Also known as
Raw peanuts are those which are not roasted or processed and are usually present in their shell and sold with their shells. They are also available in peeled forms. Contrary to what their name implies, peanuts are not true nuts but a member of a family of legumes related to peas, lentils, chickpeas and other beans. Peanuts start growing as a ground flower that due to its heavy weight bends towards the ground and eventually burrows underground where the peanut actually matures. Each oval-shaped kernel or seed is comprised of two off-white lobes that are covered by a brownish-red skin. These are the raw peanuts.
How to Select
Nuts in the shell are usually the very freshest and best-tasting. If buying peanuts in the shell, look for whole, clean shells with no blemishes, holes, or cracks. When choosing nuts out of the shell, look for plump, unbroken shells. Avoid those that are discoloured or shriveled. Whole peanuts still in their shell are usually available in bags or in the bulk bins. If possible, pick up a peanut and shake it, looking for two signs of quality. First, it should feel heavy for its size. Secondly, it should not rattle since a rattling sound suggests that the peanut kernels have dried out. Additionally, the shells should be free from cracks, dark spots and insect damage. Also, if buying unshelled raw peanuts, look for the signs of dryness like wrinkled skin or shrinked size. Choose fresh raw peanuts.
• Peanuts can be eaten raw, roasted or steamed.
• They are often inculcated in sweets, chocolates, candies.
• Groundnut flour is often used for people who want to gain weight and for its high nutritive value.
• A very basic ingredient added to make chutneys.
• Often used to thicken the vegetable curries or soup.
• Add peanuts to healthy sautéed chicken and vegetables.
• Make a simple salad by combining sliced green cabbage, grated ginger, Serrano chilies and peanuts. Toss with olive oil-tamarind dressing.
How to Store
Peanuts still in their shells can be kept in a cool, dry dark place, but keeping them in the refrigerator will extend their shelf life to about nine months. Shelled raw peanuts should be stored in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer since excess exposure to heat; humidity or light will cause them to become rancid. Shelled raw peanuts will keep in the refrigerator for about three months and in the freezer for up to six months.
• Raw peanuts are a good source of protein and mono saturated fats, a type of fat that is given weight for healthy heart diet.
• Raw peanuts contain high level of polyphenols, which have strong antioxidant properties.
• Eating a handful of peanuts helps malnourished and underweight people.
• Chewing peanuts with a pinch of salt strengthens the gums.
• According to an American study, A cup of raw peanuts offers 58 percent of the DRI for magnesium, 44 percent for phosphorous, 43 percent for zinc, 37 percent for iron, 22 percent for potassium and 10 percent for calcium. These minerals aid in bone and tooth health, muscle contraction, blood clotting, metabolism and immune function.