Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD
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Are you ready to take your snacking game to a whole new level? Look no further than sweet and hot pecans! Crunchy, irresistible, and packed with flavor, sweet and hot pecans are a delightful snack that combines the irresistible combination of sweetness and spiciness.
Whether you’re looking to elevate your party appetizers, add a unique twist to your salads, or simply satisfy your snack cravings, these delectable pecans are sure to be a hit.
Why are sweet and hot pecans so enticing?
Well, the contrast between the sweet coating that caramelizes beautifully and the subtle yet fiery kick of spice creates an irresistible combination. The sweetness enhances the natural nuttiness of the pecans, while the heat adds a surprising and addictive element. It’s a flavor pairing that will keep you reaching for more, bite after bite.
Not only are sweet and hot pecans a treat for your taste buds, but they also offer numerous health benefits. Pecans, known for their rich and buttery flavor, is a nutritional powerhouse.
They are packed with heart-healthy unsaturated fats, fiber, and an array of vitamins and minerals. Additionally, pecans contain antioxidants that help protect against cellular damage and inflammation, promoting overall well-being.
Whether you’re a seasoned cook or just starting your culinary journey, making sweet and hot pecans at home is a rewarding and straightforward process. With just a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time, you can create a batch of these delectable treats to enjoy on your own or share with friends and family.
The Health Benefits of Pecans
Like any other nut or seed, pecans have the trifecta: fiber, protein, and unsaturated fats. This makes them great for filling you up when you’re on the go!
You’ll also find decent amounts of magnesium, zinc, copper, thiamine, and iron in them.
Because of this nutrient profile, pecans are a great addition to your diet if you are trying to manage heart disease, diabetes, or even chronic depression.
Almonds vs Pecans
In the grand scheme of an overall diet, the difference between almonds and pecans is moot.
Almonds have more protein, but pecans have more unsaturated fats. They have various vitamins and minerals in differing amounts.
However, when it comes down to it if you were to ask which one should be 100% of your diet, the answer would be neither. And if you were to ask which one you should avoid, again, the answer would be neither.
Ultimately, choose the nut or seed (not just almonds and pecans) that you enjoy more, are more likely to eat, and fits in with the rest of your meal. Promise you’ll be fine.
Getting Started: Ingredients and Equipment
This is such a simple dish; there are very few ingredients and even less equipment needed. To make this recipe, you need:
- Raw pecans – I used pecan halves. I wouldn’t recommend pecan pieces for this recipe. They’re too small to eat as a snack as this recipe is intended. Use those for banana bread or add crunch to your salad instead. I don’t recommend buying roasted pecans, as you might overcook them.
- Olive oil
- Sweet and Hot Mustard – I used a German brand I picked up at a food festival. You can look for a German mustard in the international aisle of your grocery store for something similar.
- Ground cumin – I know it seems like the cumin would be outshined by the mustard. But I think it adds a great earthiness to this snack.
- A bowl to mix it all up
- A sheet pan to bake it
- A storage container to keep it in.
How to Make Sweet and Hot Pecans
1. Preparing the pecans – If you buy a bag of raw, halved pecans, you’re already done! This is the route I went. However, if you buy whole pecans, go ahead and shell them ahead of time.
2. Coating the pecans – Place all the ingredients in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Make sure that all of the pecans are completely and evenly coated in the mustard and cumin.
4. Baking or roasting the pecans – spread the coated pecans on a lined baking sheet in a single layer. Bake in a preheated oven at 300 F for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently, until evenly toasted.
Tips and Variations for Customization
1. Adding different spices for extra flavor – you could experiment with adding garlic or onion powder. Turmeric might also be good and really heighten the yellow color too.
2. Adjusting the sweetness or heat level to personal preference – I really like the heat and sweetness that was already in the mustard I used, so I didn’t feel the need to add either. However, you could try to add a bit of honey or maple syrup or some chili powder to adjust the taste to your preferences.
3. Using different nuts or seeds. Try this on any raw nut or seed you may already have in your pantry! Or try a mix.
Serving and Enjoying Sweet and Hot Pecans
I prefer to make this recipe just to snack on. We just keep them in an airtight container on the counter so they’re visible when we’re feeling peckish. However, you could also use this to top salads or soups.
Or get even more creative and crush them and use them to “bread” tofu.
To store sweet and hot pecans, I usually just keep them in my Pyrex containers on the counter. It always lasts until they’re all eaten, 3-4 days or so. Alternatively, you can put them in an airtight container in the fridge and keep them for 2-3 weeks. Or freeze for up to 6 months.
Sweet and Hot Pecans
- ½ lb Raw Pecans
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 tsp Sweet and Hot Mustard
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- ½ tsp Salt
- Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
- Bake at 300 degrees F for about 20 minutes, stirring frequently
*Nutrition Facts are an estimate only. Differences are expected when making substitutions for any ingredient or when different brands are used.
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Did you know that the pecan is the state nut of Texas? Alabama, Arkansas, and California also declared pecans their state nut.
The story behind the March 25th Pecan Day revolves around our Founding Fathers. It seems that Thomas Jefferson gifted pecan trees from the Mississippi Valley to George Washington. March 25th, 1775, was the date those trees were planted in Washington’s home in Mount Vernon.
Now that you’ve glimpsed into the world of sweet and hot pecans, it’s time to unleash your culinary creativity and embark on a flavor-filled adventure. Don’t hesitate to try this simple yet tantalizing recipe for yourself.
Gather the ingredients, follow the step-by-step instructions, and get ready to savor the irresistible combination of sweetness and spice.
But the excitement doesn’t end here. Our blog is a treasure trove of culinary inspiration and knowledge waiting to be explored.
Take a moment to browse through our other articles, where you’ll find a wide range of recipes, cooking tips, and fascinating food-related topics to ignite your passion for all things delicious.
After you try my sweet and hot pecans, I’d love to hear from you. Did you enjoy the recipe? Did you discover any unique variations or serving ideas?
Leave a comment below and share your experience with us. Your feedback and insights not only enrich our community but also inspire fellow food enthusiasts to explore the incredible world of sweet and hot pecans.
And remember, your culinary adventures don’t stop here. Keep experimenting, trying new recipes, and sharing your discoveries. Together, we can create a vibrant and supportive community where the joy of food is celebrated.
So, gather your ingredients, let your taste buds guide you, and get ready to indulge in the addictive allure of sweet and hot pecans. And don’t forget to leave a comment below to share your thoughts, seek further inspiration, and become an integral part of our growing food-loving community.
Happy snacking, and may your culinary explorations be filled with flavor and delight!
Jennifer Hanes MS, RDN, LD is a registered dietitian, mom, wife, and vegetarian in North Texas. She has dedicated Dietitian Jenn to be a source of information, ideas, and inspiration for people like her, vegetarians that live with people with different dietary beliefs and/or needs in a multivore household.