Information about Legumes: Peanuts

About peanuts, information on the legumes, uses and production, history and location in the world.


Peanuts are also known as groundnuts or "goobers." China, West Africa, and the U.S. are the largest commercial producers, and Suffolk, Va., is called "the Peanut Capital of the World." The nuts can be eaten raw or roasted, and are also ground into flour. A good quality oil can be extracted from them, and the shoots and leaves are also edible. Peanuts are rich in protein, minerals, and vitamins. They have more fat than heavy cream, and more food energy than sugar. Unshelled peanuts are fresher and can be roasted at home in a 400deg oven for approximately 15 to 20 minutes, stirring every 5 minutes. Use 2 tsp. salt to 2 cups raw shelled peanuts. To make your own peanut butter, use an electric blender, or a seed or meat grinder. Peanut butter is made from nothing else but peanuts, with perhaps just a trace of salt, and a little peanut oil (1 1/2 to 2 tbs. for 2 cups) if a smooth, slick consistency is desired. Add one tsp. honey if you wish. (See: Some Favorite American Foods, p. 1010.)

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