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Types of Nuts

Peanuts

The peanut is a unique member of the nut family. To start with, peanuts aren't tree fruits, seeds, or kernels. Peanuts are legumes that trace their roots to the pea family (thus the descriptive name) and grow underground on a vine instead of on a tree.

Peanuts grow best in warm climates with mild winters, which makes the American South an ideal location. According to the American Peanut Council, seven Southern states (ranked in order of production, greatest to least: Georgia, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, and Oklahoma) account for 99 percent of all American-grown peanuts. The United States is the third-largest producer of peanuts in the world, right behind China and India.

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Peanuts are usually planted in the late spring, and after most of the pods have matured, a mechanical "digger" loosens the soil around the pods, and a "shaker" sifts away the soil. The pods are allowed to dry in the sun for a few days and then a peanut combine separates the vines from the pods. The pods are cured to remove moisture in order to increase storage time, and then the cured pods are inspected, cleaned, and sorted according to size. About half of the peanuts produced in the United States get used for peanut butter. The others are used for snack foods or as candy ingredients.

No matter how you enjoy your peanuts or any other nut, you can do so without guilt, as long as you eat them in moderation.

To learn more about nuts, see:

ADDITIONAL CREDITS:

 Michele Price Mann

Types Of Nuts FAQ

Is a chestnut a true nut?
Yes, chestnuts grow on about eight species of deciduous trees and shrubs and are a true nut, though not a particularly popular one. This might be because the shells are difficult to crack, even after roasting, making eating them quite a bit of work.
What are the healthiest nuts?
All nuts are good sources of fat, fiber, and protein. Almonds, pistachios, and walnuts are some of the best options, although any nut (including those high in fat) is extremely good for you when consumed in moderation.
Is it OK to eat nuts and seeds everyday?
Yes, it's very healthy to eat a small handful of nuts and seeds every day. They have benefits for your heart, gut, and blood. They also reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes, and improve cholesterol. The key is just to limit your daily intake to one portion as many nuts and seeds are high in fat.
Which nuts are not actually nuts?
Most nuts in a grocery store are considered seeds or kernels, and some nuts don't fall into either category. For example, peanuts are actually legumes, like peas. This also includes brazil nuts, almonds, cashews, walnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, pistachios, and pecans. All of these are actually seeds.
What are the types of nuts?
Common types include peanuts, almonds, pecans, brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, chestnuts, pine nuts, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, and pistachios.

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