March is the month that our neighbours below will be celebrating the nutrition packed peanut during National Peanut Month, and we thought we would jump on the bandwagon because who doesn’t need another excuse to scoff down more Reese’s Peanut Butter cups? Okay… so maybe that defeats the whole nutrition part, but there are many other yummy ways to enjoy all the positives of the crunchy snack.
And enjoy them you should because in their natural state they contain over 30 essential nutrients including protein, vitamin E, magnesium, folate, copper and fibre. And of course they are an excellent source of unsaturated fats which are believed to reduce the risk of heart disease. So go ahead and include them as part of a healthy diet*! Here are some recipe ideas to get you started…
Peanut Energy Bars
1/2 cup dry roasted salted peanuts
1/2 cup roasted sunflower seeds, or other chopped nuts
2 cups raisins, or other chopped dried fruit
2 cups rolled or instant oats
2 cups toasted rice cereal, such as Rice Krispies
1/4 cup toasted wheat germ, optional
1/2 cup creamy or crunchy natural peanut butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Coat an 9″ by 13″ baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Combine peanuts, sunflower seeds, raisins, oats, rice cereal and wheat germ (if using) in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. Combine peanut butter, brown sugar and honey in a large microwaveable bowl; microwave on high until bubbling, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Add vanilla and stir until blended.
5. Pour the peanut butter mixture over the dry ingredients and stir until coated.
6. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. Press down firmly. (It helps to coat your fingers with cooking spray.)
8. Let stand for about 1 hour to harden.
9. Cut into bars.
Make Ahead Tip: Individually wrap in plastic and keep at room temperature for up to 1 week or freeze for up to 1 month. Thaw at room temperature.
Caramel Peanut Popcorn
2 (3-ounce) packages microwave popcorn
2 cups dry roasted salted peanuts
1 (16-ounce) package light brown sugar
1 cup butter or stick margarine
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1. Prepare the popcorn according to package directions.
2. Combine popcorn and peanuts in a large bowl. Set aside.
3. In a large heavy saucepan bring brown sugar, butter, corn syrup, and salt to a light boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly.
4. Cook sugar mixture, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until a candy thermometer registers 248°F.
5. Remove sugar mixture from heat, and stir in baking soda.
6. Pour sugar mixture over popcorn mixture in a bowl; stir until evenly coated.
7. Spread popcorn mixture to an even thin layer in a lightly greased roasting pan.
8. Bake at 250°F for 45 minutes, stirring mixture every 15 minutes.
9. Remove popcorn from oven, and let cool completely. Store popcorn in an airtight container.
*Note: Everything in moderation.
If you have the ultimate nutty treat, let us know in the comments below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe.