Pecan Nuts

Origin: Pecan nuts are one of the oldest nuts. History reveals that pecans were found in the 16th century.  Pecan trees are supposed to grow naturally in North America. The pecans are considered to be one of the most valuable nuts in North America. The word pecan is derived from a Native American word of the origin- Algonquin that means to describe all nuts requiring a stone to crack.

Pecans originated in central and eastern North America. It was also discovered along the river valleys of Mexico. It was excessively used by pre-colonial residents. It was preferred by the people because of its accessibility and taste. 

Pecan nuts were also used to make the fermented intoxicating drink called “Powcohicora”. Pecans spread to Europe after the 16th century. Spanish explorers were known to bring the pecans to Spain and also wrote about this tree in their books and novels. Later, it spread to Asia, Africa, and other continents.

Pecans then became a major domesticated crop and were treated as a delicacy and a great dry fruit. 

Scientifically: Pecan trees can give fruits for over 300 years. The tree can grow up to about 50 meters (160 feet) tall and the diameter of the trunk can be 2 meters (6.6 feet). It has compound leaves which are arranged in the form of feathers.  The nuts are in brown shells varying greatly in thickness and have a long, cylindrical shape with round bottoms.

Usage: Pecan nuts are an interesting and crunchy snack. Pecans can be found in various sizes such as extra-large, large, medium, small and midget. They are also available in the market as whole pecans, pecan halves, pieces and as ground powder.  They are used in both savory and sweet dishes across the world. Pecan pie is one of the famous and classic South American dish and is favored by everyone. Raw pecans can be eaten as salted or sweetened. It makes a nutritious snack. They are used in desserts and bakery items. Pecans help in improving heart health.

Pecan nuts also facilitate and improve digestion. Pecans are rich in nutrients like zinc, vitamin E, vitamin A, folate and phosphorus, which are must for great skin. Consumption and topical use of pecans in-home masks have proved to improve and prevent skin problems. Vitamin a in Pecan nuts help in clearing the complexion. Pecans also contain large amounts of L-arginine, an amino acid which helps in promoting hair growth. Pecan oil is also helpful in cooking and is used for its cosmetic value.

Below are some DIYs with Pecan nuts: 

-    Take 5-8 pecan nuts and soak them in 2 tablespoons of water overnight. Use these soaked nuts and blend them with a tablespoon of yogurt and tablespoon of aloe vera gel. Apply and massage this paste over the scalp and hair. Keep it on for 30-45 minutes. Later, shampoo as usual. This remedy helps in strengthening the roots and prevents hair loss.
-    Warm two tablespoons of pecan oil and massage it on the scalp and hair. You can keep it on for 45 minutes or overnight. And shampoo it later. This helps in boosting hair growth.
-    Take a few drops of pecan nut oil and massage your face in upward directions. This remedy helps in treating acne and removes scars.
-    Take a few pecan nuts and ground them coarsely. Add a tablespoon of oatmeal and a teaspoon of coffee to it. Mix all the ingredients together with a tablespoon of coconut oil. Use this remedy as a scrub on face and body. Gently massage for 2-3 minutes and rinse it off. This remedy helps in removing dead skin and gives clearer complexion.