Georgia is the world's largest producer of pecans. That might explain why nearly every home in the south serves pecan pie during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays. As good as a slice of pecan pie can be, there are other ways to use and serve these delicious nuts.
The most important fact is the amount of calories in one cup of chopped pecans, 753. These native nuts supply omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, thiamin, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, fiber and Beta-sitosterol. According to WebMD, Beta-sitosterol is used in medicine to treat everything from high cholesterol to chronic fatigue syndrome.
While a handful of pecans is a healthy snack, eating too many will cause you to pack on the holiday pounds. Try roasting a cup of pecans, chopping them into fine pieces and using them as the crust for chocolate mouse or a chocolate pudding pie.
If a nut pie must be served, try using English walnuts. Georgia's own black walnut, while loaded with beneficial nutrients, has more calories per cup than pecans. English walnuts have a mere 183 calories per cup.
Roasting brings out the flavor of nuts, allowing you to use fewer for most recipes. Use English walnuts in fruit and garden salads, as a coating for chicken or fish, when baking, and as a topping for ice-cream.
Check all traditional holiday recipes to see if some other ingredients can be substituted to make the recipe healthier and leaner. Remember to tell guests which recipes include nuts. Some people have allergies to all tree nuts.