Peanuts, unlike most nuts like almonds and cashews, do not grow on trees – they actually grow underground which technically makes them legumes, not nuts! They are also known as groundnut and monkey nuts. They can be sold with or without the shell.
Peanuts are a popular snack, they are usually roasted and salted. They can also be flavoured during the production process, some popular flavours include mustard, sweet honey, barbecue or just salt. They can also be found unsalted and raw.
Peanuts are a common ingredient in Asian cooking, they are commonly used as a garnish, in sauces like satay sauce. They can also be found in noodles, rice dishes, curries and even soups!
Peanut oil is referred to as groundnut oil and is commonly used in cooking as it has a very high smoking point.
One of the most popular peanut product has got to be peanut butter! Peanut butter can be used to make cookies, cakes and tarts. A surprising fact is that its really easy to make peanut butter at home! All you need are some roasted peanuts and a powerful food processor.
Nutritional information of peanuts
The calorie content largely depends on how they are treated, for example, if they are boiled rather than fried the calorie content will be lower. There are about 567 calories per 100 grams of raw peanuts.
Peanuts are low in carbs so they can be enjoyed if you are on a keto diet, you should opt for raw or dry roasted as they contain less oil and sugars.
Peanuts are high in protein, fibre and fat which means they are low on the glycemic index making them a good snack for people with diabetes.
Peanuts are rich in niacin, folate, pantothenic acid, thiamin, riboflavin, choline, Vitamin B6 and Vitamin E. They are extremely high in minerals like potassium, phosphorus and magnesium. They contain good amounts of calcium, zinc, iron, copper, manganese and selenium. Making peanuts surprisingly good for you!
Peanuts are naturally gluten free but this may change depending on the preparation method and the flavourings added so it is always best to check the packaging!
It is safe to eat peanuts while pregnant, there is no evidence linking the consumption of peanuts while pregnant to whether or not a baby develops a peanut allergy.
A peanut allergy is different from tree nut allergies. Common physical symptoms of an allergy are itchiness, hives, swelling, eczema, sneezing, asthma, abdominal pain, drop in blood pressure and diarrhoea. In some extreme cases, heart attack or anaphylaxis. If you think you may have an allergy to peanuts it’s important to see your doctor.