The groundnut is a very appreciated and popular dry fruit. It is sold with shell or peeled, salted and often roasted. It is an ingredient for some confectionery products and we make peanut butter with them. The groundnut is also known as peanut, monkey nut, grounpea and earthnut. It is a very appreciated and popular dry fruit. Nutrition and eatingGroundnuts are very healthy. They contain oleic acid, beneficial to prevent the cardiovascular diseases and cancer. They are an important source of minerals like potassium and phosphorus, necessary for the muscular and nervous activity. The groundnut is a very appreciated and popular dry fruit. It is sold with shell or peeled, salted and often roasted. It is an ingredient for some confectionery products and we make groundnut butter with them. The groundnut is also known as groundnut, monkey nut, grounpea and earthnut. It is a very appreciated and popular dry fruit. Groundnuts are commercialised raw or roasted, salted or not, and they are consumed as a snack or as part of a great variety of dishes. They are used to obtain flour, mixing them with wheat flour to make bread, biscuits and other bakery products. Oil with good properties is also extracted from groundnuts. Moreover, the peanut butter, very appreciated in the U.S.A., is processed from groundnuts. As a sub-product, from the extraction of oil we make cakes, that can be used directly in animal feeding or to obtain glue (binding, printing, gummed papers) and watercolours.
Its nutritious value is very important, since it is very rich in proteins and 50% of the fruit is oil of excellent quality. One hundred grams of fresh peanut contribute with 564-596kcal. This fruit can reach 3 to 4cm of length and consists of a light and edible shell – easy to break with the fingers to remove the seeds- netted, with a yellowish colour. It has small lumps where the seeds are placed, 1 to 6 seeds, oblong-rounded and covered by a reddish brown thin skin that can be easily removed. The peanut is usually consumed fried or roasted and has a very pleasant taste; nevertheless, when raw, it has a bitter taste. There are different groundnut varieties cultivated in the world, which differ in the number of seeds contained in them. They can be used for human consumption or intended for animal feeding. In addition, wild forms of the plant exist, including a great number of species. The harvesting of the fruit begins at the end of summer and from September onwards it has the best quality to be consumed as dry fruit. Nonetheless, in the market we find peanuts all the year round. Due to its high oil content, it can easily become rancid; to avoid this problem it is recommended to keep them with their shell in hermetic containers, in a fresh and dry place. It is an herbaceous plant that can reach 70cm of height. The flowers are yellow and the greatest petal, called standard, has purple spots that make it specially attractive. The plant which bares the fruit is also called “peanut’, it is an annual plant, 15 to 70cm high, that belongs to the Leguminous family and the Arachis hipogea species. The stems are slightly hairy, with branches falling from the base that develop roots when they touch the ground.
The flowers are bright yellow and one of their petals, the greatest and widest called standard, has purple spots. After fertilization, a 3-10cm cutting develops, pushing the ovary little by little into the ground. The fruit is a pulse that under the ground has better developing and rippening.