You know how you like them…whole vs ground into peanut butter, crunchy vs smooth, boiled vs raw, salted vs honey roasted. Read on to learn some of our favorite facts about peanuts!
Did you know…?
The average American eats 3 pounds of peanut butter a year.  And as Americans are snacking more than ever, you may be glad to hear that peanuts can be a healthful snack!  One serving of peanuts is a good source of protein, vitamin E, niacin, folate, phosphorus, and magnesium.
While peanuts are naturally cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat, some companies add fat to their peanut butter products to increase the shelf-life of the product. It is also common for peanut butter to contain added sugars. A good rule of thumb when shopping for peanut butter is to find one made of just peanuts (and maybe salt if you prefer it).
Stopping at the recommended healthy portion of an ounce of peanuts –about a ¼ cup three to five times a week – can be a challenge. One strategy is to buy peanuts in the shell. The action of shelling slows down how fast you eat them and how much you consume. Fall is an easy time to find boiled peanuts in their shell as peanut farmers are busy harvesting their crops.
Note: If you are purchasing boiled peanuts, keep in mind that they are usually cooked in highly salted water. This means that they will have a higher sodium content and will need to be eaten in moderation.
Looking for a fun activity to do with your kids? If you are interested in growing your own peanuts, you can do so from home! Grab a pot and some soil and check out this how-to video from the National Peanut Board.
The Un-Official Peanut State
Did you know that Georgia leads the U.S. in peanut production?  Peanuts are Georgia’s official state crop. The state boasts the largest share of peanut production in the U.S. at nearly 50 percent for the 2019 crop. 
Georgia has its very own Georgia Peanut Commission run by local farmers. Check out their website here to learn more about this crop and the role it plays in the state’s local economy!
A Recipe for Every Occasion
You can’t go wrong with a classic peanut butter and jelly sandwich. However, there are so many ways to enjoy this legume! Peanuts and peanut butter also work well in a variety of dishes.
Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy them:
- Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and protein from peanut butter- these Granola Bars contain ingredients from almost every food group! Try making this recipe at the beginning of the week for a quick and nutritious breakfast each morning.
- Our recipe for West African Peanut Stew is inspired by the delicious peanut and tomato West African Maafe dish. The heat from the ginger and red pepper is balanced out by the sweetness of the peanut butter.
- In a time crunch? This recipe for Easy Ramen Stir-fry takes classic ramen to the next level with just a few key ingredients including peanut butter and broccoli.
- Our Chocolate Zucchini Mug Cake recipe is tasty on its own. But why not add some freshly chopped peanuts or a spoonful of peanut butter on top for a salty-sweet dessert? We think it’s worth a try.
- Ants on a log! Spread some peanut butter on a cleaned stalk of celery, then dot with raisins. Click here for more kid-friendly snacks.
- Speaking of kid-friendly, this recipe for Frozen Banana Splits is a delicious and sweet activity with cooking skills for children of all ages.
Boiled, roasted, in the shell, out of the shell, raw, ground-up… Any way you eat them, peanuts are a favorite budget-friendly food.
Written by Laurel Sanville, MS, RDN, LD, and Darci Bell, RDN, LD | Reviewed by Leslie Davis, MS, RD, LD, CDCES, and the Nutrition Education Team
Posted: September 20, 2021