Heartland Nuts


It 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 minerals.

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.

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