1. The Peanut: A Unique Legume
Despite its name, the peanut is not actually a nut, but rather a legume, or bean. This is because the peanut is a member of the Fabaceae family, which also includes beans, lentils, and peas. The peanut is a unique legume because it grows underground, unlike other legumes which grow on vines.
2. A History of a Snack Food
Until the late 19th century, peanuts were primarily used as animal feed stock, with human consumption not being promoted until the 1930's. This marked a significant shift in the way peanuts were viewed, as they had previously been seen as a food source only suitable for animals. However, with the introduction of new technologies and the development of new recipes, peanuts quickly became a popular snack food for humans, and are now a staple in many diets around the world.
Also → Chocolate: A Global Treat
3. A Versatile Food Source with Many Uses
Peanuts are a versatile food source, with uses that extend far beyond the kitchen. In addition to being a popular snack, peanuts are also used in paints, cosmetics, and plastics. For example, peanut oil is often used as a base for paints, while peanut flour is used in cosmetics to provide a creamy texture. Peanut shells are also used to create biodegradable plastics, making them an environmentally friendly choice.
4. Roasted Antioxidant Powerhouse!
It's hard to believe, but roasted peanuts contain more antioxidants than carrots, strawberries, and blackberries! Studies have shown that these small, crunchy snacks are packed with powerful antioxidants that can help protect the body from free radicals and other toxins. Not only are they a tasty snack, but they can also help to boost your health. So, next time you're looking for a healthy snack, reach for a handful of roasted peanuts!
5. Peanut Butter: A History of Centuries
George Washington Carver is widely renowned for his pioneering work with peanuts, but contrary to popular belief, he did not invent peanut butter. In fact, the earliest known reference to peanut butter dates back to the Ancient Incas, who used a paste made from peanuts as a source of protein. Carver's contribution to the peanut industry was his development of over 300 products derived from the humble legume, including peanut butter, which he popularized in the early 1900s.
6. Peanut Butter: 550 Peanuts to Make One Jar
A 12 ounce jar of peanut butter is a staple in many households, but did you know that it takes an impressive 550 peanuts to make one jar? That's according to the National Peanut Butter Board, who have been researching and promoting the use of peanuts since the late 1980s. With such a large number of peanuts needed to make one jar, it's no wonder why peanut butter is such a popular and versatile food.
Also → Gambia's diverse economy
7. Peanuts Reduce Cholesterol Levels
Peanuts are a great snack for those looking to reduce their cholesterol levels, as they contain no trans-fats or cholesterol. In fact, studies have shown that consuming peanuts can actually help lower cholesterol levels. Peanuts are a great source of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, making them a nutritious snack that can help you maintain a healthy diet.
8. National Peanut Day and Month
Celebrate the beloved peanut with two days dedicated to its honor! National Peanut Day is celebrated on September 13th, while National Peanut Month is celebrated in March. Peanuts are a popular snack enjoyed by many, and these days are a great way to recognize the tasty legume. Whether you prefer them roasted, salted, or in a creamy peanut butter, there's no denying the deliciousness of peanuts!
9. The Origin of the Nickname "Goober" for Peanuts
The nickname "Goober" for peanuts has an interesting origin story. It comes from the word "nguba" which is the Congo language word for peanut. This nickname has been used for centuries and is still used today to refer to peanuts. It is a testament to the long-standing popularity of peanuts and the Congo language.
Also → Healthy Snacks: Strawberries
10. America's Favorite Snack
The average American consumes an astonishing 6 pounds of peanuts or peanut butter products every year - that's enough to fill a large shopping bag! Peanuts are a popular snack food, and peanut butter is a staple in many households. Peanut butter is a great source of protein, and it's also a tasty addition to many recipes. Peanuts are also used to make peanut oil, which is a popular cooking oil. Peanuts are a versatile and nutritious food that can be enjoyed in many different ways.