Nutritious, potent, zinc-rich with healing properties–these words accurately describe these yummy morsels that not only taste delicious, but are incredibly healthy for you.

Historically, pecans were grown and enjoyed by Native Americans at least as far back as the 1500’s, long before Europeans became familiar with these delightful ‘drupes’ — technically, pecans aren’t nuts but are drupes which are defined as fruits with a single stone or pit that is surrounded by a fleshy husk. Common drupes would include cherries, peaches and plums; and with the pecan as a drupe, the seed inside the pit is what we savor as opposed to the edible, fleshy part of other more-familiar, fruity drupes.

Natural Healing and Maintenance:

Scientific studies offer some astonishing revelations concerning the potent pecan. This means that if anyone gets on your case for munching on pecans all the time, you can point to science and say, “talk to them.”

Here are a few health benefits derived from the University of Massachusetts and the University of Georgia medical research laboratories:

  1. Regular consumption of pecans can prevent gallstones in women.
  2. Naturally-occurring antioxidants and plant sterols in pecans reduce high cholesterol by reducing unhealthy LDL cholesterol levels.
  3. Neurological benefits include delays of muscle/nerve degeneration, associated with advancing age.
  4. A pecan actually contains the amino acid ‘I-arginine’ which provides vascular benefits for people with heart disease. ‘I-arginine’ is a key nutrient in promoting healthy blood-flow. Interestingly, the human body is unable to produce ideal amounts of ‘I-arginine’; and pecans remain a delicious way to meet that requirement.
  5. As seen on Leonard Farms Pecan Store, these nuts remove harmful toxins, called oxygen-free radicals, from the human body. These toxins contribute to cancers and other diseases. This is probably the most compelling benefit to eating this snack.
  6. A mere ¼ cup of pecans provides 8% of an adult’s daily requirement of fiber—quite impressive!

Chocolate Covered Pecans:

When you dip those little pecan powerhouses in chocolate, especially dark chocolate, the benefits only multiply with increased amounts of antioxidants and other health benefits. If you’re yearning for a quick and easy chocolate-covered pecan recipe, you’ve come to the right place. In addition, you now have an adequate justification for getting your chocolate fix, guilt free… assuming you don’t eat the entire bag of course.

Have on-hand:

  • 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 3 Tablespoons heavy cream
  • 2 cups pecan halves

Super-easy Directions:

  • Combine chocolate and cream in metal bowl and set atop a pan with simmering water. Stir several times until smooth. Remove from heat and fold in all pecans.
  • Remove pecans with slotted spoon. Place on wax-paper-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate about 10 minutes.
  • Final and most important step: Place cooled morsels into mouth and enjoy.
  • Got milk?

So, what we have here are pecan morsels that taste delicious, health benefits that go far beyond what most people would ever expect and the ability to eat these tidbits right out of the bag or cover them with chocolate for a savory treat — I’d say they’re worth keeping on hand!

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