is estimated that the peanut plant is grown on approximately 42 million
acres worldwide and while peanut oil is third behind soybean and cottonseed
as the major oilseed of the world, peanuts are primarily grown for human
consumption. Besides being tasty and a great alternative to meat as a
source of protein, peanuts and peanut butter also provides vitamins and
The USDA reports that a one-ounce serving of dry roasted peanuts provides
more than 13% of the daily reference value (DRV) per serving. Peanuts
are a good source of folate and vitamin E among other nutrients. The USDA
and the American Heart Association have recently placed an increased emphasis
on lowering the consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol. By incorporating
peanuts and peanut butter into your diet, you are reaping the benefits
of a food naturally free of cholesterol and are including more unsaturated
fats, also known as the "good fats".
Peanuts and peanut butter are easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
Besides eating peanuts alone, peanuts mixed with dry, semi-sweetened cereal
make a healthy snack. Peanut butter on whole wheat or multi-grain bread
is a healthy alternative to a lunchmeat sandwich. Further, peanut butter
can be incorporated into many desserts including peanut butter pie, cookies,
cheesecake, and buckeyes. Peanut butter also makes a great fruit or vegetable
dip for apples, bananas, and celery.
You can turn 2 cups of shelled, roasted, unsalted peanuts, 1 tablespoon
of peanut oil and ½ teaspoon of salt into homemade peanut butter
by blending continuously in a food processor for 2 - 3 minutes. The ground
up peanuts will begin to form a ball. If necessary, scrape the sides of
the container with a spatula and continue blending until a cream that
can be easily spread is formed. This will yield approximately one cup
of peanut butter and should be stored tightly covered in a refrigerator.
You can even experiment with different types of peanuts, such as honey
roasted, or you can include your own ingredients like honey, brown sugar,
or maple syrup.