Peanuts: From Exotic Plants To Everyday Foods
Is there anyone among you who doesn’t like peanuts? There are few like that! Most of us just love this food, and we also love things such as peanut butter. But did you know that much of the world wasn’t aware of its existence for a long time? Namely, peanuts originate from South America – and in the Old World, peanuts were not known before the discovery of America. Although that sounds like a lot of time – in terms of history, this is a short period. During that time, peanuts became a well-known and valuable food used in our daily diet. Today, the situation has even changed so much that peanuts are grown almost everywhere – and represent one of the fifteen leading food crops in the world. In addition, it is one of the most significant products in international trade.
Nutritional Properties Of Peanuts
Peanuts are a vegetable that belongs to the legume family, although many mistakenly consider it a nut. This is an extremely nutritious food. Namely, one kilogram of peanuts contains as many as 2700 calories. Peanuts are very nutritious and have 12 essential and 8 additional amino acids. Also, peanuts contain all the important groups of vitamins – but also substances crucial for forming cells in our body. Due to their high caloric values, they were a great source of food for people traveling on hard expeditions and those living under difficult conditions. Peanuts have helped people travel to Antarctica, fly into space – and also played a key role in eliminating malnutrition in several African countries. Today, we use this food every day in cooking, and here’s how.
Peanuts In The Culinary Industry
Most of us have tried at least some of the culinary specialties with peanuts. According to cacahuetes, many people like to snack on toasted peanuts – because it is considered a good appetizer, so you will see it served in many restaurants. However, they have wider use in this industry.
● Salty meals
When it comes to preparing salty meals and cooked dishes – peanuts go well with different types of meat such as chicken, pork, and beef. One of the most famous peanut dishes comes from Southeast Asia, and it is Satay – also known as chicken in peanut sauce. Peanut butter is also added to salad dressings – and goes perfectly with potatoes, carrots, avocado, and tomatoes.
● Sweets and desserts
Peanuts are also great for making cakes and cookies. When preparing a dessert, peanut butter can be used instead of regular butter. It can also be a great topping for ice cream, and besides chocolate, it goes well with flavors such as coconut and banana. If you are a fan of smoothies, you can add a teaspoon of peanut butter – because that way, your healthy drink will be additionally enriched with energy. The taste will be more intense, and you will be full longer.
● Peanut flour
Peanut flour is made from crushed and defatted peanuts. In this process, people use toasted peanuts chopped into a paste – and then squeeze the oil out of it. By refining the mass of peanuts that remained after the oil was squeezed – flour is formed. Due to its quality and the level of removed fat – peanut flour can contain over 50% protein in its composition. Degreased peanut flour is widely used in the culinary industry. We use it as an additive for making bread and other pastries, for making cakes, pasta, pancakes, and puddings. It is also used in the preparation of ice cream.
The Bottom Line
In addition to their exceptional taste, peanuts are also healthy – so it is important to include them in your daily diet. Peanuts are good for the heart because they keep it healthy thanks to the high level of monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. However, peanuts also contain a lot of fat and calories, so you should not overdo them.