Quick Recipes and Easy

The Wonderful World of Peanuts

HISTORY

Before I start with the history of peanuts you should probably know that the peanut is not a nut. The “pea”nut is really more closely related to the pea. It is a member of the legumes family. Also, peanuts do not grow in trees like nuts do. They grow on the ground. They start out as flowers, and eventually wind up burrowing underground. Under ground is where they become a tasty peanut.

OK – so where did these small guys come from you question? Well, they are thought to have originated in South America…possibly Brazil or Peru. When the Portuguese started to explore “The New World,” they took peanuts back home with them. Portuguese traders took them as far as Asia and Africa.

In the United States, peanuts became well loved during the Civil War. Then around the 1900′s many mechanical devices were invented to help with the processing of peanuts. As a result their popularity increased even more. Speaking of inventions…George Washington Carver invented over 300 uses for the peanut, including; medicine, ink, soap, shampoo, ice-cream, and axle grease.

Today, peanuts are eaten all over the world. They have become a huge money making industry. In the United States alone they contribute well over 4 billion dollars yearly to the economy

PEANUT TRIVIA

Americans consume 700 million pounds or 3.3 pounds per person, of peanut butter per year….that’s enough to coat the floor of the Grand Canyon.

To enhance the flavor of a cola drink, Southerners place peanuts into the bottle.

There are approximately 810 peanuts in an 18 oz. jar of peanut butter.

The peanut is unusual because it flowers above the ground, but fruits below the ground.

Peanut oil has a very high smoking point. This allows peanut oil to be heated to a higher temperature than most oils, making it an brilliant choice for frying.

Since peanuts are a legume, they reduce the need for additional fertilizers as they return nitrogen to the soil as they grow.

HEALTH BENEFITS

Peanuts are packed full of healthy stuff, including; antioxidants, niacin,
Vitamin E, monounsaturated stout, bioflavnoids, protein, and they have more resveratrol than grapes (which lowers LDL – aka “terrible cholesterol”)

That’s not all…Some medical researchers say that they lower the risk of heart disease and provide protection from some types of cancer (colon, prostate, and breast).

Well, as you can see there are some fantastic reasons to eat peanuts…as if the fact that they are tasty isn’t enough.

THE DARK SIDE

Peanut proteins can act as powerful allergens, even in tiny amounts. That is why Peanut allergies are the most common cause of death by food in the United States. Some people can have a ruthless reaction just for inhaling the scent of a peanut. People can die from very small amounts.

So, if your allergic to peanuts…or reckon you could be…don’t risk even going near them. You can substitute almonds or any nut for any of the recipes below. For the cookies…you’ll have to make your own ‘nut butter.

YUMMY…PEANUTTY RECIPES:

CREAMY PEANUT BUTTER

Place 2 cups of peanuts in a blender and blend until smooth.

For added texture and/or flavoring add one or more of the following:

2 Tblsp honey

4 tsp sugar

2 tsp pure vanilla extract – or any other extract you like.

1/4 c mini chocolate chips

1/4 c rice cereal

THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS…USE YOUR IMAGINATION!

CRUNCHY PEANUT BUTTER
3 c. salted peanuts2 Tblsp. butter
Measure 1/2 peanuts and place aside. Empty remaining peanuts into blender container. Cover and blend on low speed until the peanuts are chopped. Add butter, cover and blend on low speed 15 seconds. Turn off the blender and scrape down sides with rubber spatula. Cover and blend on low speed 5 seconds.

Repeat this process 3 or 4 times until the peanut butter starts to get smooth. Cover and blend on highest speed 1 minute. Add the 1/2 cup peanuts, cover and blend on medium speed for 3 – 5 seconds. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving.

MAMA’S PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

1/2 c. peanut butter

1/2 c. butter, softened

1/2 c. sugar

1/2 c. light brown sugar

1 egg, slightly beaten

1 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. baking soda

Mix peanut butter and butter in large mixing bowl until smooth. Then gradually add all other ingredients. Blend until smooth.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spoon batter onto greased cookie sheet. Flatten cookies with a criss cross fork print. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden.

Copyright © Lara Velez

This article is free for reprint, ONLY if you keep the author box in tact, all links active, and do not change ANY part of this article.

About the Author: Lara Velez is a Homeschooling WAHM. She lives in the Sunshine State with her lovely daughters and husband. She is a published author, web publisher, web designer, and editor. She owns two successful websites, Moms of Faith: momsoffaith.com momsoffaith.com and, Home Business Resource Directory: homebusinessresourcedirectory.com homebusinessresourcedirectory.com She also owns her own Health and Wellness business: mymonavie.com/HlthyLiving/mystory.asp mymonavie.com/HlthyLiving/mystory.asp

Tags: gourmet, recipes snacks, heart disease, Fruits And Vegetables, my recipes, Health Benefits, simply recipes, source online, today show, Flavors



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