The peanut is also called groundnut, earthnut or monkey nut. Despite these names, it is not a nut but a legume.
The peanut plant is an annual plant native to South America and was spread by the Spaniards in the 16th century. The peanut plant grows in a special way. When it is about 1 foot / 30 cm high it gets small, yellow flowers. Out of each flower grows a stem which drills itself into the ground. At the end of the stem underground grows a new peanut. When the peanut plant dies after about 2 months, the peanuts are ripe.
After harvesting, the peanuts are dried. Usually, they are then shelled, blanched briefly to remove the thin brown membrane and roasted. Peanuts are often used to make oil for margarine, shortenings and salad oil. Peanut oil is often used in cooking, because it has a mild flavor and a relatively high smoke point. Due to its high monounsaturated content, it is considered healthier than saturated oils. Peanuts are also widely used in crackers, nuts and other snacks. And of course to make peanut butter and peanut sauce.
Peanuts are very healthy. They are rich in unsaturated fats that are good for your heart. They also contain vitamin B, vitamin E, and they are packed with antioxidants. In addition, peanuts contain a lot of resveratrol, a substance with an anti-cancer effect.