While “nut” is in their name, peanuts are in fact legumes. Peanuts actually grow underground (and are known in some countries as “groundnuts”), as opposed to nuts like walnuts and almonds, which grow on trees (and are sometimes referred to as “tree nuts”).
There are so many nutritional benefits to eating peanuts. The kind of fat found in peanuts is necessary to help us maintain a healthy immune system. It serves as a natural anti-inflammatory, fighting disease and infection. Peanuts are also a source of protein, and they offer all kinds of essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin E, niacin, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium. Peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat, and recent studies suggest that eating peanuts, or peanut butter, can even help to reduce the risk of heart attacks and type 2 diabetes.
Did you know the average American eats about six pounds of peanuts each year? Most peanuts in the United States come from Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Texas, and South Carolina. Almost half of the U.S. peanut crop is used to make peanut butter.
Here’s a good peanut recipe to help you celebrate one of America’s favorite foods!
Microwave Peanut Brittle
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups white sugar
2/3 cup peanuts
2 tablespoons butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons baking soda
In a 3-quart casserole dish, combine the corn syrup, sugar and peanuts. Microwave on high for 12 minutes. Stir in butter and vanilla, cook on high for 4 minutes. Stir in baking soda.
Pour onto buttered cookie sheet; cool completely, and break into pieces.