Roasting Peanuts In The Philippines

Roasting Peanuts In The Philippines

My wife knows a lot of secrets when it comes to preparing simple yet delicious treats.

It does not get any simpler than roasted peanuts, but there are a few secrets that it helps to know when it comes to roasting them.

My wife gathered the black sand from the beach near our home. She hand-picked each piece of sand to get the perfect size. It must be small enough to slip through the strainer that separates it from the peanuts, but not so small that any of it gets lodged within cracks in the peanuts themselves. Once she finds the perfect sand she washes it thoroughly.

So why do you need sand at all? 

The sand is heated in a pan. Before the sand reaches it's maximum temperature the peanuts are added:

The sand helps to ensure that the entire peanut is roasted uniformly. You must continually stir the mixture for about ten minutes. At about the halfway point you will hear the peanuts begin to snap and pop. It is like popcorn, but not as loud. At about this time you remove the pan from the fire and continue to stir for another ten minutes. You can sample the peanuts to see if they are done and keep stirring until they reach the perfect roast.

Once the peanuts are roasted to perfection simply strain and enjoy:

As we learned from the Market Day article, a ganta is about three liters. We buy a ganta of fresh shelled peanuts from the local market for 150PHP for one ganta. It works out to about $.60 per pound. Not bad.

Peanuts are as near to being a perfect food as you can get and their nutritional value is impressive:

source of data

If you have insomnia or restless leg syndrome it could be due to magnesium deficiency. Peanuts contain a hefty quantify of the trace element magnesium, among many others, and I have found that adding peanuts to my diet does seem to help me in getting to sleep.

One bad thing about peanuts (and corn and many other crops) is that they can sometimes be contaminated with mold. How they are grown, harvested and stored makes a big difference. The mold Aspergillus flavus will grow on peanuts if they are not handled properly i.e. allowed to become and remain wet until they begin to rot. We try to limit our peanut buying to the dry season. 

Aspergillus produces a toxin called aflatoxin and it is a known liver carcinogen.  Many studies have determined that roasting peanuts significantly reduces the amount of aflatoxin in them.

If you like peanut butter, then make sure that you buy the right kind. In the US, manufacturers used to add partially hydrogenated oils to peanut butter to prevent the peanut oil from separating and rising to the top. A few years ago they replaced partially hydrogenated oils with fully hydrogenated oils, which produce no trans-fats and are thought to be somewhat healthier. Even so, I prefer natural peanut butter with no added oils. The peanut oil does rise to the top, so you have to stir it. You should only have to do that once if you store the peanut butter in the fridge. The best thing is reading the ingredients and seeing only peanuts, cane sugar and salt - as opposed to a long list of terms from an advanced chemistry exam. 

The peanut butter brand that we love is Lily's. We usually buy the 504g  plastic container that is priced at about 180PHP. We probably have a hundred of those plastic containers and use them for all sorts of things.