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Extension education club's pecan, peanut sale under way

By From News Release
Oct. 4, 2010 at 5:04 a.m.
Updated Oct. 5, 2010 at 5:05 a.m.

From left, Microwave Peanut Brittle, Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad, Easy Banana Praline Muffins and Texas Pecan Cake

Tips for Storing, Freshening and Reviving NutsThe flavor of almost all nuts is improved by heating them for a few minutes in a moderate oven until they become crisp. For some recipes the nuts should be left in the oven until they are delicately browned. Browning brings out the flavor and is desirable whenever it is not necessary to keep the light color.

If the nuts are slightly rancid, they should be covered with boiling water, allowed to stand for about three minutes, drained and dried on a clean tea towel, and put into the oven to become crisp.

To maintain the freshness of peanuts, store in the refrigerator or freezer after opening. They can be used immediately upon removal from the freezer and can be refrozen without loss of quality.

Peanuts may be eaten raw, prepared by roasting or parched. Their rich, roasted nutty flavor will enhance main dishes, vegetable dishes, salads, pies, cakes, cookies, ice cream and snacks.

Eat Pecans For Your HealthNo trans fat. No cholesterol. No sodium. Antioxidant rich. Based on numerous health studies, FDA has approved the following health claim for tree nuts, including pecans: Scientific evidence suggests that eating one and a half ounces per day of most nuts, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease.

More than 40 studies have shown that including nuts in the diet can reduce the risk of heart disease. In one study, women who ate five or more ounces of nuts per week had 1/3 fewer heart attacks than those who rarely or never ate nuts.

Research from Loma Linda University showed that adding a handful of pecans to your diet each day may inhibit unwanted oxidation of blood lipids, thus helping reduce the risk of heart disease. Researchers suggest that this positive effect was in part due to the pecan's significant content of vitamin E.

Pecans rank highest among all nuts and are among the top category of foods to contain the highest antioxidant capacity. Antioxidants have been shown to delay aging, and decrease the risk of cancer, heart disease and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's.

Parched or Oven Roasted PeanutsPlace peanuts one layer deep in shallow pan. A small amount of cooking oil may be added if desired. Roast at 350 degrees 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat just short of final desired roasting as peanuts continue to cook while cooling.

Microwave Peanut Brittle

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup white corn syrup

1 cup unroasted peanuts

1/8 tsp. salt

1 tsp. butter

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. baking soda

In a 11/2 quart casserole, stir together sugar, syrup, peanuts and salt; mix well. Microwave at high for, (if using a 650 KW microwave - 9 minutes; if using a 900 KW microwave - 6 minutes; if using a 1,000 KW microwave - 6 minutes; if using a 1,100 KW microwave - 6 minutes) until light brown. Add butter and vanilla; stir well. Microwave at high for, (if using a 650 KW microwave - 1 minute 15 seconds; if using a 900 KW microwave - 1 minute 30 seconds; if using a 1000 KW microwave - 1 minute 15 seconds; if using a 1100 KW microwave - 1 minute 10 seconds).

Peanuts will be light brown and syrup will be very hot. Add baking soda and gently stir until light and foamy. Pour onto lightly buttered cookie sheet. Let cool 30 minutes to 1 hour. When cool, break into small pieces.

Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad

8 cups chopped cooked chicken

3 celery ribs, diced

5 green onions, thinly sliced

11/2 cups chopped, toasted pecans

1 6-ounce package sweetened dried cranberries

1 cup mayonnaise

1/2 cup Sweet-Hot Honey Mustard

Salt and pepper

Stir together the chicken, celery, green onions, pecans, cranberries, mayonnaise and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Sweet-Hot Honey Mustard:

2 cups sugar

11/2 cups dry mustard

2 cups white vinegar

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 cup honey

Whisk together sugar and mustard in a saucepan; gradually whisk in vinegar and eggs until blended. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, 10-12 minutes or until smooth and thickened. Remove from heat and whisk in honey. Let cool, and store in airtight containers in the refrigerator up to 1 month.

NOTE: This honey mustard is delicious and makes great gifts. It can be used as a complement for ham or turkey: it is a great spread for turkey or chicken sandwiches: it makes a great dip for egg rolls. A good bottled honey mustard dressing may be substituted, if desired.

Easy Banana Praline Muffins

1/3 cup chopped pecans, toasted

3 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. sour cream

3 small ripe bananas

1 large egg

11/2 cups pancake mix

1/2 cup sugar

2 Tbsp. vegetable oil

Vegetable cooking spray

Stir together pecans, brown sugar and sour cream. Set aside.

Mash bananas in medium bowl; add egg and next three ingredients, stirring just until dry ingredients are moist. Place paper baking cups in muffin pans, and coat cups with vegetable cooking spray.

Spoon batter into muffin cups, filling 3/4 full. Carefully spoon pecan mixture evenly in center of each muffin.

Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes or until golden. Remove from pans immediately, and cool on wire racks. You can freeze muffins if desired. To reheat, microwave at high for 1 minute.

Sweet Trash

1 (16-oz.) box Golden Grahams cereal

3 cups large pecan pieces or halves

1 (24-oz.) pkg. white almond bark

Melt almond bark for 3 minutes in microwave. Combine cereal and pecans in a very large mixing bowl. Pour melted almond bark over cereal mix and stir thoroughly. Quickly spread mixture on wax paper in small clumps. Let dry and store in covered container.

Quick and Easy Pecan Pie

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp. vanilla

3/4 cups pecans, chopped

6 Tbsp. melted butter

1 cup coconut

1/4 tsp. salt

Beat eggs, add sugar, flour, butter pecans, coconut, salt and vanilla. Mix well. Put in a 9-inch greased pie pan. Bake at 325 degrees for 25 minutes. (You don't need a crust for this pie.)

Texas Pecan Cake

1 stick margarine

½ cup shortening

2 cups sugar

5 eggs, separated

2 cups flour

1 tsp. soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp. vanilla

¾ cups chopped pecans

Cream margarine and shortening. Add sugar and beat well. Add egg whites and 2 egg yolks, beating after each addition.

Combine flour and soda and add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk. Stir in vanilla and pecans. Bake in greased and floured pans at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

Filling and icing for top:

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1/2 stick margarine

1 pound powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

Blend cream cheese and margarine together. Beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread on top and between layers.

Icing for sides:

1 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/2 cup white sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 cup evaporated milk

3 slightly beaten egg yolks (reserved from the cake recipe)

1/2 cup margarine

1 tsp. vanilla

1/2-1 cup chopped pecans

Combine cornstarch and sugars in saucepan. Stir in milk. Blend in egg yolks. Stir in margarine and vanilla. Cook over medium heat until thickened. Remove from heat and add pecans. Let cool slightly before spreading.

It's fall and the Victoria County Extension Education Club's Pecan and Peanut Sale is in full swing.

This annual fundraiser is used to raise money for scholarships, support the 4-H Youth Program and many other community projects and programs.

The nuts are sold in five-pound boxes. Pecans are $35 per box and peanuts are $10 per box.

The deadline for ordering is Oct. 19 with orders ready for pickup between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19, at the Victoria Electric Co-op Auditorium, 102 S. Ben Jordan St.

Out-of-town orders may be placed by sending a check with your phone number, address, amount being ordered, and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Ruby Sellers, 112 Acorn Drive, Victoria, TX 77905. For more information, call Sellers at 361-575-3100.

Only orders placed through a club member will be delivered: Everready EEA Club, Melonee Williams, Paris Dixon, 362-573-7639; Pleasant Green EEA Club, Madlyn Gant, 361-576-9666; Raisin-Coletoville EEA Club, Jo Ann Bone, 361-578-7629; Telferner EEA Club, Ann Hagel, 361-1-564-7392.

Try these recipes and tips using pecans and peanuts.



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