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5 Things You Didn't Know About Peanuts

5 Things You Didn't Know About Peanuts

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We tend to not give peanuts much thought these days. Because the fact of the matter is, peanuts are a pretty magical little bean.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Peanuts (Slideshow)

You probably already know that peanuts aren’t, in fact nuts; they’re legumes, in the same family as soybeans and other beans. They grow through a pretty complicated process: After the peanut plant’s flowers wither, its stalk rapidly elongates and heads downward, where the peanuts mature. Peanuts can only grow in light, sandy, loamy soil and require five months of warm weather and a specific amount of water. If any of the many variables aren’t perfect, including the soil’s pH level, the peanuts won’t grow properly.

There are hundreds of applications for peanuts. While peanut butter and dry-roasted peanuts are the most common ones, peanut oil is also very popular in cooking because of its mild flavor, high smoke point, and healthy monounsaturated fats. Peanut flour is popular in gluten-free cooking, and has a higher protein level than wheat flour. And boiled peanuts, which are prepared in briny water, are a popular street-side snack in the South, India, China, and West Africa.

Peanuts are high in fat and calories, but also in B vitamins, vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and dietary fiber. They contain more protein than most tree nuts. Read on for five more things you didn’t know about peanuts.

5 things you didn't know about peanut butter

Peanuts are responsible for some of America's most-beloved foods. Peanuts and peanut butter makes up the main ingredient for Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Snickers, and of course, every kid's favorite, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. In fact, Americans love peanuts so much, peanut butter is consumed in 94 percent of American households, the National Peanut Board reports. You may love to eat these delicious (and nutritious) nuts but how much do you really know about them?

Here are 5 things you may not know about peanut butter and the nuts that make it.

14 Things You Didn't Know About Department 56 Collectibles

Because nothing says Christmas quite like a tiny lit-up village.

Ever since the company's founding in 1976, Department 56's tiny villages have invaded homes across the country during the holiday season. Take a look back at the interesting history of the classic Christmas decor.

Department 56 was originally owned by Minneapolis-based flower company Bachman's,which numbered each of its departments. Their wholesale gift imports division was number 56.

The six ceramic lighted buildings that initially hit shelves in 1976 became "The Original Snow Village." Three years later, they were retired and 12 new buildings were introduced.

In addition to popular collections such as Christmas in the City, there's also a Grinch village and a Peanuts village.

Fans will recognize individual pieces that mimic the "The Joke Shop" and "Chop Suey Palace."

The popular Victorian England-themed collection debuted with seven shops and a church. Many of the pieces now go for a pretty penny on eBay some collections are being sold for as much as $8,500.

Many fans show off their collections on DIY Christmas tree displays This YouTube video shows how one dedicated woman spent 21 days last year turning her entire living room into an over-the-top ode to her Dickens' village collection.

Who wouldn't want a figurine of the Dowager Countess in their home?!

Now you can create your own version of Arendelle.

Vintage Santa figurines are also available, though many of them have been retired from the site and are only sold in stores.

Because who doesn't love to be reminded of frosty treats when they look at their tree?

In 2015, artist Kristi Jensen Pierro, the creative mind behind the Snowbabies, created a new collection designed to honor family activities.

There's a Halloween village, complete with a zombie band and creepy clown car.

Three different garden lines&mdashForest Lane, Enchanted Guardians, and Let It Bee&mdashare also available.

Designing Department 56 houses basically sounds like our dream job. When asked what piece he'd most like to design in the future, artist Tom Bates says "I have always wanted to design a new ice castle similar to the ones created for the Winter Carnival in the late 1800s in Saint Paul, Minnesota. We have had a few over the years, but I think it is time to bring one back for the new collectors that may not have had a chance to purchase one of the previous pieces."

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Do with Watermelon

It’s no surprise that watermelon is a healthy, hydrating and gorgeous looking summer fruit, but there are more uses for this melon than you might realize.

With the help of a few power tools, turn a watermelon into a tasty adult beverage and a serving vessel. It’s one-stop shopping with a batch of this punch for 275 calories per serving.

Recipe: Watermelon Punch Keg (pictured above) Grill It

A quick sizzle on the grill and cool watermelon makes a hot salad! Cooking also enhances the cell-protecting powder of the antioxidant lycopene.

Grab a bag of tortilla chips and call over the neighbors. If you thought tomato salsa was refreshing try this recipe on for size your guests with beg for the recipe.

Marcela Valladolid makes Watermelon Salsa, as seen on Food Network's The Kitchen

Dunk the flesh and the rind into a sweet and salty brine, you’ll cut down in waste and have a fabulous snack to show for it.

Got a ton of watermelon on hand? Get more mileage out of that fruit by juicing: the only equipment required is a blender and a fine mesh sieve. Use the juice for cocktails and smoothies it can be also frozen or mixed with pectin and sugar to make a stunning watermelon jam.

Dana Angelo White, MS, RD, ATC, is a registered dietitian, certified athletic trainer and owner of Dana White Nutrition, Inc. , which specializes in culinary and sports nutrition.

*This article was written and/or reviewed by an independent registered dietitian nutritionist.

25 Things You Don&rsquot Know About Me

This is one of those super-random blog posts that I figured might be fun and also spark some great comments from you guys since I always love learning more about you! I first saw this questionnaire on Tina’s blog a couple of weeks ago and bookmarked it since I thought it was very entertaining to read.

The questionnaire provides 25 prompts to reveal “25 Things You Don’t Know About Me,” and while longtime readers probably do know some of these things, there were a few random prompts that may reveal some new stuff. Feel free to play along in the comments section of this post. I love getting to know you better!

25 Things You Don’t Know About Me

1. I’m happiest when… 1.) I’m hiking with Ryan and Sadie 2.) Hanging out with my family 3.) I’m with my girlfriends

2. …Especially if it… 1.) Involves beautiful autumn mountain views 2.) Involves a holiday tradition 3.) Involves doing absolutely nothing together

3. I’ve always wanted to… See whales in the wild and scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef.

4. My family and I… Support and love each other unconditionally. And have a lot of fun together!

5. I was a terrible… Math student. (Copying Tina on this one because it’s so very true!)

6. My first job was… Working as a lifeguard at Birchwood Pool in Palatine, Illinois.

7. I could probably eat ice cream everyday. There should not be a “probably” in this equation.

8. I stole… I can’t think of anything! Unless you count my sister’s clothes/purses/shoes. (We did this to each other.)

9. I was born on the same day as… Ulysses Grant and Casey Kasem.

10. My all-time favorite film is… Father of the Bride.

11. I do a pretty mean… Sadie impression.

12. I’m still mad… I didn’t study abroad.

13. I met my husband… In college. (The below photo was taken at my sorority’s camo social which should explain Ryan’s stylin’ headband.)

14. I always knew I wanted… A dog. We never had one growing up and a puppy was always on my Christmas list. Sadie was a long time coming!

15. I’m not afraid to… Go scuba diving!

16. I make the best… Cookies ‘n’ cream milkshakes. Just ask Ryan!

17. I have almost no… Flexibility. It’s sad.

18. I always cry when… I see or read about dogs that have been abused or mistreated. Or when I read this blog post. (Seriously, I cried again just linking to that post. Sadie must live forever.)

19. I’m (now) a North Carolinian, but I think I’ll always identify  most as a Midwestern girl. 

20. I spent 12 years… Living in Palatine, Illinois before moving to Florida the summer before I started college.

21. I wish my folks… Lived closer to me.

22. At 5, I was deeply in love with dolphins and The Little Mermaid. 

23. I believe if everyone exercised a little more kindness, the world would be a better place.

24. I can’t stand… Small, enclosed spaces. (I’m claustrophobic.)

25. Whenever Friends is on, I’ll watch it.

A random survey followed by a quick lunch recap? Why not!?

Today’s afternoon meal included a chicken tikka masala wrap that I made with fresh spinach and leftovers from last night’s dinner.

Plus a little sweetness on the side in the form of Brookside pomegranate dark chocolate.

Date Night Outfit

For those who asked about my date night outfit from Saturday night, here are the details!

10 Things You Didn't Know About "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Because there's no better way to celebrate the Christmas classic's 50th anniversary.

Since its debut on CBS on December 9, 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas has gone on to become required Christmas viewing in homes across America. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, which will be celebrated on November 30 on ABC, we've gathered 10 lesser-known facts about the quintessential Christmas show.

It wasn't until the Coca-Cola Company expressed interest that producer Lee Mendelson and creator Charles Schulz got to work. The duo ended up getting an outline of the special together in less than a day, and in the end, had only six months to produce the show before its December airing on CBS.

Though Mendelson wanted to use one, Schulz was adamant that the show feel as authentic as possible.

The producers increased the speed of a tape of Melendez speaking gibberish to make it sound like Snoopy.

Though that might not sound unique, it was actually quite rare back then to use children to voice characters. According to The Huffington Post, Melendez and Schulz were criticized for this decision, but the pair wanted the cast to sound as authentic as possible. Linus and Lucy were the only two characters who were voiced by professional actors.

Mendelson and Melendez were concerned the speech would be controversial, but Schulz insisted the show feature Linus reading from the Bible.

A Charlie Brown Christmas was viewed in an estimated 15,490,000 homes, but was ultimately trumped by an airing of Bonanza.

Kathy Steinberg, who voiced Sally Brown, was too young to read her lines, so the producers had to repeat them to her sentence by sentence.

The soundtrack has gone on to feature some of the most celebrated Christmas music&mdashand was voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2007.

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the show, USPS released stamp booklets that feature 10 scenes from the classic TV special.

The special will feature performances by Kristin Chenoweth, Matthew Morrison, Sarah McLachlan, and Boyz II Men.

5 Things You Didn’t Know You Could Make in Your Slow Cooker

You know all about the perks of setting it and forgetting it, but are you aware of your slow cooker’s secret powers? Beyond the game-changing greatness of slow-cooked meaty chilis, beef stews and more, this most trusty appliance has a few hidden tricks up its sleeve. In addition to its ability to cook dinner while you’re away at work, check out a few surprising things you can make using the slow cooker’s gentle heat.

Instead of standing over the stove or turning to the microwave for your early morning oatmeal fix, go for Alton Brown’s Overnight Oatmeal. Before you turn in for the night, combine steel cut oats, dried cranberries, dried figs and some liquid in the slow cooker and, come morning, you’ll have a bowl of perfectly cooked oatmeal waiting for you.

If you thought your slow cooker was capable of cooking only real meals low and slow, think again. With the help of your slow cooker, Slow-Cooker Spiced Nuts soak up all the goodness of cinnamon, maple syrup, orange peel and a little cayenne pepper for hours on end. The end result is a nutty snack that’s oh so addictive.

13 Things You Didn’t Know About Nuts That Every Self-Respecting Vegan Should

National Nut Day is Saturday, which means we&rsquore hitting the bulk foods section at our local grocery stores to create sophisticated raw desserts, whip up creamy sauces, and slather oh-so-satisfying nut butters onto just about everything (there&rsquos also talk about filling a Mr. Peanut piñata with nuts, but we&rsquoll see). Of course, we all know that nuts are part of a healthy diet, but for this national holiday, we wanted to know more about one of our favorite snacks, which is why we&rsquore highlighting 13 little-known facts about nuts in honor of National Nut Day. After a quick read, you&rsquoll see why we&rsquove got never-ending love for nuts.

1. What&rsquos a nut?
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a &ldquonut&rdquo is a hard, one-seeded fruit that does not split open to release seeds when ripe.

2. What&rsquos not a nut?
Botanically speaking, peanuts aren&rsquot really nuts&mdashthey&rsquore legumes, which consist of edible seeds encased within a pod (a la peas). Already knew that? Well, walnuts, almonds, and pecans are not nuts either&mdashthey&rsquore drupes, a type of fruit with a typically fleshy outer casing that surrounds a shell or pit that encases a seed (think mangos, cherries, and plums). So, whether we eat the outer part or the seed determines our layman&rsquos classification of fruit or nut&mdashwe associate the fleshy part with a &ldquofruit&rdquo and the seed with a &ldquonut.&rdquo

3. Almonds can act as prebiotics
According to a 2008 study by the American Society for Microbiology, consuming almonds might help increase healthy gut bacteria. We wonder if anyone is working on an almond-flavored kombucha &hellip prebiotics and probiotics all in one!

4. Thanks, Boston
The first published recipe for peanut butter and jelly sandwich was included in The Boston Cooking School Magazine of Culinary Science and Domestic Economics, Volume 6 in 1901. Author Julia Davis Chandler advised, &ldquoTry making little sandwiches, or bread fingers, of three very thin layers of bread and two fillings, one of peanut paste &hellip and currant or crab-apple jelly.&rdquo

5. Bolivia nuts?
Brazil nuts (which are mostly sourced from Bolivia) are one of the highest natural sources of selenium, a mineral that helps protect against prostate cancer and raise testosterone.

6. Killer cashews
From simple snacking to creating indulgent cashew cheeses and raw desserts, cashews are staples in vegan cuisine. But beware of the shells because they are severely toxic, as cashews come from the same plant family as poison ivy.

7. Silly sandwiches
There are plenty of delicious sandwich creations that expand upon the traditional peanut butter sandwich&mdashpeanut butter and banana, peanut butter and chocolate, and peanut butter and &hellip kimchi? Minneapolis&rsquo GYST Fermentation Bar serves The Sandor, which pairs peanut butter and kimchi on a focaccia roll. Apparently, according to Eater, the combination actually works.

8. The (allergen-free) friendly skies
In July 2017, an Australian couple called for a nut ban on airlines after their son suffered a severe allergic reaction on a Singapore flight. Their request is not the first of its kind. In 2014, a woman started a petition that would force airlines to create a three-row, nut-free buffer zone for those with nut allergies. The topic has gained much attention throughout the years, but no airline has officially banned passengers from consuming nuts or peanuts.

9. How bizarre
Andrew Zimmern, celebrity food personality and host of Bizarre Foods, will eat almost anything &hellip except walnuts.

10. Pennsylvania Planters
Planters, the nationally recognized nut company with the lovable Mr. Peanut mascot, was founded in 1906 by an Italian immigrant in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. The company began with just six employees and two head roasters and is now part of the Kraft Heinz Company.

11. One more reason to love chocolate
Nut farmers love chocolate companies, as they purchase 40 percent of the world&rsquos almonds and 20 percent of the world&rsquos peanuts.

12. Hit it hard
Macadamia nuts are not for the weak, as it takes 300 pounds of pressure per square inch to crack their shells, the hardest of all nuts.

13. Wet &lsquon&rsquo wild
Do you soak your nuts? If not, you might want to consider it, as soaking has been shown to aid in digestion and increase the bioavailability of a nut&rsquos nutrients. Put your nuts in a bowl or jar, submerge them completely with water, add a pinch of sea salt, and let them sit on the counter for seven hours (overnight). Rinse, and enjoy those bioavailable nutrients!

Tanya Flink is a certified Master Personal Trainer based in Orange County, CA and host of The Vegan Potluck podcast.

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