Roasted peanuts can provide a good amount of essential nutrients in a healthy diet. Skip the high amount of sodium that is found in salted peanuts and grab a handful of unsalted ones for a good snack. Although about a quarter of a cup is about 250 calories, peanuts that are unsalted and roasted provide a mix of protein, fat, and carbohydrates. There is also a rich source of minerals in peanuts, like manganese, potassium, phosphorus, and zinc.
A Brief Background
Roasted peanuts became popular in the late 1800s when P.T. Barnum circus wagons moved around the country. Vendors with "Fresh Roasted Peanuts" labeled on their carriage would shout, "Hot roasted peanuts!" to the attendees. Soon, more street vendors starting doing the same, and more carts full of peanuts become popular at other venues like baseball games. As supply went up in the 1900's, demand did as well—especially for roasted peanuts.
While roasted peanuts remain a popular snack even today, it can cause one of the most severe allergic reactions. Be careful about consuming roasted peanuts if you have peanut allergies, as dry roasting creates a chemical transformation of the proteins in the peanuts which can activate the immune system.
How to Skin Peanuts
When roasting peanuts in the microwave, it's imperative that you skin the peanuts or otherwise remove the shell. The skins will naturally fall off raw peanuts if you place them in the oven for about five minutes at 350 degrees. However, if you're not using an oven at all, you can remove the skin of peanuts in a hot non-stick pan on low heat for about five minutes.
You will likely have to stir them often so that they don't stick, burn, or get bitter.
Recipe for Roasting in the Microwave
It is fairly easy to roast peanuts in the microwave, and it only takes about 15 minutes to do so. Grab peanuts, butter, and a glass baking dish to get started.
- Peanuts must be shelled (shell removed).
- Place 2 cups of peanuts in a 10x16 inch glass baking dish.
- Dot with 2 teaspoons butter.
- Microwave on high for 2 minutes.
- Microwave on high another 2 minutes.
- Continue cooking and stirring every two minutes until slightly under desired doneness level.
- Peanuts continue to cook when removed from oven.
- Cook a total of 10 minutes for light roast or 12 minutes for darker roast.
- Let cool 10 minutes before eating.
- Store cooked shelled peanuts in an airtight container for up to three months in refrigerator or six months in the freezer.
- If you can, choose unshelled peanuts that have clean, unbroken, unblemished shells that do not rattle when shaken.
- 1-1/2 pounds of unshelled peanuts equals about 1 pound shelled or 3-1/2 to 4 cups.
- Store unshelled raw peanuts in an airtight container in refrigerator up to six months.