Peanuts – Interesting Facts

Contrary to popular belief, the peanut is in fact not a nut. It belongs to the same family as peas, and is a legume crop or a pulse. What peanuts do have in common with nuts is that they can be enjoyed raw, making them the perfect snack food. Continuously snacking on peanuts - whether at home, at work, or at school – does not, however, save on calories. Peanuts contain 600 calories per 100 grams. What you do profit from is the nutritious ingredients that they contain – peanuts provide a lot of protein, important B vitamins and folic acid. 

Food Facts Food Facts

Peanuts

Class

arachis

Calories

600 kcal per 100g

Nutrients

11.2g carbohydrate, 7.6g fibre, 48.5g fat, 26g protein per 100g

Season

available year-round

Storage

store in a cool, dry, dark place – cellar or pantry

Shelf Life

a few months unpeeled

Peanuts – Origin and Characteristics

The peanut originated in South America, probably Peru or Brazil, and is eaten in all parts of the world today. Peanuts are particularly popular in the United States, where they are not only roasted and salted as a snack, but also found in the form of much loved peanut butter. In Southeast Asia, peanuts have become popular as a base for oil or sauces.

The peanut, also known as the ground nut or the monkey nut, enjoys a warm climate and is therefore cultivated in Africa, India, Argentina and the US. The peanut plant, which belongs to the botanical family Fabaceae, is a herbaceous plant that is yellow in colour and can grow to be 80cm tall. Its fruit, the peanut, grows under the earth and is different to other legumes as its shell doesn’t open by itself, but rather it remains closed like most nuts. 

Peanuts – Storage and Preparation

Peanuts can be bought both in the shell or with the shells removed - the former keep for longer, while the latter are better suited to snacking on or cooking with. If raw peanuts are your thing, try them with a pinch of salt or some honey to bring out the taste a little more. Roasting peanuts releases their nutty aroma. Peanuts are also well suited to sweet dishes, especially in the form of a creamy peanut butter which can then be used in cakes, cupcakes and brownies, or simply just spread on bread.

In Southeast Asia, peanuts are included in many tasty sauces. For this, the nuts can be crushed with a pestle and mortar, or peanut butter can be used for quicker results. Coconut milk is then added to the peanuts and heated up. Such a sauce goes well with rice, vegetables, and meat. The oil that is pressed from peanuts is more heat resistant than for example, olive oil, and it lends a nutty flavour to every meal. Peanuts can also be used as a crumb coating to give a schnitzel a tasty and crispy crunch. Allow yourself to be inspired by our peanut recipes.

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