Shopping – Pick Up Peanuts

by Jo-Ann Heslin, MA, RD, CDN on March 22, 2018 · 2 comments

Unlike other countries in the world where peanuts are mostly used to make oil or peanut meal, in the US we eat peanuts, more than 6 pounds per person per year. Peanut butter accounts for half of the peanuts we eat yearly and it is estimated that every kid eats close to 1,500 peanut butter sandwiches before they graduate from high school.

In the past pediatricians recommended not giving peanut-containing foods to children under the age of 1, but those guidelines have changed. It is now believed that earlier introduction may reduce the number of peanut allergies.

Peanuts are actually not a nut but a bean related to peas, chickpeas and lentils. The peanut begins as a flower whose weight bends the plant down so it can burrow under ground where the nut matures. True nuts, like walnuts, almonds and cashews, grow on trees.

Nut or not, peanuts are good for you. A one-ounce serving, which is approximately 28 shelled peanuts, has 164 calories, 6 grams of protein, 2 grams of fiber, and is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Peanuts also contain the powerful heart-healthy antioxidant resveratrol, commonly found in red wine, and saponins which have anti-cancer properties.

Peanuts in the shell will stay fresh for up to a year. Shelled peanuts will stay fresh for up to 6 months in the refrigerator or up to one year in the freezer.

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