My Home-Cooked Roasted, Peeled Peanuts
A Popular Filipino Street Food
Growing up, I often went with my family to church, and I remember seeing the different kinds of food vendors out front. My father used to buy roasted peanuts after every mass. The smell of the freshly roasted peanuts was very appetizing. My father would usually ask the vendor to add some extra roasted garlic to his order.
Roasted peanuts are one of the best street foods here in the Philippines. They come in all sorts of varieties: salty or sweet, peeled or unpeeled, and spicy or not. They're sold everywhere.
Eating street foods can be fun, but we have to be careful. We need to use our best judgement and ensure that the foods are properly prepared. The best way to enjoy street food without worrying is to learn how to cook it yourself.
In this article, I'll share how we cook roasted peanuts here in the Philippines. You don't even need to use an oven for this recipe.
- 2 cups raw peanuts, peeled
- 1 cup cooking oil
- 4-5 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- Chilli pepper, chopped (optional)
- Thinly slice the garlic to make it crispy when you fry it.
- Heat oil in a pan.
- Add the garlic to the pan and cook until it becomes light brown.
- Add the peanuts to the pan. Over medium heat, stir continuously to cook them through. Throw in chopped chilli pepper if you prefer it spicy.
- When both the garlic and peanuts are golden brown, strain the peanuts. Then season with salt.
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Health Benefits of Peanuts
Peanuts are rich in energy (567 calories per 100 g) and contain health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
They compose sufficient levels of monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA), especially oleic acid. MUFA helps lower LDL or "bad cholesterol" and increases HDL or "good cholesterol” level in the blood. Research studies suggest that the Mediterranean diet which is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids help prevent coronary artery disease and stroke risk by favoring healthy serum lipid profile.
Peanut kernels are a good source of dietary protein; compose fine quality amino acids that are essential for growth and development.
Research studies have shown that peanuts contain high concentrations of polyphenolic antioxidants, primarily p-coumaric acid. This compound has been thought to reduce the risk of stomach cancer by limiting the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines in the stomach.
Peanuts are an excellent source of resveratrol, another polyphenolic antioxidant. Resveratrol has been found to have a protective function against cancers, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease, Alzheimer's disease, and viral/fungal infections.
Furthermore, studies suggest that resveratrol may reduce stroke risk through altering molecular mechanisms in the blood vessels (reducing susceptibility to vascular damage through decreased activity of angiotensin, a systemic hormone responsible for blood vessel constriction that would elevate blood pressure), and by increasing production of vasodilator hormone, nitric oxide.
Recent research studies suggest that roasting/boiling enhances antioxidant bioavailability in the peanuts. It has been found that boiled peanuts have two and four-fold increase in isoflavone antioxidants biochanin-A and genistein content, respectively. (Journal of agricultural and food chemistry).
The kernels are an excellent source of vitamin-E (α -tocopherol); containing about 8 g per100 g. vitamin E is a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant which helps maintain the integrity of mucosa and skin by protecting from harmful oxygen-free radicals.
The nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates. 100 g of peanuts provide about 85% of RDI of niacin, which contributes to health and blood flow to the brain.
The nuts are a rich source of minerals like copper, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and selenium.
Just a handful of peanuts per day provide enough recommended levels of phenolic antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and protein.
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© 2017 Arleen Roja