Fall makes me feel pea-nutty

Published 1:09 am Wednesday, August 29, 2012

It smells like fall in my kitchen. A pot sitting on my stove’s back burner holds close to five pounds of green peanuts covered with salty water and boiling away. Steam curls around the lid filling the room with an aroma I associate with football games, colored leaves and crisp autumn afternoons.

To say I like boiled peanuts is an understatement. It is more an addiction than a liking. Set a bowl of those salty brown beauties in front of me and I do not know when to stop popping them into my mouth.

So, I am always happy when peanut season, which coincides with fall, rolls around and there is an abundance of these tasty nuts. I’ve been buying a couple of pounds at Wingard’s Market for few weeks, and now I have the five pounds my husband brought in the other day. (He is feeding my addiction and he knows it.)

Since I am eating a significant amount of peanuts and have no plan to slow down as long as they are available, I need to know how many calories I’m consuming. Of course, I turned to the internet, and I found out many things about boiled peanuts.

First, I read that according the American Peanut Council, “six pounds of peanuts and their products are consumed by a person each year.”

Obviously, I’m not the only one with a love of peanuts, but I think I consumed more than six pounds with my first batch this year. So, I am now consuming pounds that belong to someone else. Back to the calorie question.

“Boiled peanuts have a high amount of vitamins and minerals and a healthy amount of protein. They also have a high amount of fat, but the good fat (unsaturated) outweighs the bad fat.”

I didn’t know there was good fat, but I’m glad to know that is what I’m eating, but that still didn’t tell me about calories. Then I found that “according to NutritionData.com, one cup of salted boiled peanuts gives you 200 calories, which is 10 percent of your daily calories needs if you are on a 2,000-calorie diet.”
Now I needed some clarification, (which I never found in this article) when they say one cup of salted boiled peanuts (and if there is a kind other than salted, well yuck), do they mean one cup of shelled or unshelled boiled peanuts. It wouldn’t take many unshelled ones to make a cup, but a considerable number of shelled one to fill it. 
I guess 200 calories isn‘t too bad, but depending on the answer to the cup question, I could be eating closer to the daily needs of someone on a 4,000-calorie diet. Still in one cup of boiled peanuts you also get 13 percent of your vitamin E needs for the day, 11 percent thiamin (vitamin B1), 17 percent vitamin B6, and 12 percent of your folate needs, 16 percent of your magnesium, 12 percent phosphorous, 20 percent sodium, 16 percent copper and 32 percent of your manganese. So, I get several days worth of all these in one afternoon with my pot of peanuts.

Boiled peanuts are a good source of fiber, don’t contain any cholesterol and are what they call a nutrient-dense food, which means, “boiled peanuts are satiating, but will not make you feel overly full.”

I don’t agree with that statement since I’m pretty full after I have a sit-down with boiled peanuts. Maybe it’s the fiber expanding with the water I drink because of the salt I suck in from the peanuts.

Anyway, following my thorough internet research, I feel much better about my addiction. In fact, I feel so good I think I’ll go into my fall-smelling kitchen and see how close to done those peanuts are. (They are best right before they are completely ready).

You know the pecans trees look like fall too, limbs heavy, leaves turning from dark green to brown. Wonder what’s online about the calories in pecans …