It's National Peanut Month - Let's Celebrate!
Do you love peanuts? So do a lot of us! But what exactly is a peanut and how can we best enjoy them? Especially with our coffee!
What Are Peanuts?
You might already know this but peanuts are not really nuts. They are actually legumes in the same family as beans and peas. Peanuts are also known as groundnut, pindar, monkey nut, and goober. In culinary circles, the peanut has been categorized as a nut along with walnuts, almonds, and pecans. But they are also in the oil category due to their high oil content.
How About a Little History?
The first domestication of the peanut was in Peru around 7,600 years ago. The peanut is now grown all over the tropical and subtropical regions thanks to European traders. Asia is currently the largest producer of peanuts around the world. Amongst the English-speaking nations, peanuts are mostly found in the US beginning as a colonial crop, moving on to feedstock before making its way back to the American and Canadian tables, mostly in the form of peanut butter, in the late 1800s.
Today, China is the top producer of peanuts (17.5 tons) with India in the distant second place (6.7 tons). The United States is fifth in production with 2.5 tons. Peanuts primarily grow in the south in Georgia, Alabama, Florida, North and South Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico.
One of the sights you can see as you're driving along the backroads here in the southern US is the roadside peanut stand selling boiled peanuts. It's quite a treat!
Ways We Enjoy Peanuts
Of course, many of us still enjoy those treats from our childhood. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches were always a welcome sight in the lunchbox. In the summer, there was nothing better than a fluffernutter (peanut butter and marshmallow fluff) at the beach. For dessert during the hotter months, a black bottom peanut butter icebox pie was the perfect ending to a meal. And, of course, we can't forget those tasty candies! Peanut butter cups--with the iconic "your chocolate is in my peanut butter" ads--are still one of the most popular snacks, placing in the top ten (number one with Gen X!). Even the two peanut butter Girl Scout cookie choices, Tagalongs and Do-si-dos, are in the top five of the twelve tasty choices.
Let's face it. We love peanuts!
Even at CoffeeAM, we enjoy peanuts. Try our Peanut Butter Flavored Coffee and our Peanut Butter Cup Flavored Coffee. In addition to our flavored coffees, you can also enjoy our Monin Peanut Butter Syrup in your coffees, cocktails, and desserts. Make a delicious smoothie with our Big Train Chocolate Peanut Butter mix.
If you would rather enjoy a sweet peanut treat with your coffee, here is a recipe for the peanut butter icebox pie.
Black Bottom Peanut Butter Icebox Pie
1 1/2 cups pretzels, crushed
1/4 cup light brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, melted
5-ounce bag semisweet chocolate chips
3 /12 cups + 2 tablespoons heavy cream, divided
8-ounce package cream cheese, room temp
1 cup creamy peanut butter
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4 cup sugar
Preheat oven to 350F. Combine pretzels, brown sugar, salt, and melted butter. Stir until all dry ingredients are wet. Add mixture to a deep 9-inch pie plate and press into bottom and sides. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until set. Let cool.
In a small bowl add chocolate chips. Heat 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream over medium heat stirring often. Remove from heat when small bubbles form around the edges. Do not boil. Pour cream over chocolate chips, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes. Uncover and whisk until smooth. If needed, microwave mixture in 15-second intervals, stirring in between. Pour into crust. Smooth until even and freeze at least 2 hours until firm.
In a medium bowl, beat 1 1/2 cups cream at low speed until stiff peaks form. Set aside. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese, peanut butter, and confectioner's sugar at medium-high speed until smooth and creamy. Add a half cup of whipped cream to the peanut butter mixture and beat to combine. Fold in remaining whipped cream. Add peanut butter filling to pie pan, spreading evenly. Freeze for 1 hour or until firm.
Before serving, beat granulated sugar and 1 1/2 cups cream at medium speed until firm peaks form. Spoon on top of slices of pie and garnish with pretzels and shaved chocolate or a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips. Serve with your favorite single-origin coffee or espresso blend.
How have you been celebrating National Peanut Month?