover recipes chock-full of heart-healthy pecans

Sometimes making small changes can have a positive impact on your health – including heart health – like drinking more water, taking the stairs instead of the escalator and adding nutritious ingredients to your snacks and meals.

Incorporating nutritious ingredients is an easy way to step up your mealtime – for example, American Pecans can super-fy nearly any recipe by adding flavor and nutrition.

It’s always a good time to include heart-healthy ingredients on your shopping list. Certified by the American Heart Association’s Heart-Check*, American Pecans and their unique mix of unsaturated fats, plant sterols, fiber and flavonoids add up to help promote a healthy heart. In fact, according to the Food and Drug Administration, research suggests but does not prove that eating 1 1/2 ounces of most nuts, such as pecans, each day as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may help reduce your risk of heart disease. One serving of pecans (28 grams) contains 18 grams unsaturated fat and only 2 grams saturated fat.

Boosting the heart-smart punch of your favorite recipes can be easy with pecans. Whether topping a salad, sprinkling into bread batter or using them as the foundation of a portable snack, there are few things America’s native nut can’t do.

Start the day right with a bowl of Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal – a comforting and hearty combination that can keep you full for hours. For a wholesome, on-the-go option perfect for school snacks, desk drawers or an afternoon pick-me-up, try Cherry Pecan Energy Bites. Dried cherries, dates and crunchy pecans combine for an all-natural burst of heart-smart nutrition to help you power through the day.

Discover more ways to create heart-healthy meals with pecans at AmericanPecan.com.

Banana Pecan Cherry Oatmeal

  • 1          cup old-fashioned oats
  • 2          cups water
  • 1/2       cup pecan milk
  • 1          banana, sliced
  • 1/4       cup pecan halves
  • 1/4       cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/4       cup honey
  1. In large, microwave-safe bowl, combine oats and water. Microwave on high 3-4 minutes, or until oats are cooked through. Watch carefully to avoid boiling over.
  2. Remove from microwave, stir and divide between two bowls. Pour 1/4 cup pecan milk over each bowl.
  3. Divide sliced banana, pecan halves and dried tart cherries between each bowl and drizzle with 2 tablespoons honey. Serve immediately.

 

Cherry Pecan Energy Bites

Makes: 10-12 energy bites

  • 1          cup toasted pecan halves or pieces
  • 1          cup dried cherries
  • 4          medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/4       cup old-fashioned oats
  • 1          tablespoon cacao powder, plus additional, for coating (optional)
  • 1          teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. In bowl of food processor, combine toasted pecans, dried cherries, dates, oats, cacao powder and vanilla extract.
  2. Pulse until ingredients begin to bind and form loose, dough-like ball.
  3. Roll into 1-inch balls. Roll balls in additional cacao powder, if desired, and transfer to airtight container. Refrigerate until ready to serve, up to seven days.

Note: To make gluten-free, substitute 1/4 cup of certified gluten-free old-fashioned oats.

*Heart-Check certification does not apply to recipes. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
American Pecan Council

Go Beyond Pecan Pie this Festive Season

When deciding which dishes to serve this year at festive season gatherings, consider going beyond traditional recipes and use beloved seasonal ingredients in new ways.

For example, while pecan pie is top of mind for many dessert-makers, it’s also a perfect time to make new dishes with an ingredient like pecans, also known as The Original Supernut. Naturally sweet and nutritious, the pecan lends itself to nearly endless festive season menu inspiration.

It hasn’t been an easy year for the pecan industry, but you can support American pecan growers and #PledgePecans – that’s a promise to add one more pecan-friendly recipe beyond the pie to your table this holiday.

To pledge, visit Americanpecan.com/PledgePecans and click on seasonal recipes or watch the Pecan-A-Thon, an entertainment variety show spotlighting the growers behind the Supernut and showcasing ways pecans can be enjoyed this festive season.

Pecan-Crusted Prime Rib with Horseradish Cream Sauce

Horseradish Cream Sauce (optional):

  • 1          cup low-fat sour cream
  • 1/4       cup horseradish, grated
  • 1          tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2       lemon, juice and zest only
  • 2          tablespoons fresh chives, finely sliced
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • fresh black pepper, to taste
  • 1          boneless prime rib roast (8-10 pounds)
  • 1          tablespoon, plus 1/4 teaspoon, kosher salt
  • 2          teaspoons fresh black pepper, plus additional for pecan topping
  • 1          cup raw pecan pieces
  • 3          tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3          tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1/2       cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2          tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 8          garlic cloves, divided
  • 2          tablespoons Dijon mustard, divided
  1. To make Horseradish Cream Sauce: In small bowl, combine sour cream, horseradish, mustard, lemon juice and zest, and fresh chives; add salt and pepper, to taste. Sauce can be prepared 1 day ahead of time and refrigerated.
  2. Season prime rib with 1 tablespoon salt and pepper; let sit at room temperature 1 hour.
  3. To make pecan topping: Heat oven to 325° F. In food processor, process pecans, rosemary, thyme, breadcrumbs, butter, 2 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon mustard, remaining salt and pepper until combined. Set aside.
  4. Cut small slits in fatty side of prime rib; stuff with remaining garlic. Rub remaining mustard over top of prime rib and apply pecan topping, making sure to press firm.
  5. Transfer prime rib to roasting pan. Place rib roast in lower-third of oven, insert digital probe thermometer in middle and loosely cover top of prime rib with foil so pecans don’t burn. Cook 1 1/2 hours, remove foil and continue cooking until internal temperature reaches 120° F.
  6. Allow prime rib to rest covered 30 minutes so juices can redistribute. Serve with Horseradish Cream Sauce, if desired.

Pecan Apple Stuffing

  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1          pound mild Italian sausage
  • 1          tablespoon olive oil or pecan oil
  • 1          yellow onion, diced
  • 3          celery stalks, chopped
  • 3          garlic cloves, minced
  • 12        ounces herb-seasoned cubed stuffing
  • 2          cups tart apples, chopped
  • 1 1/2    cups pecan halves
  • 1          cup chicken broth, plus additional (optional)
  • 1 1/2    teaspoons salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon black pepper
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease large casserole dish or 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick spray. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet, brown sausage, breaking into crumbles. Drain on paper towels. Discard excess grease.
  3. In same pan over medium heat, add olive oil. Saute onions, celery and garlic 2-3 minutes, or until starting to soften and fragrant.
  4. In large bowl, mix sausage, onion mixture, stuffing cubes, apples and pecans.
  5. Add broth and stir to combine. If stuffing mixture remains dry, add additional broth as desired. Season with salt and pepper; stir to combine.
  6. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 minutes. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
American Pecan Council