Tasty Ways to Enjoy Nuts and Seeds

Among tree nuts, pecans are one of the richest sources of antioxidants, especially vitamin E, which can help boost your cell’s defenses. It isn’t exactly a chore to incorporate these naturally buttery nuts into your diet, which explains why they’re so common in Southern cooking and holiday baking. Toasting them makes them taste even richer, crunchier and more buttery, making for a candy-like snack. Simply spread whole pecans on an ungreased baking sheet and stick them in the oven (preheated to 350 degrees) for 5 to 10 minutes.

You can also chop them up and sprinkle them over yogurt, oatmeal or tossed salads (they’re perfect for sweet salads with vinaigrette and fresh fruit, like strawberries, blueberries, apples or mandarin oranges). Of course, pecans really shine in a variety of baked goods. For example, you’ll go, um, nuts for my Banana Pecan Cookies, which stay moist and naturally sweet as a result of the creamy, mashed bananas.