A few weeks ago I was invited by the National Peanut Board to attend a gathering in Virginia to learn more about peanut farming. This opportunity was…
- Amazing. Because…peanuts.
- I didn’t know a darn thing about peanut production. (I live in Nebraska, remember?)
I was incredibly honored to receive the invitation and super excited to learn more about peanut farming! The group gathered in Richmond and from there we traveled to Royal Oak Peanuts / Hope & Harmony Farms in Drewryville, VA. We were hosted by the National Peanut Board and the owners of the farm, Jeffrey and Stephanie Pope. Our tour ended with an amazing meal sponsored by the National Peanut Board.
Here are 5 fun facts that I learned about peanuts:
1. There are actually 540 peanuts in a 12 oz jar of peanut butter! Isn’t that nuts??
2. Peanuts are not actually a nut. They are a legume! They are grown underground and then dug up. Once they’ve been pulled from the ground, they are left to dry above ground before they are harvested and taken to a shelling facility. They need time to dry because they are quite moist! I was surprised by how soft they were! Also, they contain 7 grams of protein/oz!
3. Many peanut farmers are also cotton farmers. In Nebraska many of our farmers rotate corn and soy, so it makes sense for farmers in the south to rotate cotton and peanuts.
4. There are basically 4 types of peanuts. For example, the type of peanut that is used for peanut butter is different from the one you would find in the ballpark or the kind that is used to make candies.
5. Peanuts use a lot less water to grow compared to nuts. (Remember, they are a legume.) According to the National Peanut Board, it takes just 4.7 gallons of fresh water to grow an ounce of peanuts. That is much less than almonds (80.4 gallons/ounce) and pistachios (18.8 gallons/ounce). That’s a huge difference!
After returning home, the Peanut Board sent me a sample of JIF Peanut Powder. I am officially a fan after baking with it and using it in smoothies. It provides an awesome peanut flavor with fewer calories! So, I had Johnna stir up this recipe for peanut banana breakfast muffins. And let me tell you, they are delicious….
Special thanks to the National Peanut Board for teaching me about peanut production and for hosting me while in Virginia.
(PS- If you’re looking for the peanut powder, you should be able to find it in your local grocery store. If you live in Nebraska, you should be able to find it at HyVee in the regular peanut butter section.)