Saturday, October 18, 2008

Breakfast Gets Fit with Pecans

(ARA) – Breakfast is still the most important meal of the day. Studies show that eating a balanced breakfast increases energy levels and prevents unhealthy snacking when cravings take over. Georgia pecans fit right in as part of a healthy breakfast. Not only are pecans rich and crunchy, they’re packed with vitamins and minerals, making them the ultimate health nut.

A handful of Georgia pecans, chopped up on top of yogurt or even thrown in with muffin, pancake or waffle batter, is a nutritious and delicious breakfast addition. A 1-ounce serving of pecans contains only 196 calories and pecans have more antioxidants than any other nut, making them a healthy immunity-boosting ingredient. Pecans also contain oleic acid, which can help lower bad LDL cholesterol levels, keeping the heart fit.

Scott Peacock, executive chef of Watershed Restaurant in Decatur, Ga., promotes using the multi-beneficial pecan to complement a balanced daily breakfast. "I love the fresh, rich, wholesome flavor of pecans from Georgia," says Peacock. "It's familiar and comforting to incorporate the distinctive, crunchy texture of Georgia pecans into homemade meals -- especially breakfast."

Peacock, who was recognized with the James Beard Foundation award for "Best Chef in the Southeast," shares a favorite breakfast recipe, Georgia Pecan Muesli, which was adapted from a signature dish at Watershed restaurant. This cereal provides plenty of nutrients and energy, while enhancing the sweet, toasty, tender flavor of Georgia pecans.

Georgia Pecan Muesli
Serves 6

Ingredients:
2 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/4 cup diced dried figs
1/4 cup diced dates
1/4 tsp. salt
Yogurt or milk to serve
Fresh fruit and honey (optional)

Directions:
Combine all measured ingredients and mix well. Serve with yogurt or milk and fresh fruit, such as a banana, if desired.

For a softer, creamier texture, yogurt or milk may be stirred into the muesli and refrigerated overnight before serving. If desired, drizzle with a little honey before eating.

Nutrition information per serving of muesli without yogurt, milk, fresh fruit or honey. Calories: 360; protein: 9g; carbohydrates: 54g; saturated fat: 1g; monounsaturated fat: 9g; polyunsaturated fat: 4g; cholesterol: 0 mg; sodium: 93 mg; fiber: 7g.

To download the Georgia Pecan Commission’s breakfast brochure or for more recipes and additional information about Georgia pecans, visit www.GeorgiaPecansFit.org.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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