Green Peanuts Are for Sale, Let the Boiling Begin!!!
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Peanuts are currently being harvested and if you are lucky enough to be able to snag some fresh green peanuts, you are lucky. As soon as they appear at our local Farmers Market, I start buying them up, one of my friends boils them all and freezes then for our friends to enjoy all year!! Boiled peanuts, like okra, are one of those things you either love or will not eat, most of my crowd loves them!!! They make a great appetizer especially for tailgating!
Did you know that North Carolina farmers, produce approximately 102,666 planted acres of peanuts, which equals about 441 million pounds? ranks fifth in the United States in peanut production? North Carolina peanut farmers produce 8% of the nation’s supply. The majority of NC peanuts are consumed out-of-hand as cocktail peanuts, instead of processed into peanut butter or other candies. Peanuts are super high in protein and Vitamin B. We often take peanuts for granted and being a major crop in the North Carolina picture of agriculture.
If you happened to never have tasted boiled peanuts, now is your chance. This damp salty snack is a staple at fall football games and other events. The basic salty boiled peanut is my personal favorite, but you can change them up by adding sweet and salty spices to your recipe.
For a while I have tried to hunt down recipes using boiled peanuts, they are not easy to find, but below you will see a few that I have tried and modified. Enjoy!!
Southern Boiled Peanuts
(This recipe is borrowed from The Lee Brothers Southern Cookbook, but is a pretty common way to cook this treat. I have shared this before but it’s just a good one.)
- 1½ cups salt, divided, plus more to taste
- 2 pounds raw peanuts in the shell
- Dissolve ½ cup salt in 2 gallons water in a 3-gallon stockpot; add peanuts. (Weigh down peanuts, if desired, with a large plate or lid to ensure they’re fully submerged.) Soak 8 hours or overnight.*
- Drain water; refill pot with 2 gallons water and remaining 1 cup salt. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 5 to 8 hours or until peanuts are tender, adding water as needed to keep peanuts covered; stir occasionally. (South Carolina-style peanuts are very soft, but some cooks prefer them al dente.) When the peanuts have boiled 3 hours, check for texture and saltiness. If the peanuts are not salty enough, add salt in 1/4-cup increments, turn off heat, and let soak 1 hour. Check peanuts for seasoning every hour.
- Remove from heat, and cool 1 hour.
- Drain and eat immediately or store (in the shell) in a sealed container in the refrigerator or freezer. Boiled peanuts will keep 7 days in the refrigerator, several months in the freezer.
*The soaking step is not essential, but it reduces the cooking time by a couple of hours and helps ensure that the peanuts cook more thoroughly and uniformly. The salt in the soaking liquid keeps yeasts and molds from developing overnight.
For a Crockpot Version, Use 14 cups of water, and cook on HIGH for approximately 18 hours, or until peanuts are a desired softness.
In India, peanuts are king, almost anywhere you go you are sure to find peanuts, roasted, boiled, steamed, spiced, and a whole host of other ways. This is a version of an Indian peanut salad.
Boiled Peanut Salad
- 1 cup boiled peanuts, shelled
- 2 small cucumbers, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- Salt, to taste
- 1 teaspoon red chili powder
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Combine peanuts, cucumbers, onion and tomato. Sprinkle with the lemon juice, salt and peppers. Mix well. Serve.
Boiled Peanut Salsa
- 3 plum tomatoes, or the equivalent of any fresh tomato, chopped
- 1 jar of prepared picante sauce
- 1 cup fresh corn, raw or cooked and cooled
- ⅓ cup Italian dressing
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1 medium red pepper, chopped
- ½ cup red onion, chopped
- ½ cup fresh minced cilantro
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 ½ cups salted boiled peanuts
- Chopped jalapenos, to taste
- Hot pepper sauce, to taste
- In a large bowl, combine the first 9 ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- Just before serving stir in the peanuts, jalapenos, and hot sauce. Serve with tortilla chips.
Each ¼ cup serving contains Calories 123, Fat 9g., Sodium 207mg., Carbohydrates 8g., Fiber 2g., Sugar 2g., Protein 5g.
Boiled Peanut Hummus
(We served this one year at the Business After Hours at the Lenoir County Farmers Market; it was great, my favorite kind of hummus.)
- 1 cup boiled peanuts, shelled
- 2 tablespoons tahini. You may substitute a nut butter or Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 garlic clove, peeled
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- Pinch of sea salt
- Put peanuts in a food processor with the tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, onion powder, and salt to the processor. Process until well blended.
- Slowly drizzle water into the processor while it is running. Depending on your preferred consistency, you may need 1 or 2 tablespoons.
- Scoop into a bowl and drizzle a little olive oil on top for serving. Serve with raw vegetables or crackers of your choice.
Boiled Peanut Soup
(I borrowed this one from Alton Brown)
- 8 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
- 3 cups onion, chopped
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 3 cups boiled peanuts, shelled
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh Thyme
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 4 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper, or black pepper if you prefer
- Cook the bacon until brown, remove and drain. Pour off all of the bacon fat except three tablespoons.
- Decrease the heat to medium and add the onions to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion Is softened and beginning to brown around the edges, about 6 minutes. Add the broth, peanuts, and Thyme. Increase the heat to high and bring to a boil.
- Once the mixture reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low to maintain a rapid simmer. Cook until the peanuts begin to loosen from their skin and the broth is reduced by ¼, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
- Turn off the heat and puree the mixture with a hand-held stick blender until smooth. Add the milk, vinegar, salt, pepper, and puree until combined. Turn back the heat to medium and cook until warmed through, 5-7 minutes. Garnish with the reserved bacon and serve.
Alternate version: I have replaced the milk with 1 cup of heavy cream and 4 ounces of softened cream cheese, super creamy.