Peanuts Healthy Food Guide
Peak season: Peanuts are harvested in the late summer and early fall
Peanut butter [is] the pâté of childhood.
—Florence Fabricant, food writer and cookbook author
Peanuts go far beyond snacks and sandwiches. Dr. George Washington Carver, a scientist who lived from about 1864 to 1943, found over 300 uses for the humble legume, using them as ingredients in chili sauce, sausage, face powder, hand lotion, glue and plastics.
Today, peanuts are commercially grown in 15 states—from California to South Carolina. Planting begins in April or May, with harvest in late summer to fall. After the peanuts are harvested and cured (dried), the USDA inspects them, and nuts certified as wholesome are sold to manufacturers. From there, peanuts are made into the products we all know and love—snack mixes, candy bars, peanut butter, and of course just roasted and salted peanuts.
Try using peanuts in your next cooking venture. Add some crunch to a stir-fry by sprinkling ground peanuts on top. Peanut energy bars are a healthy snack or quick on-the-go breakfast. Or there are always peanut butter cookies for a late-afternoon pick-me-up.
What you get
Although relatively high in calories, these nuts are rich in healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fats. Peanuts also deliver some protein, fiber, magnesium, copper and vitamin E.
Many varieties of peanuts, including salted, roasted and flavored, are available at most supermarkets and natural-foods stores. Peanuts in the shell can also be found at most supermarkets.
Peanut butter is available in many varieties, from crunchy or creamy, salted or unsalted, natural, organic, flavored and more. Find peanut butter in supermarkets and natural-foods stores.
Peanuts should be stored in an airtight container in a cool dry place; they will keep indefinitely if stored in an airtight container in the freezer.