All during April, enjoy the butter taste of pecans.  It is National Pecan Month.

Pecans add a delicious crunch to salads or use them as the perfect afternoon snack.  Adding pecans with fresh fruit and yogurt is an easy way to have them become a bright spot in your breakfast routine.

When comparing nut varieties, pecans have more antioxidants than any other.  Pecans can help to reduce cholesterol levels and heart disease risk too.  They are also naturally a high-quality source of protein.

Here is a new cookie recipe I will add to our snack cart in April:

Raisin Pecan Oatmeal Cookies

1 ½ c. pecans                  1 tsp. baking powder

½ lb. butter (room temp)  1 tsp. ground cinnamon

1 c. brown sugar              1 tsp. kosher salt

1 c. sugar                         3 c. oatmeal

2 eggs                              1 ½ c. raisins

2 tsp. vanilla

1 ½ c. flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place pecans on a sheet pan, bake for 5 minutes until crisp.  Cool and chop.

With paddle attachment, beat butter, brown sugar, & granulated sugar together on medium speed.  Add eggs 1 at a time then vanilla.

Stir flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together. Add to butter and mix together.  Add oatmeal, raisins and pecans. Drop spoonful onto cookie sheet and slightly flatten with a damp hand/measuring cup.  Bake 12-15 minutes until lightly browned.

I will be attending our spring/summer training with Healthcare of Iowa’s chefs and dieticians on April 2nd.  I am looking forward to new menus and ideas to bring back to the facility.

~Sandy Weller, Food Service Supervisor