Everybody is familiar with this nut which is also known as “ground-nut”. It is loved by all and is enjoyed in a variety of ways. Its versatility in utilization increases its acceptance among masses. They are regarded as energy-dense as despite being small, they are packed with all the nutrients required by the body for optimum functioning (*).
The Popularity of Peanuts
Some of the ways it is preferred are: raw, cooked, salted, roasted, boiled, etc. It is an essential ingredient of many cuisines like in Latin and North America, Southeast Asia, African countries and the Indian subcontinent. Peanut bars, salted or sweet, are a very popular snack that is made with jaggery or sugar and cut into bars when cooled.
They are present in the market as:
- Whole peanuts (peeled/ unpeeled peanuts)
- Peanut oil
- Peanut butter
- Peanut flour
Are Peanuts Good For You?
The beauty of eating peanuts is that it is not specified to a particular age group. They can be and should be consumed by everyone unless an individual is allergic to it.
Children are given it in their lunches to boost-up their energy and concentration levels in school. Peanut butter sandwich is a popular easy-to-make snack enjoyed in all ages.
Pregnant women are encouraged to consume a handful of peanuts as they are loaded with folate, a nutrient that is essential for healthy nervous system development of the baby.
For adults, it is beneficial as it provides anti-aging components and also helps in weight loss and management.
Old age individuals enjoy this food item as it contains a nutrient (arginine) which helps to lower blood pressure, keeping the heart, healthy and strong.
Researches have highlighted that peanuts play a key role in reducing the risk of inflammation, diabetes, gall-stones, hunger reduction, weight management, and even cancers. They are also used to avoid and treat malnutrition by making them into cost-effective energy bars (*).
There is a reason that peanuts have a high satiety value (feeling of fullness). They are full of healthy nutrients and are considered to be wholesome as they provide a good chunk of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) (*).
|Nutrition Facts of Raw Peanuts||Values|
|Total Fat||49.24 g|
How To Choose Peanuts When Buying
#1. Prefer unshelled (without removal of outer covering) peanuts as they are more likely to be fresh and crisp.
#2. The package in which they are present or sold should be free from holes, cracks, spots, and smell.
#3. Hold them in hand to feel their weight, check their color.
#4. If buying from the open market, try one, upon request, to check for its flavor and freshness.
Storage Of Peanuts
#1. Peanuts are in the market all year long which makes its availability, not an issue. It is thus preferred to purchase them in such an amount which will be easily consumed in a month or stored in the refrigerator or freezer with ease.
#2. Generally unshelled (with the outer covering) can be placed in a cool and dry place for months.
#3. Peanuts without the outer covering should be kept in an airtight container so that they do not become rancid (flavor change due to oxidation)
#4. Keep them away from high-odor foods like onions, garlic as they take up the smell of foods which are present around them.
#5. At room temperature, peanuts can be stored for up to 3 to 4 months, depending on the conditions as they are affected by light, moisture, heat, and humidity.
#6. In the refrigerator, shelled peanuts are fresh for up to 3 months.
#7. In the freezer, they are good for more than 6 months.
#8. Prefer labeling the packages to consume those packages first which were stored earlier.
Peanuts, if unshelled (kept in their shell), last longer (1-2 months) than shelled (only a few weeks). Refrigerating is preferred to maintain their flavor and quality.
Putting them in airtight containers and placing them in the refrigerator is the best way to go and if they are not to be used frequently then prefer freezing for lasting quality.
Yes, they can easily lose their flavor as they have a high-fat content. Bad peanuts are bitter, have an unpleasant taste and have an off-odor.
The unpleasant taste of old peanuts will immediately indicate that they have gone bad. It will be sour and bitter.
Yes, they can easily be frozen. Put them in airtight containers and freeze.
Spread it in a baking tray and put them in the oven (350oF) for 10 minutes. Allow it to cool. They will be good to eat.
Take them out of the freezer and allow them to return to room temperature. A microwave can also be used to thaw nuts.
Freezing nuts is the best way to go.
Adding detail and interest in the food, this nut has a lot to offer but storing it well increases its shelf life. This small-sized nutritious food with high satiety value makes it the most favorite snacking option.
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