National Peanut Day is September 13, a time to celebrate the contributions of the humble peanut to American food culture. While this holiday was not created by George Washington Carver, he is often mentioned in the same blurbs about National Peanut Day, and with good reason.
National Peanut Day will be celebrated on Tuesday, September 13, 2022.
Carver, an American agricultural scientist and inventor, had a passion for peanuts and developed some 300 different uses for the legume (a peanut is technically NOT a nut) in food, commercial non-food products, and even industrial uses. His work became legendary, and is known by many as THE important figure in the American peanut industry.
There isn’t much information about National Peanut Day in terms of history, who started it, or why. Some holidays like this are created by marketing boards, it is entirely possible that a peanut marketer or manufacturer is behind observing September 13.
National Peanut Day is a great time to incorporate peanuts into your diet. For many the fun is in experimenting with new approaches to a very familiar food. Did you know that peanuts are found in Indonesian, Malaysian, and Thai cooking?
The savory dishes made with peanuts in Asian cuisine include Chicken Satay, Kung Pow Chicken, Pad Thai, and many others. Peanuts, peanut oil, and even peanut butter are used in these dishes.
Some people may be tempted to experiment on National Peanut Day; have you ever tried making your own peanut butter? According to some sources it takes over 500 individual peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar of peanut butter. Believe it or not, you can make your own using oven-roasted peanuts and salt.
The process is simply to use a blender in one and two-minute increments until you get the consistency you expect, adding in salt and blending one final time. Use a combination of two cups of peanuts to a half teaspoon of kosher salt.
Basically, any use of peanuts on September 13 is observing the holiday, but it’s a lot of fun to experiment with this versatile staple food. But while we’ve focused on savory uses of peanuts, there are simple and fun dessert uses, too. Peanut brittle is a very common recipe, and has a simple ingredient list including water, sugar, salt, and:
- light corn syrup
- unsalted butter
- unsalted, dry roasted peanuts
- baking soda
Peanut brittle is a no-bake recipe; you make the confection on the stovetop and pour it into a baking sheet to get the right size and consistency. Once the mixture is poured, it simply needs to cool.
Peanuts are said to have originated in South America some 3,000-3,500 years ago. Peanuts are legumes; they grow underground unlike nuts which grow on trees. Peanuts are said to have some eight grams of protein per ounce.
To legally market peanut butter in the United States, the mixture must be at least 90% peanuts. Some sources report peanuts are the top “snack nut” in the USA, and at least four of the top selling candy bars contain peanuts.
George Washington Carver is thought by some to be the inventor of peanut butter. He was not the inventor of peanut butter, but was so dedicated to his research that Carver eventually became known as the “grandfather” of the peanut.
The list of American Presidents includes two peanut farmers; Thomas Jefferson and Jimmy Carter.
There are six U.S. cities with peanut-based names:
- Peanut, California
- Peanut, Pennsylvania
- Upper Peanut, Pennsylvania
- Lower Peanut, Pennsylvania
- Peanut, Tennessee
- Peanut West Virginia
Peanut butter is said to be consumed in at least 90% of all American homes. On average, children eat some 1500 peanut butter sandwiches before graduating high school. Peanuts are high in vitamin E, Vitamin B6, plus iron, zinc, and magnesium.