Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Crispy Pecans

I love pecans. To me, they are more than a nut. They are home in a tiny, natural brown package. When I was growing up, we raked up bags and bags of fresh pecans every fall from a single tree that grew along our fence row. Mom would set us up in front of the TV or on the back porch with a bag of pecans, a bowl and a nutcracker. It was our job to dig the sweet, meaty flesh from the difficult shell. Not terribly fun, but always worth it. Of course, now I know that pecans should be {soaked} before consumption in order to reduce harmful phytates and anti-nutrients. Sure, it's one more step. But it's a really, really easy step, and totally worth it when you consider the multiplied nutrition!

Sally Fallon's Crispy Pecans:
4 cups pecan halves
2 teaspoons salt
filtered water

Mix nuts with salt and water and leave in a warm place for at least 7 hours or overnight. Drain in a colander and rinse with cool water. Spread on a stainless steel baking pan and place in a warm oven (no more than 150 degrees) for 12 to 24 hours, turning occasionally, until completely dry and crisp. Store in an airtight container.

The instructions above are great for those without a dehydrator, but since I got mine, I use it instead of the oven. I typically dry them at 105 F for 8-12 hours. Fabulous! I eat them plain by the handful, crumble them over soaked oatmeal with bananas, or use them in streusel topping. My next adventure will be grinding them into flour and substituting it for almond flour...I'll keep you posted on that experiment!

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