Learn About Peanuts

Author: Chef Sydney

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What are Peanuts?

A peanut is a legume grown from a flowering plant.  Despite being legumes, we classify peanuts as nuts.  Peanuts have bulbous brown shells with patterned grooves around the outside.  Most peanut shells contain two peanuts, which are oblong and brown.  Raw peanuts have a crunchy, chewy texture and smell nutty.  Retailers carry raw and roasted peanuts as well as shelled and unshelled peanuts.

What Do Peanuts Taste Like?

Raw peanuts have a delicate, nutty taste.  Roasted peanuts have a more intense flavor, with stronger earthiness and nuttiness.  Some roasted peanuts may taste salty, sweet, or spicy due to the flavors added in the roasting process.

Learn About Peanuts
Salted peanuts ready to eat.

How Do You Eat Peanuts?

Eat peanuts raw or cooked.  Make sure to discard peanut shells and avoid eating them.  Common ways to enjoy peanuts include as a snack on their own, in trail mix, or as a topping.  Peanuts have great versatility and work well in both savory and sweet dishes.  Use peanuts to create peanut sauce and peanut soup.  For sweet applications, use peanuts in chocolate, granola, and topped over cakes and pies.  Peanuts create peanut butter, which also has a wide variety of savory and sweet uses.

Where Can You Buy Peanuts?

Look for all forms of peanuts in the dried fruits and nuts aisle of the grocery store.  Some grocery stores carry certain kinds of roasted peanuts in the snack food or chips aisle.

How Do You Store Peanuts?

Store peanuts in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from light.  For longer storage, transfer peanuts to the refrigerator.

Fun Fact About Peanuts

While peanuts come from a flowering plant, the peanut grows underground.

Did You Know?

For a manufacturer to classify their product as peanut butter, the product has to contain 90% peanuts.

Recipes Using Peanuts

Savory Peanut Sauce

Make a Thai-inspired peanut sauce to pair with savory dishes. Combine peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, lime juice, red pepper flakes, and garlic in a bowl. Serve the peanut sauce with vegetables, salads, and meats.

Peanut Butter Caramel Popcorn

Create a tasty snack for movie night or any time of the day! Microwave peanut butter until slightly runny and stir it into homemade or store-bought caramel sauce. Toss plain popped popcorn and roasted peanuts together before drizzling with caramel mixture. Stir to incorporate.

Peanut Butter S’mores Dip

Make an easy sweet dip out of a few simple ingredients. Start by layering peanut butter cups into the bottom of a cast iron skillet. Then, add a layer of marshmallows on the top. Bake until the marshmallows puff up and turn golden-brown on top. Serve with graham crackers.

Trail Mix

Use your peanuts as a crunchy element to trail mix. Combine peanuts, pretzels, cashews, chocolate chips, dried cranberries, and dried cherries. Enjoy this trail mix as a tasty snack.

Peanut Stew

Grab a stock pot to simmer all of your stew ingredients to perfection. Cook chicken in the stock pot with onions, garlic, and ginger. Then, add chicken stock, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, peanut butter, salt, pepper, rosemary, bay leaves, and red pepper flakes. Simmer until stew thickens and vegetables are fork tender.


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