Peanuts! In addition to being the core ingredient in a classic PB&J sandwich, they pack a serious nutritional punch and are really, quite healthy – when eaten in moderation.
Peanuts are rich in monounsaturated (MONO-Un-Saturated) fat, the type emphasized in heart-healthy diet. They are also a good source of vitamin E, protein and antioxidants. When roasted, peanuts’ antioxidant content are boosted and are similar to those found in blackberries and strawberries!
Did you know that they are not actually in the nut family? They’re grain-type legumes, related to beans, lentils, and peas, and grow underground!
Speaking of growing, did you know that peanuts grow here in the northwest? That’s right! Farms like Alvarez located in Mabton and CB’s Nuts in Hansville have grown peanuts for years. You may have bought their delicious peanuts at a farmers market or in your local grocery store! Check out Agrilicious (agg-ree-LISH-us) – a great site for finding who’s growing what locally…. like peanuts.
Peanuts are great in sweet and savory dishes from classic peanut butter cookies to scattering on phad thai noodles. One of my favorite snacks to make is my Five-Spiced Sesame Peanuts great to much on while sipping a cocktail.
Here’s to the mighty peanut! -Kathy
Five-Spiced Sesame Peanuts
If the nuts lose their crispness after cooking, re-toast them in a 350-degree oven for a couple of minutes before serving.
Makes about 4 cups
1 egg white
1 Tbsp. water
1 pound (about 3 1/2 cups) salted, dry-roasted, skinless peanuts
1/3 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. black sesame seeds
2 Tbsp. white sesame seeds
2 tsp. five-spice powder
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1 tsp. kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees.
In a medium bowl, whisk the egg white with water until foamy. Add the peanuts and toss to coat. Transfer the nuts to a strainer, shake, and let drain for at least 5 minutes.
In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, sesame seeds, five-spice, cayenne and salt. Add the drained peanuts and toss to coat thoroughly.
On a large baking sheet with sides, spread the nuts out in a single layer. Bake for 45 minutes. Stir the nuts with a spatula and spread them out again. REDUCE THE TEMPERATURE to 200 degrees and bake for 45 to 55 minutes longer, or until dry.
Loosen the nuts from the baking sheet but do not remove them from the sheet. Cool to room temperature. Be sure to let the nuts cool completely and become crisp. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.
Recipe by Kathy Casey Food Studios® – www.KathyCasey.com