March is National Peanut Month! In addition to being put in a classic PB & J sandwich, they pack a serious nutritional punch.
Peanuts are a good source of vitamin E, protein and antioxidants. 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 in the northwest? Take a peek of this list on Agrilicious for locally grown peanuts, then look for them this summer at farmers markets. They are so tasty when they’re fresh toasted.
Peanuts are great in sweet and savory dishes from classic peanut butter cookies to scattering on phad thai noodles. And of course there’s that delicious peanut sauce, so great for appetizer dipping.
Butterscotch Peanut Bars on Taste of Home
One of my favorite snacks to make is Five-Spiced Sesame Peanuts: perfect to munch 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