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The Peanut Institute  

Review by Debbie Mazo


In the days when fat grams were all that counted, most people swore off peanuts. Considering recent evidence, it may be time to take another look. Part of the legume or dried bean family, peanuts are a great source of protein and also provide key vitamins and minerals like niacin and magnesium. Not just for kids, the Peanut Institute will let you in on why Americans consume 2.4 billion pounds of peanuts each year.

The Peanut Institute 
Dedicated to expanding state-of-the-art knowledge about peanuts and peanut products, the Peanut Institute has plenty to offer. Check out the Peanut FAQs to find out about the three main types of peanuts grown in the United States: Virginias, Runners, and Spanish peanuts. Virginias are often called cocktail nuts and are considered large-kerneled. Medium-sized kernels are called Runners and small-sized kernels are called Spanish peanuts. You can also discover other peanut details like its origins in South America, or how peanut seeds (kernels) grow into a green oval-leafed plant that stands about 18 inches tall.

When it comes to a healthy diet, calorie counters can rejoice. New research from Harvard University and Penn State shows that including peanuts in a healthy diet can help people lose weight. Peanuts, peanut butter, and peanut oil make meals more appetizing, more nutritious, and more satisfying. There's even more good news when it comes to peanuts. Since peanuts are plant-based, they don't contain cholesterol and some of the saturated fat found in animal-based sources of protein. In fact, they contain a much higher percentage of the "good" unsaturated fats than the saturated fats.

From appetizers to side dishes to desserts, peanuts can dress up just about any dish. For example, transform every day chicken fingers into an exotic treat like Peanut-Crusted Chicken Strips with Peanut-Onion Sauce for dipping. Try a different way to serve pasta with the Pasta Peanut Stir Fry with julienne-cut vegetables. Or, add a crunchy texture to desserts with nutty choices like Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie sprinkled with chocolate curls. Full of culinary possibilities, you can count on the Peanut Institute to spill the beans about this all-around American treat.


About the Writer

Debbie Mazo is a writer and editor based in Vancouver, Canada. She's been writing the NetFood Digest column for FoodWine since 1997. You can contact her at djmbc@[email-address-removed].

Copyright © 2000, Debbie Mazo. All rights reserved.



This page created December 2000