Did you know that peanuts can be a very healthy plant-based food to incorporate in your daily diet? It contains protein, fiber and other valuable nutrient. You however, need to know that all peanuts are not equal. The best kind of peanut to eat is one that is raw, unsalted, and grown without pesticides.
In north America, peanuts are rarely eaten raw, it’s mostly consumed in the form of peanut butter that has been roasted and salt added, and in many cases, preservative are added to keep it shelf stable.
When eaten as a snack, it’s roasted, salted, candied, spiced, rolled in chocolate, yogurt, mixed in with trail mix and so on and so forth. As you might already know, peanuts are not part of the family of nuts, rather it’s a legume, because it’s an edible seed inside a shell.
Peanuts originated in South America and are now grown all over the world. It’s good to know the nutritional value of peanuts if you are going to incorporate this delicious legume into your regular diet.
The kind of peanuts I’m most familiar with are the peanuts you get in India. They are referred to as groundnuts in India and are sold inexpensively in little carts on the side of the street across India. They are sold in many different forms – raw, boiled, roasted, fried, and mixed in with different foods and snacks. Peanuts find their way into many of India’s south Indian dishes and are an important source of protein for most south Indians who are vegetarians.
One of my fondest memories as a child was eating dry roasted peanuts from roadside stands. Raw peanuts are dry roasted in hot dry sand in big cast iron pots that are heated with coal. After they are cooked, the sand is strained out through large metal strainers and the warm peanuts are packed in circular handmade paper cones, A package costs under 10 cents and are delicious and nutritious.
Check out this video to see how peanuts are roasted in sand in India.
When making a peanut butter smoothie, I suggest using good quality peanut butter, as this is what gives the smoothie the best flavour and taste. In many grocery stores you can grind your own peanut butter from roasted unsalted peanuts. However, if you can get raw peanuts, that's even better. I suggest buying peanut butter weekly, once it's ground it can go rancid easily.
Store bough peanut butter most often is loaded with salt, sugar and hydrogenated oils that are not good for our health and taste awful. Once you’ve tasted freshly ground peanut butter, you can’t go back to eating store bought.
Peanut Butter Banana Smoothie Recipe
Peanuts provide a good vegetarian protein and the combination with bananas and milk, make this recipe satiating and filling. If you want to make this a quick breakfast or after workout drink, then add 1 scoop of plant based protein powder when blending.
Here's a simple, easy, yet absolutely delicious peanut butter banana smoothie recipe.
- 1 large banana can use frozen banana
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 cup unsweetened almond milk you can use oat or other plant-based milk such as cashew milk . Use cow’s milk if you prefer
- 1/4 cup ice optional
Into a Vitamix container add milk, then add the banana, peanut butter and ice if using ice.
Once you've loaded your ingredients, close the lid well and select variable 1 and turn the machine on slowly increasing the speed to high. Make sure to use the tamper to push the ingredients down when blending.
Pour into a glass or mason jar top with a mint leaf and enjoy.