Availability, Freshness, Storage – Pecans

Ah, yes. It’s that time of year again and soon enough the scent of pecans will be filling the house. Having grown up, and now lived in Georgia my whole life, pecans have always been a big part of my diet. Generally considered a holiday treat and something amazing to make pies with, the humble pecan is much, much more. This versatile nut can be eaten raw, roasted, baked or used in sauces like pesto. Not only is it a great nut for nearly everything, if stored properly, you can eat them year-round. So in terms of it being ‘that time of year again’ for pecans, I really mean any part of the year.

Pecans grow throughout the summertime and are harvested at the end of summer and into fall. So technically, the pecan is a fall nut. This makes sense as right around Thanksgiving you see a big upsurge of them in grocery stores. This is part of the reason the pecan pie has become such a ubiquitous holiday favorite in the south. Because of sheer abundance, we had to figure out something to do with them.

However, if you’re a person that enjoys pecans and is excited by the fact that you can eat them year-round, you’re in luck. With proper storage, you can eat them for as long as you want. The key to maintaining the freshness of this versatile nut is air, or more specifically, keeping air out. Air is the silent killer of all things perishable and pecans are no exception.

Once the harvest season rolls around and you purchase your fresh pecans, put some into an airtight container or vacuum bag in which you can remove all of the air. A shelled pecan will stay fresh in a refrigerator for anywhere between three and six months, which is nothing to sneeze at. However, pecans that are properly frozen in an airtight container can last a full year. To thaw them for later snacking or baking, place them in the refrigerator so they thaw evenly and not too quickly.

No longer do you have to worry about pecans only being available in the fall and winter. With proper storage techniques you can enjoy this delicious nut for up to a year after its harvested. And why wouldn’t you want to? In addition to their tastiness, the pecan is very nutritious. So go ahead and snack all you want.

This article was written exclusively for Pick-A-Pepper by Pearson Farm, a fifth-generation family-owned business dedicated to growing Georgia Peaches and Georgia Pecans. You can also see Pearson Farm’s listingon Pick-A-Pepper.com.


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