Food of the Month: PECAN

Native to North America, the pecan is one power-packed, great tasting nut!

Energetically, they are warming for your body, which makes them a good food to consume at this time of year. They contain good quality fats and omega 3 fatty acids.

Pecans are known in Oriental medicine to feed and nurture the brain. They are high in Vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that promotes heart health, neurological protection, and can decrease L.D.L., bad cholesterol. Pecans contain more than 19 vitamins and minerals such as:

Vitamin A, several B, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc, potassium and phosphorus. Their natural sweet flavor lends them to be ideal for candies, cookies, cakes and pies.

Pecan pie is one of my favorites. A traditional one made many years ago would have either brown sugar, corn syrup, or molasses. Because pecans grow abundantly in the south, it is no surprise the pecan pie originated there. I offer you here a healthy version.

I use whole grain sweeteners, brown rice syrup and barley malt, instead of sugar. Made by malting the whole grains, they are not refined and are a healthier. Rice syrup and barley malt have high components of complex sugars which means they have a slower, gentler, more balanced effect on the body’s metabolism.

The kind of sugar in whole grain sweeteners is maltose. Maltose is the least reactive of all the sugars on your body. It does not spike your blood sugar levels. Brown rice syrup and barley malt come in jars and have a thick, sticky consistency. Amazake, also in the recipe, is another whole grain sweetener maltose. It is made from fermented brown rice. You can find it in the freezer section of your health food store. It is thick, like a malt. There are different flavors.

For the pie you can use the original, vanilla pecan or almond flavors.

 

Pecan Pie

Crust:

1/4 cup canola or olive oil

1/4 cup water

1 1/2 cups spelt flour (for gluten free, use oat flour), pinch sea salt

Caramelized Top:

2/3 cup brown rice syrup

1/3 cup barley malt (for gluten free, use brown rice syrup), pinch sea salt

1/4 cup amazake

1/4 cup rice milk

1 cup whole pecans

pinch all spice

Creamy Middle:

1/2 cup amazake

1/4 cup rice milk

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

pinch sea salt

2 cups pecans

3T arrowroot

To prepare crust, mix together the oil, water, and sea salt. Add the flour.

Mix until you get a firm dough. Form into a flat round. Wrap in plastic wrap, put in refrigerator for an hour. Dough should be cold to roll out.

Roll dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap. Put into an oiled pie shell.

Put all the ingredients for the caramelized top into a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to low and simmer for 10 minutes.

 

To create the middle, put all ingredients into a food processor and puree until you get a thick, creamy texture. To put pie together, spread the creamy middle in the pie crust. Gently, pour the caramelized top over the creamy middle. Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let cool completely before cutting and serving.

Have a Happy and Healthy Christmas and New Year!!!!

Val Wilson

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About the writer: Valerie Wilson

Valerie Wilson is a chef, author, counselor, and host of "Healthy Cooking with Macro Val" on BMSRadio. She teaches macrobiotic, vegan cooking classes in Westland, Mi.

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