How to Include the Mighty Peanut in Every Meal


Peanuts are a quintessential piece of American foods — just look at the gold old peanut butter and jelly sandwich that’s a staple in kids’ lunches. Not only are they delicious, the advantages of peanuts in our diet has long been recognized: they’re rich in fiber, protein, and healthy nut fats. As a plus, they’re widely available in the U.S., and the versatility of the peanut allows it to be usable in every meal of our day.


The peanut butter is strong with this one. Melt some in a cup in the microwave and drizzle it on oatmeal or yogurt. A little-known peanut product is peanut flour, a gluten-free and super protein-packed flour that can be used in baked goods like breakfast breads, pastries, or pancakes. Mmmm, warm peanut buttery goodness at breakfast is the best.


Of course the natural choice for lunch is peanut butter and jelly. Have you ever tried grilling this classic sandwich? It can be especially tasty with a little texture from crunchy peanut butter, but a PB ‘n’ J with toasty bread and melty insides is just wonderful. A cousin of this is the famous Elvis favorite, a fried peanut butter and banana sandwich. These are extra delicious with some honey drizzled in, too. Don’t be tempted to eat too many! Too much fatty fried craziness can negate the good peanut benefits you’re aiming for, but man, they’re great as a treat.


Why not snack on some raw or roasted peanuts? One ounce of raw peanuts will contain 7.3 grams of protein and 2.4 grams of fiber, both of which keep you full and energized during the afternoon work day slump. Roasted peanuts come in a bevy of flavors to choose from. Another healthy, fiber-rich option is spooning some peanut butter onto a banana. It’s a little messier than just eating peanuts, but benefits from creamy banana goodness and an extra dose of healthy potassium for your body.


Fun fact: Peanut benefits extend to peanut oil, but peanut allergies don’t. Properly processed and refined peanut oil (so, not unrefined or cold-pressed) has broken down much of the allergy-causing proteins found in peanuts, so even very allergic folks can enjoy most peanut oil recipes! Peanut oil is especially great for pan-frying meats and noodles, and is a delectable ingredient in cooking many Thai foods. Try some pan-fried noodles with salmon tonight!

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