#BlackHistoryEats / Day 02 / Peanut

 Photo Credit: Getty Images

Photo Credit: Getty Images

HISTORY /

  • The peanut is also know as the 'ground nut', 'earth nut', and 'ground peas' and the African names 'pindar' and 'goober'
  • Was used to feed Africans crossing the middle passage 
  • The peanut isn't a nut; it is related to the pea and legume family (Arachis hypogaea) and are related more closely to beans than nuts because of the outer shell they come in. The "nut" is actually and seeds which grow and ripen underground
  • In the 19th century, enslaved Africans grew peanuts for their own consumption and also to feed some of the animals on plantations; whites didn't find peanuts appealing
  • George Washington Carver (a botanist, horticulturalist, scientist, farmer, and father of modern organic farming and crop rotation) through his extensive and thorough research, discovered 300 uses for the peanut (as well as the sweet potato and soybeans). 
  • Peanuts are indigenous to South America but were brought to Africa via the Portuguese and then to Virginia (Jamestown) by way of Africans who were enslaved (and stolen and brought to North America via the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade). It was Africans who popularized the nut in North America and grew and prepared them on plantations.
  • Peanuts are low maintenance crops and provide nitrogen to soil
  • Read here about how a special variety, The Carolina African runner peanut was almost on the verge of being extinct 

NUTRITION /

  • Peanuts are a significant source of niacin/vitamin B3, folate, and vitamin E, manganese and plant-protein
  • They Contain 'oleic acid', the same heart-healthy fat found in olive oil
  • Research published in the Journal of Neurology, Neurosurgery and Psychiatry indicated that consuming niacin-rich foods (like peanuts) could have positive affects in protecting against Alzheimers

PREPARATION /

  • Many of our African ancestors enjoyed peanuts boiled and also in stews, soups, over greens, with roasted vegetables like eggplant, and over meat like fish and beef
  • One of the most popular dishes is a peanut stew called Maafe 
  • Also, here's a wonderful recipe and video for an African Groundnut Stew 
  • When making African dishes, it is best to use natural peanut butter (the one where the oil separates on top) over highly processes peanut butter