Meatless Monday – Welcome Back

After a long hiatus peanut butter is back in my kitchen. This ground nut (as it’s known in some parts of the world) is a versatile, portable and economical source of vegetarian protein. This Meatless Monday post is an ode to a legume.

Did you know peanuts are not actually nuts but legumes? Peas, lentils and beans are also members of the Fabaceae family.

Choose organic sources as this crop is often grown in a heavily sprayed environment. Peanuts are susceptible to mold which can produce aflatoxin so baking, boiling and roasting are ideal ways to prepare them. It can be chopped, ground and made into oil and flour and is happily at home in sweet and savoury dishes.

Nutrients
Peanuts contain many nutrients, most notably monounsaturated fats, vitamin E, niacin, folate, manganese and protein. Some research has found that peanuts also contain antioxidants including reservatrol. Due to its fat content, peanuts are calorie dense with 1 Tablespoon/15g containing 94 calories, 8 grams of fat and 4 grams of protein.

1 Tablespoon is about the size of your thumb.

Peanuts can withstand high heat and can be found in the following foods:
cookies, cakes, soups, stews, energy snacks

Recipe ideas

Meals

  • Peanut butter sandwich – with or without jelly. Opt for ‘fruit spread’ which tends to contain less sugar than jelly/jam.
  • Sweet potato soup or stew with peanut butter. Peanuts are called groundnuts in West Africa and figures in local  soup and stew recipes. Recipe from Moosewood Cooks.
  • A major salad with roasted peanuts, greens, sweet peppers, cabbage, carrots, onions and whatever else you want to throw into the mix.

Snacks

  • Cook oatmeal in coconut milk and mix in some peanut butter.
  • Toss a handful of roasted peanuts on your granola.
  • Spread on whole grain toast.
  • Make a savoury dip: peanut butter, soy sauce, water, sweetener, and spices (salt, pepper, cayenne) to taste. Eat with vegetables or spring rolls.
  • Combine with dried fruit and chocolate chips for a DIY trail mix.
  • Make ‘ants on a log‘ i.e. a rib of celery spread with peanut butter and topped with raisins. Or simply spread on apple slices.

Links
Peanuts
 Website: The World’s Healthiest Foods
The Hidden Truth About Peanuts: From Food Allergies To Farm Practices
Website: Environmental Working Group
Peanut nutrition facts
Website: Nutrition and You

 

 

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