Peanuts are delicious, versatile, popular and addictive. A small percentage of the population is allergic to peanuts, and some cannot even tolerate it in the minutest quantities imaginable.
Native to South America, this annual herbaceous plant grows 30 – 50 cm. tall and produces pods 3 – 7 cm long.
It was domesticated in prehistoric times by savvy farmers and spread worldwide by traders’ after the arrival of European adventurers in South America.
It ripens in 120 – 150 days in hot climates and there are thousands of varieties most popular in the U S A are: Spanish, runner, Virginia, Valencia, Tennessee, Red Tennessee.
India and China are the largest peanut producers, followed by the
U S A, Argentina, Sudan, Senegal and Brazil.
EU countries, Canada and Japan import significant quantities.
G W Carver, a famous American agronomist, identified 300 uses of peanut and some 500 million people rely on this prolific groundnut for their monounsaturated fat intake. Peanuts also contain resveratrol, a chemical found in red wine and which is said to be good for a healthy heart, if only the body can assimilate it fully.
Peanuts are marketed in the shell, salted and roasted in the shell, shelled, roasted, salted and roasted and honey roasted. They are used for oil, butter, brittle, and candy production. Peanuts can also be boiled and eaten.
Manufacturers extract lubricants; use it for insecticides, nitroglycerin, textile fibers, leather dressings and varnish.
In India and China 90 percent of peanut production goes to oil production as its smoke point is very high.
Smithfield in North Carolina is famous for its hams. The pigs are allowed to forage harvested peanut fields therefore acquire a particularly flavored meat.
Peanut sauce is a staple of Philippine cuisine.
Peanuts are good source of affordable protein.
Peanuts and peanut butter are rich in folate, magnesium, zinc, and potassium
Peanuts are rich in dietary fiber (30 grams provide 2.4 grams of fiber)
Peanuts are cholesterol free and may even lower blood cholesterol
Peanuts belong to the family of legummeaes food.
Peanuts are economical, portable and versatile
Peanuts enhance food when combined skillfully i.e. chicken and pork
¼ cup unsalted peanuts
¼ cup fresh basil
4 cloves of garlic
½ grated Parmesan
¼ cup peanut oil
juice of one medium lemon
salt and pepper to taste
In a food processor pulse peanuts 4 – 5 times
Add basil and pulse for one minute.
Ass cheese, oil and lemon juice; process until well combined. Finished pesto should contain visible chunks. Serve immediately or store in airtight container in refrigerator.