If I’m being honest, the bulk of my daily food intake comes from all things snacky, something I never really thought would describe my diet. Yet here I am, a mom of two young (and incredibly active) boys which has manifested itself in a massive overhaul in how I eat. Long gone are the days of eating a meal while sitting down and actually savoring it slowly. These are the days of snacks packed in plastic containers, makeshift picnics if you will, and food eaten while walking or scarfed during sleep times.
I say these things like they’re bad, but in all honesty the reasons for the change in my eating ways - my boys - are completely worth it. I know that the days of calm are coming sooner than I’d like, so I’m embracing the snackiness with gusto. The trick to eating well while snacking is to keep things simple but with bold, delicious flavors. Food must pack a nutritious punch so that I don’t mindlessly keep stuffing it in. And I like things to be multipurpose too, like a day-to-night outfit…but for my food.
These pecans are great because they meet all the criteria. With three ingredients they are easy to make as well as delicious. The pecans are nutritious, and the flavors are bold enough that I my palate stays interested and it’s easy to savor rather than overstuff. And that day-to-night idea works well because they are great served on salads, or chopped and sprinkled over crostini with ricotta and roasted beets.
The only cook’s note I have is that toasting the pecans before stirring them into the syrup makes all of the flavor difference in the world. You’ll end up with a more delicious and crunchy product by toasting the nuts first, so don’t skip that step! Enjoy!
Ingredients (Makes 2 cups)
2 cups pecan halves - 3 heaping tablespoons dark brown sugar - 1 tablespoon De Nigris balsamic vinegar - sea salt (optional garnish)
- First, toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until fragrant and lightly browned.
- Remove the pecans from the skillet to a cold plate to stop the cooking process and allow to cool completely.
- When the pecans are cool, stir together the brown sugar and balsamic vinegar over medium heat.
- Allow the mixture to come to a simmer, stirring frequently, for about 5-7 minutes until the mixture becomes very syrupy and thick.
- Remove from the heat and immediately stir in the pecans, coating them completely.
- Pour the pecans out onto a sheet of parchment paper or foil sprayed with nonstick spray.
- Allow to cool completely, then break the pecans apart and enjoy as a snack, on a salad, or any other way you desire.
- To store, place cooled pecans in an airtight container for up to a week.
Post by The Women Bloggers member Heather Disarro of HeathersDish.com