We know that peanut kernels make a satisfying snack, but did you know that peanut products come in a variety of forms from snack foods to a cooking ingredient? We can think of no other food more versatile and adaptable! Try peanut butter instead of your usual sandwich filling or peanut oil for a healthier way to deep-fry. Any of these savory and gourmet products will get you well on your way to “Eating a Little, Every day!”
Peanut Based Products
If you thought eating peanuts was the only way to enjoy them (and we certainly agree that’s a great choice), well then it’s time to buckle up — because these little legumes have inspired hundreds of incredible uses that go way beyond food.
According to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center, the total U.S. peanut production in 2021 measured 6.4 billion pounds. Of that, about 60% was used for peanut butter production, while about 15% was crushed for peanut oil, which produces cake and meal as byproducts. (Peanut meal contains high levels of protein vegetable meal, which is primarily used in animal feed and fertilizers.)
Peanut hulls and fibers are also a natural fit for both industrial and agricultural uses, including as industrial-grade absorbents and biomass feed.
But that’s only the beginning, because peanuts and peanut products can be found everywhere — from the farm to the pharmacy, in cosmetics, cleaning products and more. Who knew so many possibilities were hiding in one little plant?
George Washington Carver, That’s Who.
That’s right: the Peanut Man himself, George Washington Carver. His tireless work is credited for bolstering the rural South’s economic progress, and the incredible explosion of peanut popularity that came with it. If you’d like to learn more about the non-edible side of Carver’s incredible legacy, be sure to check out our blog on his amazing life and work.
Boiled, Roasted or Salted?
There are many different ways to eat peanuts. Roasted, salted, boiled, the possibilities are endless. Although there are many similar nutrients and benefits among these types, some of the benefits can change depending on how you enjoy this delicious and nutritious food.
Roasted Peanuts Nutrition Facts
Roasted peanut calories are the same as raw. However, roasted peanut skins (including light-roasted and dark-roasted) contain high amounts of natural antioxidants and a high content of dietary fiber. The same study showed that peanut skins contain high amounts of bioactives, which are plant substances found to offer health benefits possibly beyond vitamins and minerals. Bioactives such as polyphenols work as antioxidants to protect against heart disease, cancer, and stroke.1,2 Along with disease prevention, researchers at Purdue University reported participants had improved feelings of satisfaction after eating roasted peanuts and peanut butter compared to other high-carb snacks.3
Boiled Peanut Nutrition Facts
Boiled peanuts hold some souped-up nutritional benefits! Boiling peanuts has a significant effect on their phytochemical composition, increasing their total flavonoid and polyphenol count,4 which are better known as antioxidants. In fact, boiled peanuts have nearly four times the number of antioxidants found in other kinds of peanuts.
Salted Nuts Nutrition Facts
According to the CDC, too much dietary sodium from salt can increase your blood pressure and your risk for a heart attack and stroke. But, there’s good news: Salted peanuts are a low calorie and low sodium food. According to the FDA, foods containing less than 140mg of sodium per serving can be considered a “low-sodium food.”5 Raw, dry roasted, oil roasted and more salted varieties of peanuts meet this guideline. Peanuts are naturally very low in sodium and most of the sodium in salted peanuts is surface salt that can rub off on your fingers or in the package. 6 The top five sources of sodium in our diet do not include peanuts. The top five sources of sodium in the American diet are breads and rolls, cold cut meats, soups, poultry and pizza.
Can You Eat Raw Peanuts?
You can eat raw peanuts, but we don’t recommend it. Although they contain the same amount of nutrients, they are not available commercially and, in some countries, raw peanuts are not held to certain FDA guidelines.