Written by Brandy Centolanza
Peanuts are often mistaken for nuts, but they actually aren’t. “Peanuts belong to the plant species known as legumes,” shares Frances Conte, a dietetics student at James Madison University who recently volunteered with Sentara Williamsburg Regional Medical Center. “Do not be fooled by their small size and appearance because peanuts provide many health benefits when consumed as part of a healthy diet.”
Peanuts contain monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat and fiber, which help reduce the risk of heart attacks, coronary heart disease and stroke. “Fiber is also known to assist with digestive system regulation and may even play a role in diabetes prevention,” Conte says.
In addition, “Approximately one ounce of peanuts contains seven grams of protein,” Conte says. “Peanuts also contain the essential amino acid known as arginine, which promotes the expansion of blood vessels and may help in reducing blood pressure.” Peanuts are also high in vitamin E, niacin, folate, copper, manganese and antioxidants.
Courtesy of Surrey House | Makes 8-10 Servings
1/4 c. butter
4 Tbsp. flour
7 c. chicken stock
2 1/2 c. peanut butter
1 c. cream
Melt butter in a large pot over low heat. Slowly add flour to make a roux, then continue to stir for about two minutes. Once roux is mixed, slowly add one cup of chicken stock until mix is smooth. Let thicken slightly, then add remaining stock. Slowly add the peanut butter and stir. Once smooth, add cream and stir. Heat mixture over medium heat until completely blended, then continue cooking on low heat for 10 minutes, stirring often. Do not let soup come to a boil as it will separate. Serve warm garnished with chopped peanuts if desired.
Courtesy of Culinary Institute of America | Makes 8 Servings
3 c. garbanzo beans, soaked overnight
1/2 c. lemon juice
2/3 c. creamy peanut butter
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
Parsley, finely chopped
Olive oil to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Water as needed
Cook beans in water until soft. Drain. In food processor, blend garbanzos with lemon juice, oil, salt, pepper, and water until smooth. Scoop the mixture into a bowl. Add peanut butter. Stir well and adjust with oil and water for texture and salt and pepper for taste. Combine parsley, jalapeño, and garlic in a small bowl, cover with oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper then add as a topping to the hummus.