Protein-rich. Low-carb. Gluten-free. These are all popular eating plans today. And peanut flour can help you achieve each of these diet goals.1, 2, 3, 4 That’s because peanut flour is:
- Rich in protein. Peanut flour is made from crushed peanuts that have had some of their fat removed. 4, 5 What’s left is a concentrated source of high-quality protein.6 In fact, peanut flour has 11 to 17 grams of protein per ¼ cup of flour1, 2, versus 3 grams for white all-purpose flour made from wheat.7
- Low in carbohydrate. The higher protein content of peanut flour is balanced out by a lower carb content. Peanut flour has 9 to 11 grams of carbs per ¼ cup of flour1, 2, versus 24 grams for wheat flour.7
- Gluten-free. Gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and sometimes oats that can cause health issues in people with gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, or celiac disease.3 Peanut flour doesn’t contain this protein, so it’s a good option for people on a gluten-free diet.3, 4
The Power Flour for Your Heart
Peanut flour contains several compounds that have been linked to better cardiovascular health.8 It’s packed with arginine2, 8, an amino acid involved in helping keep arteries relaxed and blood flowing freely.5 Plus, it contains phytosterols, plant compounds that help with maintaining healthier cholesterol levels.5
In one study, USDA researchers fed hamsters one of four different diets:
- A diet that contained fat-free peanut flour
- A diet that contained peanut oil
- A diet that contained peanuts
- A peanut product–free diet (the control group)8
After six months, the three groups that ate peanut products had lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol levels than the control group.8 The development of atherosclerosis (the buildup of fatty deposits inside arteries9) was also slowed in the three peanut groups.8
Nutty Flavor Is a Baked-In Feature
In addition to having health benefits, peanut flour adds a delicious nutty flavor to baked goods and main courses.4 In baking, peanut flour is often combined with another type of flour to achieve the best result.5, 10 Since peanut flour does not contain gluten, baked goods made with a combination of peanut flour and another flour may rise better than those made with peanut flour alone.10
One study looked at the ideal ratio of peanut flour to white wheat flour for baking bread.10 Volunteers rated the taste best when peanut flour replaced about half of the wheat flour (as measured by weight) in a bread recipe.10 However, the bread rose higher the less peanut flour was used10 When adapting your own favorite baking recipe, you may need to experiment a bit to find the right mix of flours.
Of course, you could also just look for new recipes that already include peanut flour as an ingredient. You’ll find Peanutty Zucchini Muffins, Rocky Road Brownies with Peanuts, and Peach Berry Crisp with Oatmeal-Peanut Topping among our recipes for Baked Goods and Desserts.
More Yummy Uses for Peanut Flour
Don’t stop with baked goods. Take a bite out of ordinary by using peanut flour in other dishes, as well. Peanut flour makes a terrific breading for poultry or meat.5 Check out our recipe for Healthy Oven-Fried Chicken with Peanut Flour. It’s also great for adding thickness and flavor to soups, sauces, and curries.4, 5 Try our recipe for creamy Senegalese Sweet Potato and Peanut Soup. You can also add peanut flour to smoothies or oatmeal, or you can add water to peanut flour to create a spreadable peanut butter.
1. “16100, Peanut Flour, Low Fat.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search.
2. “16099, Peanut Flour, Defatted.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search.
3. “Going Gluten Free? Necessary for Some, Optional for Others.” NIH News in Health, National Institutes of Health. https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2016/05/going-gluten-free.
4. “Flour Power: Learn About Different Kinds of Flours.” R.L. Duyff. Food & Nutrition Magazine. Summer 2012, http://foodandnutrition.org/summer-2012/flour-power-learn-different-kinds-flours.
5. “Peanuts as Functional Food: A Review.” S.S. Arya et al. Journal of Food Science and Technology. 2016, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 31-41.
6. “Physico-Functional Properties of Peanut Meal Flour as Affected by Processing Methods.” R.J. Kai and Z. Chen. Journal of Food Biochemistry, 2010, vol. 34, pp. 229-243.
7. “20081, Wheat Flour, White, All-Purpose, Enriched, Bleached.” National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, U.S. Department of Agriculture. https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search.
8. “Peanuts, Peanut Oil, and Fat Free Peanut Flour Reduced Cardiovascular Disease Risk Factors and the Development of Atherosclerosis in Syrian Golden Hamsters.” A.M. Stephens et al. Journal of Food Science. 2010, vol. 75, no. 4, pp. H116-22.
9. “HDL (Good), LDL (Bad) Cholesterol and Triglycerides.” American Heart Association. www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/Cholesterol/HDLLDLTriglycerides/HDL-Good-LDL-Bad-Cholesterol-and-Triglycerides_UCM_305561_Article.jsp.
10. “Towards the Development of Peanut-Wheat Flour Composite Dough: Influence of Reduced-Fat Peanut Flour on Bread Quality.” A.S. Adeboye et al. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation. 2018, vol. 42, article no. e13385.