Arachis hypogaea L.
Bean Family: Leguminosae (Fabaceae)
Virginia Peanuts (Groundnuts)
Virginia peanuts are the largest of all peanuts grown in the USA. They are also known as the “ballpark” peanut and are often used in gourmet snacks.
Virginia peanuts account for about 15 percent of total U. S. production and are grown mainly in southeastern Virginia, northeastern North Carolina, South Carolina and West Texas. Virginias are a popular peanut used for all-natural peanut butter. (National Peanut Board)
Peanuts are not true nuts. They are the seeds of the species Arachis hypogaea. The pods develop below the ground. Both the shell (pod) and the kernel (seed) are soft before they are harvested and dried.
Nutritional Value of Peanuts (Groundnuts)
Peanuts have more protein than any other nut. They are a good source of thiamine, niacin and folacin and also provide significant amount or iron and magnesium. They are also rich in dietary fibre. (The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition).
Peanuts are mostly eaten dried or roasted as a snack or in candies or in form of peanut butter. Nearly half of peanuts grown in America are processed into peanut butter. Americans consume 800 million pounds of peanut butter per year (3 pounds (1.5kg) per person per year). (The Wellness Encyclopedia of Food and Nutrition).
They can also be consumed like beans, pressed for peanut oil or ground into high protein partially defatted flour.
Peanuts can be oil roasted, dry roasted, blanched, or boiled.