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    THE NIBBLE’s Gourmet News & Views

    Trends, Products & Items Of Note In The World Of Specialty Foods

    This is the blog section of THE NIBBLE. Read all of our content on TheNibble.com,
    the online magazine about gourmet and specialty food.

TIP OF THE DAY: Ways To Use Peanuts, Especially Flavored Peanuts

Indian chicken salad with roasted peanuts.
Here’s the recipe. Photo courtesy
MyRecipes.com.

 

Peanuts are a New World crop. They are believed to have been domesticated in Bolivia or Paraguay, where the wildest strains still grow. The oldest specimens in Peruvian archeological sites date back some 7,600 years.

While American colonists enjoyed a hearty, rich peanut soup (here’s a peanut soup recipe from Colonial Williamsburg), and Civil War soldiers snacked on “goober peas,” the majority of the peanut crop was used as animal feed until the 1930s. Then peanuts began to come into their own.

The next burst of popularity came in the late 1960s. Until then, shelled peanuts were available in two varieties: salted and unsalted, cooked in oil. Planters introduced dry roasted peanuts, eliminating the oil slick that attached to the fingers of peanut nibblers.

 

Progress followed with honey roasted peanuts. Other flavored peanuts trickled in to join them. Planters’ current flavored peanut lineup includes 5-Alarm Chili, Chipotle, Heat, Honey Barbeque, Honey Roasted, Roasted Onion & Garlic and Sweet & Crunchy.

Peanuts are nutritious: They’re a good source of monounsaturated (heart healthy) fats, which helps to maintain the immune system. Unsaturated fat is good for you: It’s a component of cell membranes that is needed for cell growth and daily repair.

One serving of dry-roasted peanuts (30 grams) contains 12 grams of unsaturated fat, 2 grams of saturated fat and 0 cholesterol. It also contains protein, folate, copper, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin and thiamine.

 

WAYS TO USE PEANUTS & FLAVORED PEANUTS

Sweet flavored peanuts can be used as cereal, pancake and ice cream toppers or baked into recipes. But savory flavors require a different treatment. Here are our 10 favorite ways to use savory flavored peanuts:

  • Breadcrumb enhancer: grind or finely chop peanuts and add to breadcrumbs
  • Dips: stir in chopped peanuts, especially into yogurt-based dips (curry dip, cucumber dip)
  • Hummus mix in: grind peanuts with the chickpeas, or chop as a mix-in or topper
  • Pesto: substitute peanuts for the traditional pine nuts (pesto recipe)
  • Popcorn mix-in
  • Rice/grain/pasta mix-in or garnish
  • Salad topper
  • Savory trail mix
  • Soup garnish
  • Yogurt or cottage cheese mix-in
  •  

    Two new flavors of Planters Dry Roasted Peanuts: Onion Garlic and Honey Barbeque. Photo by Elvira Kalviste | THE NIBBLE.

     
    PEANUT BUTTER & JELLY SALAD RECIPE

    As long as we’re talking peanuts and salad, try this “Peanut Butter & Jelly Salad.”

    It uses neither peanut butter or jelly, but the suggestion of them. It’s what we call “marketing”: Not only is it tasty, but it’s a way to get kids to eat more salad.

    Ingredients Per Portion

  • 1/2 cup seedless grapes, sliced
  • 1 large leaf Boston lettuce, washed and patted dry
  • Favorite greens to fill the leaf “cup” (we used a cabbage slaw mix)
  • 1 tablespoon plain or sweet flavor dry roasted peanuts
  • 2 tablespoons dressing of choice (a balsamic vinaigrette works well or ranch dressing)
  •  
    Preparation

    1. MIX grapes and peanuts with other salad ingredients. Toss to coat with dressing.

    2. FILL lettuce cup and serve.
     
    WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE USE FOR FLAVORED PEANUTS? LET US KNOW!
      





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