If you want to eat healthily, you must start incorporating more vegetables into your diet. For most of us, the best vegetables are the ones that you can fry or dip in ranch dressing, but salads are also a quick and easy way to incorporate a wide variety of greenery. Even better, you can customize your salad to include whatever you like, so there’s no reason not to scarf it down like it’s the first food you’ve seen in a week.
That said, when was the last time you upgraded your salad game? Modern salads are more than just a bed of iceberg lettuce with some shredded carrots and cabbage. Nowadays, salad recipes incorporate different flavors and textures for a decadent and mouthwatering experience.
For our money, the best thing you can put on a salad is roasted pecans. But we’re not talking about just dropping a few pecans on top of your salad. Instead, we will show you some high-quality recipes that use roasted pecans effectively. These salads may be so good that they’ll replace whatever you’re currently eating. So, get your salad tongs out, and let’s get tossing!
Nuts? On a Salad?
We know you think we’re nuts about putting roasted pecans on a salad. But hear us out – there are a few compelling reasons to sprinkle some of these delicious treats on your next healthy dish:
- Invigorate Your Tastebuds – What makes a great menu item? Is it the flavor of the food or the way it feels in our mouths as we eat it? Realistically, both sensations matter, which is why professional chefs try to incorporate different textures into a single dish. Plus, salad greens are already crunchy, so adding something with a little more weight makes perfect sense.
- Make It a Meal – If you want to get healthy, you need to get full of natural fats and calories. While salads can be tempting, they often leave you wanting more in a short period. So, by adding nuts to the mix, you can get extra fat and fiber to help you feel fuller for longer. Basically, nuts can turn a side salad into an actual meal.
- Add Some NUT-Rition – Did you know that most nuts are actually highly nutritious and good for your body? While peanuts are generally too salty and fatty to count, other nuts like pecans, almonds, and cashews offer net benefits for your health. As we’ll discuss in the next section, pecans are fantastic for your health, particularly if you’re prone to circulatory problems (i.e., heart disease or high blood pressure).
Health Benefits of Roasted Pecans
First and foremost, pecans are chock-full of protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Protein is essential for all bodily functions (including muscle and tissue repair). Healthy fat makes you feel full for longer and contributes to better cell production, nutrient absorption, and energy production. Finally, fiber is a super-healthy component that can regulate your blood sugar and cholesterol content. Because fiber is mostly insoluble, it cleans out your system like a tiny broom.
If these three ingredients were all that pecans had to offer, they would still be great for your health. However, these nuts also contain:
- Calcium – Builds strong bones
- Magnesium – Regulates blood sugar and pressure
- Potassium – Lowers your blood pressure
- Iron – Absorbs more nutrients and keeps your blood healthier
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids – Reduces inflammation and can even help with joint health and arthritis
Overall, pecans are more than just a tasty treat – they’re also practically a superfood! While a handful of pecans on a salad won’t turn your body into a sculpted piece of art, these nuts can help regulate your body’s internal functions so you can keep problems like heart disease and diabetes in check.
Salad Ideas That Use Roasted Pecans
By now, you should be itching to find a way to incorporate more pecans into your diet. While snacking on these nuts is always great (especially when you buy flavored pecans from Almond Brothers), putting them into a salad is even better. Here are some top-tier salad recipe ideas that put pecans front and center:
Apple Pecan Salad
Apples are a staple of fall recipes, but you can make this salad anytime. Plus, this salad can be sweet and refreshing on a hot summer day if you use more tropical-style apples. Many salad recipes combine apples and pecans because they complement each other in flavor and texture.
As with all the recipes we’re about to show you, feel free to add or remove any items as you see fit. The great thing about salads is that they’re easy to make with whatever you have.
- 8 cups of mixed salad greens (try to avoid iceberg lettuce, which has little nutritional value)
- 1 cup cucumber slices (on the thinner side)
- 1 cup chopped apple (choose your favorite type)
- 1/2 cup roasted pecans
- 2 oz soft goat cheese (or feta or blue cheese)
- 2 sliced green onions
- 3 tablespoons vinegarette dressing (pick your favorite)
House Salad w/ Candied Pecans
While roasted pecans are already delicious, you can kick things up by candying them yourself at home. The process is relatively simple – combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the mixture until it’s a thin paste, then coat the pecans. Lay them on a cooking sheet with parchment paper on top. Toast the pecans at 375 degrees for about 10 minutes. You can also use brown sugar for an even more decadent treat.
- 1/3 cup candied pecans
- 3 cups salad mix
- 3/4 cup dried cranberries
- 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese
- 3/4 mandarin orange slices
- Dressing of your choice (preferably a creamy vinegarette)
Get the Best Roasted Pecans (and Almonds) From Almond Brothers!
Are you ready to up your salad game? Browse our online store and pick from regular or flavored pecans. We also offer a tasty selection of flavored almonds and cashews that are sure to tickle your tastebuds!