Saturday, January 10, 2009

What the hell is a goober??

Dear Tricia, My husband makes peanut brittle at Christmas time. We are now left with 5 pounds of raw peanuts. Is it okay to freeze them until November? Will it affect the taste?

5 pounds of peanuts in your freezer? Sounds like you're storing my paycheck in the freezer and didn't tell me. *cue canned laughter*
In researching your question, first I found some really interesting factoids about peanuts that I thought were cool enough to share. Ancient Incans used to bury peanuts inside graves with the deceased so that their loved ones would have food for the afterlife. Peanuts have also been called goobers, and goobernuts. (I know! Weird!) But goober comes from the African word "nguba," and peanuts were originally brought over to America by the slaves.
The average American eats 11 pounds of peanuts a year, mostly in the form of peanut butter. And we can credit George Washington Carver for that: along with his busy schedule of implementing crop rotation and inventing cool stuff, he also discovered over a hundred ways to eat peanuts, using them in coffee, salad dressings, bread, ice cream, and candy. Nice job, George.
Roasted peanuts are super high in antioxidants. Turns out their polyphenol (antioxidant) properties rival those of blackberries, strawberries, apples, carrots, and beets. I think that from now on, I'll be eating peanuts with my antioxidant-rich glass of red wine, and waiting for my body to turn into Superman. Or, at least an American Gladiator. I already have my Gladiator name picked out and everything.
So, back to your question. It's perfectly fine to put peanuts in the freezer for long-term storage, and actually its recommended for them since they're a high-fat nut and can go rancid if left at room temperature for too long. You'd want to do the same for walnuts and pecans too. And my paycheck. Peanuts, my paycheck... same thing.

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