Peanuts, also known as groundnuts or goobers, are legumes belonging to the family Fabaceae, and are widely cultivated for their edible seeds. Native to South America, peanuts are a popular snack and ingredient worldwide and are valued for their nutritional content, providing a rich source of healthy fats, protein, fiber, antioxidants, and various vitamins and minerals.
Commonly consumed raw, roasted, or boiled, peanuts find frequent use in a variety of recipes – from garnishing salads to enhancing the depth of various Asian dishes. Peanuts are also processed into peanut butter, a widely loved spread used in sandwiches, smoothies, and as a dip for fruits and veggies.
Peanuts are versatile and rich in nutrients, but people often make mistakes when preparing and incorporating these legumes in their meals. A common issue might be not knowing that the skin of the peanut has a slightly bitter taste and removing it before use, especially in recipes like peanut butter, can make a difference.
Knowing how to correctly roast or boil the peanuts can also enhance their natural flavors. It is best to dry roast peanuts over medium heat while stirring consistently until they turn slightly golden brown in color and give off a nutty aroma. In terms of boiling, soak the peanuts overnight and then boil it in salty water until tender.
Additionally, peanuts are more than just snacking material or a base for peanut butter. They can add crunch to salad, enhance sauces, and even work in baked goods. Grinding your own fresh peanuts can also offer a better flavor than pre-made peanut products.
How do I add peanuts to an Asian dish?
How do I take the skin off the peanuts?
Can I eat raw peanuts?
Should I soak peanuts before roasting?
Why do my roasted peanuts taste bitter?
How do I make peanut butter at home?
How do I boil peanuts?
How do I add peanuts to a salad?
Can I substitute peanuts for other nuts in recipes?
Can I use peanut butter instead of peanuts in cooking?
Expiration & Storage Tips
When does peanuts expire?
Unopened packages of raw or roasted peanuts will remain fresh for up to one year when stored in a cool, dark, dry place. Once the package is opened, they should be consumed within four months for maximum freshness. However, you can also refrigerate them and extend their lifespan up to six months. If you happen to freeze them, they'll stay good for up to one year.
How do you tell if peanuts is bad?
Telling if peanuts have gone bad is straightforward. You'll want to check them for changes in color; they should remain relatively uniform. Any discoloration or dark spots could indicate mold. Smell the peanuts - they should have a fresh, nutty aroma. If you notice a sour or off smell, it's better to pitch them. Lastly, taste a small amount but don’t swallow it immediately. If it tastes odd or rancid, spit it out as the peanuts are probably spoiled.
Tips for storing peanuts to extend shelf life
• Store peanuts in a cool, dry place. Your pantry works well for short term storage.
• Once open, transfer them into an airtight container or resealable bag to prevent them from absorbing odors of other food in your kitchen.
• If you live in a hot climate or don’t think you'll consume them quickly, consider storing them in the refrigerator to extend their freshness.
• For long-term storage, freezing the peanuts can be the most effective. This method can keep them fresh for up to a year.
• Avoid storing peanuts near strong-smelling foods. Nuts can absorb odors, which can affect their taste and quality.