We love peanut butter in our family and we have always bought the natural peanut butter with peanuts and maybe salt only when we lived in the U.S. So when we moved to Ecuador we still bought the locally made natural peanut butter from Cuenca vendors or from one of the grocery stores until they decided to add some other weird ingredients to their local brand and then we stopped buying it there. That’s when we began to look for an alternative.
You know us, nothing can stop us when we’re on a hunt for a natural, whole food source. Funny, we didn’t know that peanuts even grew in Ecuador until I researched about peanuts one day. That was a pleasant surprise. Is there anything that Ecuador does not grow, produce, or manufacture? Even though sources say Ecuador is not self sufficient in food production, that doesn’t stop its hardworking people from producing and growing what they can.
We found our alternative: We make our own homemade peanut butter.
A Little Bit about the Peanut
Peanuts are not a nut but a legume like peas and beans and explain why the southern folks eat boiled peanuts, which when we first moved to the south thought it was strange, but boiled peanuts are so good and addicting. Peanuts are one of the most nutritionally rich foods in the world. By the way, doing more research about peanuts, one article states that Ecuador grows more varieties of peanuts than any other country in the world! Amazing!
Anyway, back to the peanut and its nutrition.
Healthfulness of Peanuts
Peanuts are a heart-healthy food as they contain generous amounts of (per ¼ cup) vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein, phosphorus, vitamin B1 and manganese. Peanuts are also known to have the same antioxidant properties as red grapes. Unbelievably, peanuts have the same healthful fat that is found in raw extra virgin olive oil! Roasting the peanuts makes them even healthier for you than if you ate them raw! Peanuts and peanut butter have been found to be a colon cancer preventative. Nutritionally, peanuts are a super food!
Source: The World’s Healthiest Food
7 Ways to Use and Eat Peanuts
1. Homemade Peanut Butter
2. Add ½ cup peanuts to granola recipe
3. Add ½ cup peanuts to veggie stir fry recipes
4. Peanut sauce for oriental foods
5. Peanut butter on whole grain bread/crackers
6. Dried fruit and peanut snack
7. Roasted peanuts just the way they are (recommended)
Resources about Ecuador and Peanut Farms
Unique Peanuts Bring Nations Together
Heirloom Seed Savior in Ecuador (Heirloom peanuts, read the story; if you are a gardener, you’ll find it very interesting)
Until we write again….
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We're an Expat Family of Five, Living Frugal, Healthy and Happy Abroad. We live in Cuenca, Ecuador and travel the Ecuador coast whenever we get a chance. We just adventured throughout the country of Panama for five weeks! Come along and enjoy some of our experiences with us!