Summer snacks

Road trips, outdoor adventures and relaxing by the pool are some of summer's most popular activities, and all can be more enjoyable by adding favorite snacks to the mix. Next time you bask in the summer sun, bring along some tasty pecan snacks that allow you stay on track with wellness goals without sacrificing those snack-time delights.

Whether you enjoy their natural sweetness straight from the bag or add them to your go-to recipes, pecans are among the lowest in carbs and highest in fiber of tree nuts, an option that's perfect for snacking. In fact, each ounce of pecans includes 3 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of fiber to go with 12 grams of "good" monounsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat.

Curb your snack cravings with a savory option like Buffalo-Pecan Pimento Cheese Dip with veggies and crackers, or if something sweeter tempts your taste buds, dive into a tangy treat with these Mini Pecan Lemon Berry Tarts.

Visit AmericanPecan.com for more snacking tips and recipes.

Mini Pecan Lemon Berry Tarts

Total time: 22 minutes

Servings: 24

Mini Pecan Crusts:

Nonstick cooking spray

2 cups pecan pieces

1/4 cup butter, melted

2 tablespoons sugar

Lemon Filling:

1/2 cup lemon curd

1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries or combination

powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

To make mini pecan crusts: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line mini muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

In food processor, blend pecan pieces, butter and sugar until mixture forms coarse dough.

Scoop about 2 teaspoons pecan mixture in each muffin tin. Use back of wooden spoon or fingers to press mixture evenly along bottom and up sides of each muffin cup.

Bake 12 minutes, or until crusts are golden brown. Allow crusts to cool completely before removing from pan.

To assemble crusts: Spoon 1 teaspoon lemon curd into each mini pecan crust. Top with one raspberry or three small blueberries. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Buffalo-Pecan Pimento Cheese Dip

Total time: 15 minutes

Servings: 30

1 cup raw pecan pieces

1/2 pound (2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated

1 jar (4 ounces) sliced pimentos

2 tablespoons red hot sauce

2 tablespoons mayo

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper

1 tablespoon chives, freshly chopped

veggies, for serving

crackers, for serving

Preheat oven to 350 F.

On baking sheet, spread pecans and roast 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant, tossing once halfway through. Remove from oven and set aside to cool completely.

In bowl, combine cheddar cheese, pimentos with juice, hot sauce, mayo, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Add 3/4 of pecan pieces and mix until combined.

Place dip in serving bowl and top with remaining pecan pieces and freshly chopped chives.

Serve with veggies and crackers.