Difference Between Pecans and Walnuts

By: | Updated: Jul-20, 2021
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There are many types of nuts that are available in the market. One of them is pecans and walnuts. They are usually served as snacks, but they can also be used in many dishes that come from the kitchen. They are very rich in calories and they also contain many essential nutrients that we need for our body.

Pecans and walnuts look very similar to each other, but their flavors are not the same. Pecans have a very strong flavor, but they have a slightly sweet taste. On the other hand, walnuts have a milder taste, but they are not as sweet as the pecans. You can also notice that pecans come in different colors while walnuts are usually gray in color. If you are looking for an alternative to pecans and walnuts, you can try using almond butter instead of peanut butter.

Summary Table

Pecans Walnuts
Pecans have a hard shell that is thicker than that of walnuts Walnuts have a softer and thinner shell
 Mostly used as a dessert nut Commonly used as a snack food for those who enjoy it with milk or cream
Pecans are made from the seed of the fruit of the hickory tree Walnuts are made from the seed of the English walnut tree


Difference Between Pecans and Walnuts

But what is the difference between Pecans and Walnuts? Are they similar or are they different? Can you identify the difference between them based on their appearance? Are they similar in composition? If you are curious to know, this article will tell you why you should use Pecans and Walnuts instead of just eating peanuts, and how they can help your body.

Before we move on to the difference between pecans and walnuts, let us first learn what the two are. Let’s take a look at the definitions, the similarities, and the features of these two types of nuts.

What Are Pecans?

Pecans are a type of nut, and the seeds from this tree are the ones that we get. The nuts themselves are pretty much like walnuts, but they have more of a sweet taste than the latter. Pecans can be grown in most places, but their growing area is mainly in the United States. These trees have two varieties: hickory and black walnut. The main difference between these two types is that the hickory type is not as bitter as its cousin, and it also has a lower fat content. This type of nut can be used for cooking, baking, roasting, and making jams and jellies.

The use of pecans has been very common for many years now because they can be found in a variety of recipes all over the world. In addition to this, these nuts are also used to make medicine by several Native American tribes who make them into a tea for medicinal purposes (Sciencing). This tree produces nuts from June to September or even later depending on what part of the country you live in (Sciencing).

What Are Walnuts?

Walnuts are another type of nut that are considered to be in the same family as pecans. These nuts are also considered to be very nutritious, and they have a lot of health benefits that can help improve your overall well-being. These nuts can be used for cooking, baking, and roasting, and they are also known to be good for making tea. This type of nut is native to Europe and Asia, but they can also be found in parts of North America.

These nuts are not just common in the United States but they can also be found in other parts of the world like Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and South America (Nutritionfacts). They have a very strong taste because their skin is quite thick. This makes them bitter when it comes to taste which is why most people will roast them before eating them so that the bitterness is eliminated. The benefits of walnuts include lowering blood pressure by 30%, lowering cholesterol levels by 12%, increasing metabolism by 25%, reducing inflammation by 40%, and even preventing Alzheimer’s disease (Sciencing).

What Are The Similarities Between Pecans and Walnuts?

  1. Both of these nuts have similar sizes and shapes.
  2. Both of these nuts are hard and brittle.
  3. Both of these nuts are rich in fats, oils, and vitamins.
  4. Both of these nuts have a pleasant taste and smell.
  5. Both of these nuts can be eaten raw or roasted or boiled in water to make tasty dishes such as salads, pies, cakes, pastries, etc.

What Are The Differences Between Pecans and Walnuts?

Now that you know what the similarities are between pecans and walnuts, let’s take a look at the differences between these two types of nuts.

  1. The shell

The first difference between pecans and walnuts is the type of shell they have. Pecans have a hard shell that is thicker than that of walnuts. However, this difference in the hardness of the shell does not mean that they are similar in taste. In fact, they have quite different tastes.

  1. How they are served

Pecans are sweet and are mostly used as a dessert nut. They can be found as whole or ground nuts, but are more often used as candied nuts. Walnuts on the other hand, although being very delicious too, are more commonly used as a snack food for those who enjoy it with milk or cream.

  1. The color

Walnuts are smaller than pecans and tend to be darker in color when compared to pecans that tend to be lighter in color when compared to walnuts. Both walnuts and pecans have an oily texture and do not require any processing before eating them which makes them easily accessible.

  1. Their oil content

Pecans have a high oil content, but walnuts are higher in fat content. Both have a similar amount of calories, but walnuts are higher in omega-3 fatty acids. Walnuts are also higher in protein, but this is not true for pecans.

  1. Their main ingredients

Pecans are made from the seed of the fruit of the hickory tree, while walnuts are made from the seed of the English walnut tree. Both contain antioxidants and have a good amount of minerals and vitamins such as vitamin E, calcium, and iron. However, pecans have more vitamin E and calcium than walnuts.

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