The holiday season is ripe with opportunities to gather around the table with loved ones and enjoy a delicious meal.

Elevate your holiday menu with freshly harvested ingredients like naturally sweet pecans. As America’s only native tree nut, the pecan boasts a proud heritage shared by the farmers who have grown it for generations – but this tree nut is more than a pie ingredient.

While the American Pecan Council’s Classic Pecan Pie is an ideal grand finale, consider including nutrient-dense pecans throughout the holiday season as a snack or in innovative pecan-filled dishes like Roasted Acorn Squash with Pecan Vinaigrette and Pecan Wild Rice Pilaf.

In addition to being a versatile addition to your holiday feast, in each 1-ounce serving of pecans, you’ll get 12 grams of “good” monounsaturated fat with zero cholesterol or sodium, according to the USDA. Compared to other nuts, pecans are among the lowest in carbs (4 grams) and highest in dietary fiber (3 grams) per serving.

For more seasonal recipes, nutritional information and cooking tips, visit AmericanPecan.com.

Classic Pecan Pie

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 70 minutes
Servings: 10

1 pie dough (9 inches)

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 cup light corn syrup

1 cup light brown sugar

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups raw pecan halves

Place baking sheet in oven. Heat oven to 350 F.

Line pie pan with rolled out pie dough. Press into edges and up sides. Use fingers or fork to create decorative edge. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk together butter, corn syrup, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Add eggs and salt, and whisk until mixture is even. Fold in pecan halves.

Pour mixture into pie crust and spread evenly with spatula. Use pieces of aluminum foil to cover edges of pie crust. Place pie on prepared baking sheet and bake 60-70 minutes, or until pie is set in center.

Remove pie from oven and allow to cool completely before serving or chilling.

Note: Pie can be made 1 day ahead and refrigerated overnight. Allow pie to come to room temperature before serving.