Pecans are available in many forms; you'll find them vacuum-packed in jars, sealed in plastic bags, or packed in cans. For the freshest and most flavorful pecans, choose whole ones in the shell; look for nuts that are heavy for their size and don't rattle when shaken. There shouldn't be any cracks or holes in the shells. When you buy shelled pecans in bags or cans, look for an expiration date. Shelled pecans absorb odors and turn rancid quickly, and should be stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Pecans also freeze very well, so if you buy more than you can use right away, store them in a moisture-proof plastic bag in the freezer. Unshelled pecans can be stored for about 3 months at room temperature.
Pecans are most popular in desserts such as pies, cookies, and candies, but also make an interesting addition to salads, stuffings, chicken or fish coating, and other savory main or side dishes. They are also delicious whole, toasted and spiced, or covered with chocolate.
Even though pecans have a high fat content, they're a good source of potassium, thiamine, zinc, copper, magnesium, phosphorous, niacin, folic acid, iron, and vitamin B6, and also a good source of fiber. The fats are composed of 87% unsaturated fatty acids (62% monosaturated and 25% polyunsaturated).
Pecan RecipesPecan Pie Recipes
Pecan Cookies, Bars, and Candy
Pecan Cakes and Desserts
Savory Pecan Dishes