Today, we unearth a plant native to South America. An annual legume used commercially all over the world. Legumes are unique in that they bear fruit inside a pod. This specific legume can be found extensively in most tropical and subtropical areas.
The name of the plant is also a well known comic book series, starring Charlie Brown and Snoopy. I may have given it away with that clue.
Care to take a guess?
Without further ado…
Lets discuss the peanut plant.
The name peanut is a bit misleading. It’s not actually related to a nut you find in a tree (almonds and walnuts). They’re connected to lentils, peas and beans due to the fruit growing in a pod. The peanut pods grow underground and the edible portion are actually the seeds of the plant. They develop in the soil where the roots grow.
The peanut is jam packed with nutrients. Rich in protein and healthy fat. It’s a great food source for those seeking weight loss or trying to reduce the risk of heart disease. Peanuts are low in carbohydrates, making them a great dietary choice for those suffering from diabetes.
It is good practice to eat the papery skin along with the nut. This thin coating contains phytochemical and antioxidants, both essential for a healthy lifestyle.
Peanut oil has a plethora of uses.
- Peanut oil is considered to be a vegetable oil. It’s used to sauté, fry, or to add flavoring to foods. For the most part, it has a mild or neutral flavor.
- Loaded with anti-inflammatories, peanut oil can benefit arthritis patients. It strengthens joints and reduces pain.
- Applied directly to skin, it helps cure conditions of dry skin or eczema.
- Diesel engines have run on a variety of fuels, including peanut oil. It’s not quite as effective as today’s fossil fuels, but it’s close.
Peanuts have an unquantifiable impact all over the world. The legume has become a fixture at baseball games and amusement parks. They are cheap and healthy, rendering them a fantastic snack.
Growing up, I remember going to Fenway Park. One of my favorite things was watching the peanut guy fling around bags of nuts. Just raise your hand, make eye contact with the vendor and get ready to catch an incoming bag of nuts. Launched from 15 rows back or two sections over, the peanut dudes love showing off their arms.
During the World Wars and Depression, meat was scarce. With peanuts being such a rich source of nutrients, it was made into a creamy spread. Initially developed as a protein source for people that could no longer chew meat. It caught on like wild fire, peanut butter was flying off the shelves and into cupboards all across America.
It’s fairly easy to grow your own peanut plant. First thing is to get a raw peanut. It must be raw and not roasted or boiled. Plant the seed with hull (soft, brown paper-like shell around the peanut) or without. Place it about an inch or two below the soil and keep your soil moist. It usually takes a week or so to germinate.
At this point, your plant should have sprung. It will be a few months before peanuts start to form in the soil. Once they do, dig up the plant and “cure” it. This is performed by hanging the plant and drying it out for about 1 week. After that, crack open the shells and bon appetit!
Peanuts are not consumed raw. Before being sold at market they are boiled or roasted. This makes them safe for human consumption. Peanut plants can also be found in feed for livestock, mostly in the form of hay.
Peanuts come with some health concerns. Mainly the issue is an allergic reaction. If you are allergic to nuts and have been exposed, reactions occur within minutes. Symptoms include:
- Redness or swelling.
- Itching and hives.
- Diarrhea, vomiting or stomach cramps
- In extreme cases, anaphylaxis can occur. A life-threatening allergic reaction. The throat swells, breathing becomes impaired and blood pressure drops. Seek immediate care.
As we enter the bottom of the 9th inning, it’s time for our fun facts.
Like avocados, peanuts are cholesterol-free. Great treat for people with high cholesterol.
Peanut butter was introduced in 1904 at the Worlds Fair in St. Louis. Most peanuts grown here in America are used to help mass produce peanut butter.
Being high in protein and calories, peanuts are playing a pivotal role in reducing famine in less developed countries in Africa.
Thank goodness for the peanut plant!
Autumn has arrived! Join me on a stroll around the block. Indulge in that cool, crisp air, as we spy with our little eyes the quintessential icon of autumn. When most plants begin to fade, this plant is just revving up. Delivering an aesthetically pleasing palate of colors for the harvest season. Originally cultivated in […]
Strolling through the backyard garden, we notice a plant creeping along the back lattice. A green annual, originally found in Southeast Asia and India. Today, this popular plant is grown on continents all over the world. The delicious fruit of our plant is commonly found on veggie platters, tossed in salad, or layered on a […]
Summer scorchers have passed and fall is in the air. Our plant today flourishes this time of year. Producing a mixture of red, green and yellow pomes; a fruit that develops a fleshy, skin coat and seeds hidden in the core. This iconic tree dates back thousands of years, with earliest accounts coming out of […]
Today we embark on a journey to the Himalayan and Southeast Asian regions. We find a wondrous plant classified as both deciduous or evergreen, depending on the type of species. As we know, deciduous plants shed their leaves before winter, while evergreen leaves hack it out through the cold, snowy months. With nearly 1,000 species, […]
Today, our showcase features a perennial flowering plant. Native to continents across the northern hemisphere, this flower has some of the most recognizable petals on earth. Classified as deciduous, meaning it sheds leaves and lies dormant during the winter, they thrive in most temperate climates. There are roughly 100 different species of this elegant flower. […]
Let’s take an escapade with a plant native to the Arab world and Central Asia. Areas like Iran, Turkey and Afghanistan act as major contributors to the plight of this plant. Our featured plant grows as a small tree. It delivers delectable, edible seeds that are enjoyed by cultures all over the world. As the […]
We climb aboard the magical carpet, for a ride with a plant near and dear to my heart. It’s a perennial root vegetable, grown as tubers, in the roots of the plant (tubers are the edible section of the plant). Enjoyed by cultures worldwide, this plant is native to the Andes mountainous region in South […]
Our expedition today will focus on a prized plant. Easily grown in most landscapes, it’s native to Korea, China and Russia, but most pointedly, Japan. Some species grow as small trees, others grow as large shrubbery. Scientifically classified under the wood family, this plant is common worldwide. Cultivated extensively over the past few hundred years, […]
Our focus today is on a plant that grows commonly in gardens all around the world. As one of the oldest and most frequently cultivated flowers, it’s origins can not be accurately traced. Many people treat them as an annual and dispose of them after one year. Truth is, they’re short-lived perennials. Are you developing […]
Today, we delve into one of the most versatile plants on earth. Some species thrive in moist tropical climates, other species grow in cool mountainous regions. Globally, this plant is responsible for over 50 billion dollars of revenue annually. Were you able to guess it? It’s one of the fastest growing plants in the world. […]
Our exploration today covers a really obnoxious plant. It’s native to Asia and North America, excluding Hawaii and Alaska. It’s resin can leave you with a nasty, red rash that blisters and itches like crazy. Have it narrowed down? A few poisonous plants to choose from, but today we discover the despicable world of poison […]
In my maiden blog, we discover one of the most fascinating plants ma’ nature has to offer. With thousands of different species, many flourishing in dry regions of North and South America. Others in warm tropical climates found in small pockets around the globe, this prickly plant is truly remarkable. Did you guess it yet? […]
My name is Michael Conley from Tewksbury MA. Married to my amazing wife, we have two kids and a dog named Milo. We rescued him from a shelter in Texas (Shout out to Straight Outta Texas). I am an enthusiast about the great outdoors, sport and wildlife. Fittingly graduated with a Bachelors degree in Sport, […]