Want to learn all about peanuts? You’ve come to the right place.
Just what is it about this miracle nut, anyway? They seem to be one of the most popular ingredients in the world, found in a ton of different recipes and cultures no matter where you look. It’s hard not to see their immense crossover appeal when you do a little digging. They have a fantastic flavor, they’re a staple of many kitchen shelves and can really perk you up whether they’re in a trail mix bag or candy bar. They can even be turned into oil or flour to shake up classic staples.
Quick Peanut Facts
Contrary to popular belief, peanuts aren’t actually nuts! They’re a ‘legume’, part of a family that includes peanuts, beans, peas, lentils and chickpeas. Unlike walnuts and pine nuts, they also grow underground rather than on a tree branch. Despite this key difference, they’re called nuts for brevity’s sake. There are four types of peanuts available — you have the Runners, the Spanish, the Virginias and the Valencias. Peanut butter was introduced all the way back at the St. Louis World’s Fair in the early 1900’s.
For those aiming for a healthier diet, you can’t go wrong with peanut calories. Peanuts are known for being chock full of essential vitamins and minerals on top of a healthy calorie count, so use them as a topping on your salad or an on-the-go snack without a care in the world. A single cup of peanuts has an estimated 800 calories. Although GMOs are the hot topic as of late, there are no GMO peanuts on the market. The peanuts of today are considered 99% identical to their ancestors.
High Protein Snack
We touched on the high content of healthy minerals and vitamins above. But what kind? Peanuts are home to a significant amount of vitamin B6, protein, iron and magnesium. Vitamin B6 is necessary for the functioning of a proper nervous system and can also help keep your metabolic processes stable. Protein and iron are great for promoting strong muscles and magnesium will go a long way in providing you the energy you need to get through the day.
Many Peanut Products
You likely have a jar of peanut butter on your shelf as you read this. Global peanut production has totaled a stunning 29 million metric tons per year, making it one of the most widely distributed foods on the planet. It’s estimated the average American will eat more than six pounds of peanut products every single year! FDA regulations have dictated peanut butter needs to be at least 90% peanuts before it can hit store shelves. This means you never have to worry about whether or not you’re getting what you paid for.
Cooking With Peanut Oil
A great way to shake up your standard lunches and dinners is to try cooking with peanut oil. Take advantage of peanut calories and a great flavor all in one go! You can drizzle it over some noodles, fry it with meat or add it to a cold salad. It has a very light and subtle flavor, ideal for those that want to try something new without going overboard. It also has a high smoke content that’s perfect for quick frying. Peanut oil can be stored for six months to a full year if it’s kept tightly capped away from heat and light.
Great Peanut Recipes
Keep these peanut recipes close at hand so you can take advantage of peanut calories, minerals and vitamins throughout the week. Trail mix can be mixed with not just peanuts, but almonds, walnuts, raisins, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds — this creates a fast snack that will give you energy while keeping harmful cholesterol at bay. Peanuts can be chopped and sprinkled over pasta salad for an additional nutritional boost and you can always keep a bag on hand when you need a lightweight snack that won’t tack on extra pounds.
There are a ton of peanut benefits. How are they improving your life?