– Pecan Granola Bars –
My grandmother Mimi passed along quite a few traits to me, her only granddaughter. I inherited her eyes, her name (hence the ‘e’ at the end of Kathryne), her sweet tooth, and her love for pecans, among others. I mentioned this in my cookbook, but Mimi’s family owned a small pecan tree farm, so she enjoyed a lot of pecans in her long life.
When the recently-formed American Pecan Council asked me to develop a recipe featuring pecans, the answer was easy. “Challenge accepted!” I came up with these pecan granola bars, which are bursting with warm, sweet, delicate pecan flavor.
I started by toasting the pecans on the stove (I’m not turning on the oven unless absolutely necessary this summer). Then, I whipped some of those fragrant toasted pecans into pecan butter, which is so good. If you haven’t tried it yet, you have been missing out.
Add some maple syrup, cinnamon, oats, and chopped toasted pecans, and you’ve made a batch of wholesome and delicious homemade granola bars. I even pressed pecans into the top to highlight their supreme pecan-ness. You can skip that step if it seems like too much trouble, but I think they’re cute that way.
I haven’t heard much about pecan nutrition in the past, probably because the council didn’t exist yet to spread the word. While all nuts have their own merits, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that pecans contain the highest amount of heart-healthy, anti-inflammatory flavonoids of all nuts.
Pecans are also rich in monounsaturated fats, which are the same beneficial fats that you’ll find in olive oil and avocados. Compared with most other nuts, they’re higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrates, which means that these pecan bars will keep you fueled for a while. All great news for pecan lovers!