When I was younger, my favorite lunchtime snack will be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. But as I got older, I would read several articles stating that you should steer clear of peanut butter because it’s very unhealthy for you.
One day, I started thinking to myself, “how can something that grows from the earth be bad for you” so that’s when I decided to do my own research. And all of the information I’ve learned I want to share with you. Therefore, in this article, I will list the most popular myths about peanuts and the truth behind them. I also want to introduce you to a great homemade recipe for peanut butter cookie bars that you can eat for breakfast or a snack.
History of Peanuts
According to the Nation Peanut board, peanuts may have originated in Peru or Brazil in South America, as far back as 1500bc. But didn’t make it in the United States until 1800. Once peanuts made it to the United States, many people were unsure if it was a nut or a bean. The way to grow peanuts is to plant them in the ground, the same way beans are grown. That is why peanut, despite the word “nut” at the end of the phrase, a peanut is a bean and not a nut.
Benefits of Peanuts
Even though peanut gets a horrible rap there are a lot of health benefits.
Which are some of the following:
- Peanuts are excellent in improving cholesterol levels. They contain soluble fiber and resistant starch, which helps lower the bad cholesterol in your body.
- Peanuts are also rich in protein and healthy fats, such as omega-6 fatty acids. These fatty acids help to lower the risk of heart disease.
- Peanuts are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, protein, fiber, vitamins A, B6.
- Peanuts are high in protein, low in fat, and contain a lot of nutrients.
So, peanuts have quite some benefits. Because with the list I have provided above, you can see that it is filled with many different great benefits.
What to be aware of
Aside from allergies, eating peanuts has not been linked to many adverse effects.
Still, there are some health concerns to consider.
- Peanuts can sometimes be contaminated with a species of mold (Aspergillus flavus) that produces aflatoxin. The main symptoms of aflatoxin poisoning include loss of appetite and yellow discoloration of the eyes (jaundice), which are typical signs of liver problems. Aflatoxin contamination is an effect of growing the peanuts under the ground and can be effectively prevented by properly drying peanuts after harvesting and keeping temperature and humidity low during storage. So be sure to buy organic peanut butter.
- Peanuts contain a number of antinutrients, which are substances that impair your absorption of nutrients and reduce nutritional value. Of the antinutrients in peanuts, phytic acid is particularly noteworthy. Phytic acid reduces the availability of iron and zinc in peanuts, lowering their nutritional value slightly.
- Peanuts are one of the most common food allergens. Allergy to peanuts is estimated to affect approximately 1% of Americans. Peanut allergies are potentially life threatening, and peanuts are sometimes considered the most severe allergen
Some people think that because peanuts have a high amount of fat, they should be avoided. But it is essential to know that not all fats are bad for you; peanuts contain some excellent proteins and healthy fats, which help keep your body healthy. Therefore, you can add peanuts to your diet in moderation. So, the day you decided to add it to your diet, try this peanut butter cookie and chocolate bars recipe. Let’s go for the recipe!
For the Peanut Layer
- 1/2 cup peanut butter organic
- 1/4 cup coconut oil cold pressed, melted
- 1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cup hazelnut flour
- 1 cup chocolate chips vegan, unsweetened
- 1 pinch quality sea salt
For the Chocolate Layer
- 1/2 cup almond flour
- 2 tbsp raw cacao powder
- 8 Medjool dates
- 2 tbsp filtered water
- 1 pinch quality sea salt
- Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Stir together the peanut butter, coconut oil, vanilla, and salt until combined in a large bowl. Add the hazelnut flour and stir to combine (the mixture should be thick). Fold in the chocolate chips and press into the pan. Place in the baking pan prepared and safe in the freezer to firm up a bit while making the chocolate layer.
- Stir together the almond flour, cacao powder, and sea salt until combined in a large bowl. Pulse the dates in a high-speed blender or food processor and add the dates to the mixture, adding 2 tablespoons of water if the mixture gets too thick. Mix until smooth, then spread over the peanut butter layer. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
- Freeze for 30 minutes to help them firm up, making them easier to cut. Remove and slice into bars—store remaining bars in the fridge.