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What to do with your peanut harvest

I grew peanuts for this first time this year.  All summer long I watched these unassuming plants with speculation, trying hard not to get my hopes up.  Visitors looked curiously at the short, bushy plants and asked “where are the peanuts”.  The peanuts (I hoped) were underground.  Peanuts are a curious plant, and are not actually nuts at all, but are part of the legume family; which includes peas and beans.

I waited until after the first light frost to harvest, wanting to give them the longest possible growing season.  To my delight, I got a decent harvest!  I excitedly dug up the plants and brought them into my cold frame to dry out; then immediately went to my computer to find out what to do with these garden gems.  Here is what I came up with:

Roasted Peanuts:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Spread raw peanuts in a single layer on a cookie sheet
  • Bake unshelled peanuts for 20-25 minutes, or bake shelled peanuts for 15-20 minutes
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes before eating

Boiled Peanuts:

  • 1lb raw peanuts, in shells (not roasted, not shelled)
  • ¼ cup kosher salt
  • 4 cups water

Rinse raw unshelled peanuts.  Put all ingredients into a large pot and bring to a low boil.  Cover, and reduce heat to maintain a low boil.  Boil 2-4 hours, or until desired texture (some folks boil them all day).  Drain, and eat within a few days.

While living in the south I learned to tolerate boiled peanuts, but could never get past the slimy texture.  Now that I know how to make them at home I can’t get enough.  I boiled mine for 4 hours and they still had just a bit of crunch left.  Try them while still warm and you’ll surely be hooked!

Peanut butter:

Place roasted, shelled peanuts in food processor and process until desired texture.

Yes, it’s that easy! You can add a touch of oil, honey, or salt; based on desired consistency and taste.  However, the flavor is excellent without any additional ingredients.

Peanuts

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