From flours and spreads or to use as a legume, peanuts can be eaten in so many different ways. While we are most familiar with peanut butter, peanut confections and just plain peanuts, other applications are just as good for you and make cooking and eating more fun and exciting. Here is a look at how the foodservice industry can incorporate peanut products to create healthy and delicious recipes for their customers.
Add peanut flour to your kitchen: Peanut flour is partially defatted flour that is milled to a very fine texture. It can be incorporated into soups, sauces and beverages. Because of its high protein content and gluten-free profile, peanut flour is a very popular baking ingredient. Peanut flour can also be used as a gluten-free thickening agent in sauces and dip. With a little bit of water, peanut flour becomes the consistency of a hummus-like paste and can be used as a nutritious dip.
Cook with peanut oil: Peanut oil is made from pure, raw peanuts that are unroasted and processed under high heat. Although this process removes all of the protein and creates allergen-free oil, Health Canada states that the source of the oil must be identified when using peanut oil. Peanut oil adds flavour and depth, and offers a number of health benefits. It is trans-fat and cholesterol-free and is a good source of vitamin E, which promotes good heart-health. Peanut oil also has a high smoke point, making it ideal for use in stir-frys, sautés and for deep-frying.
Turn to the past for creative inspiration: Peanuts have historically played an important role in soups, stews and sauces. Peri-Peri peanut soup from Africa and Thai coconut peanut soup are just two examples. Such exotic applications are becoming increasingly popular as vegetarian options at restaurants.
Creativity doesn’t always have to be new: Learn from the great cuisines of the world and turn to the past for creative inspiration.