Peanuts are not a true nut, but a legume or pea (hence the name “peanuts”).
Peanuts grow on small bushes, yielding soft, fibrous shells each containing two or three nuts. Commonly cultivated in the southern United States, peanuts are a favorite worldwide. In fact, 5.4 pounds of peanuts are consumed annually per capita in the States.
Stored peanuts become moldy easily, and peanuts have been known to become contaminated with aflatoxin– a carcinogenic mold. To reduce your exposure to aflatoxin, choose Valencia peanuts which are grown in arid climate, reducing the risk of mold growth.
Peanuts are a good source of protein, folate, niacin and magnesium and also contain the phytonutrient resveratrol – which is most concentrated in the red skin of Spanish peanuts and also found in red wine.
Culinary Caution! Peanut allergy is the most common allergy in the U.S. affecting more than 1.5 million people. This allergy can cause anaphylactic shock – a life-threatening reaction. If you notice difficulty breathing after eating peanuts or any other food, immediately call 911, use an EpiPen if you have one. Drinking a cup of coffee may also help to increase airflow. To learn more about allergies, visit the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America.
Antioxidant Score (ORAC)=3,166
Selecting and Storing Peanuts
When selecting packaged peanuts, look for a freshness date on the jar, can, or bag. The kernels should appear fresh and crisp. Keep peanuts refrigerated.