Pecan Recipes - Spiced Georgia Pecans

Georgia is the top pecan-producing state in the nation. The University of Georgia agricultural extension service estimates that Georgia has more than 140,000 acres of pecan orchards. The following recipe is easy to make and a wonderful way to enjoy a healthy and tasty snack during the holiday season. 

Spiced Georgia Pecans

Makes 5 Cups

2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar

5 cups pecan halves (28 ounces)

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 350*F.  In a small bowl, combine the salt, black pepper, cayenne, cinnamon and brown sugar.

2. Spread the pecans on a large rimmed baking sheet and toast for 10 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer the pecans to a large bowl and toss with the butter.

3. Add the spices and toss to coat. Return to the baking sheet and toast for 3 to 4 minutes longer, until fragrant. Let cool. 

Pecans contain several vitamins and minerals, including thiamin, manganese, copper and zinc. In USDA studies, pecans ranked among the the top 20 anti-oxidant-containing foods and as the most anti-oxidant-rich tree nut. Clinical research published in the Journal of Nutrition (September 2001) found that eating about a handful of pecans each day may help lower cholesterol levels similar to what is often seen with cholesterol-lowering medications. Research conducted at the University of Georgia has also confirmed that pecans contain plant sterols, which are known for their cholesterol-lowering ability.

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