Peanuts

It is a plant growing from 15 to 60 cm high, with yellow flowers. It comes in two varieties – one subspecies types are more upright in their growth habit and the other subspecies types spread more on the ground. The plant comes from South America, but nowadays its cultivated in China, India, USA and Africa.

A yellowish-grey pod contains light brown seeds called peanuts. The number of seeds in a pod depends of its variety, in the Spanish group – there are two seeds, in the Valencia one, there can be even six. They are all covered with a thin, dark brown shell.

Peanuts contain 50-55% fats (mostly unsaturated fatty acids) and 30 % protein. There are varieties in which 50% of fat have been eliminated. They also contain: minerals, E vitamin and B vitamins.

Peanuts are widely used in cuisine. They are ingredients of different dishes and candies. You can buy them either plain or in shells. In Eastern cuisine they are added to soups, curry and pilafs. In India peanut flour is a supplement of bread, cakes and milk drinks in order the increase the content of protein in them.

China and India produce peanut oil which is used in salads, cooking, and margarine production. In India fish products are preserved with peanut oil. Roasted peanuts are main ingredient of peanut butter. Peanut expellers and hulls are used as animal feeder.