Power to the Peanut

Whether boiled, roasted, ground or salted, peanuts have become a familiar snack. But these crunchy treats are not actually nuts, they’re legumes, and they pack more healing benefits than one might realize.

While peanut plants grow above the ground, the edible portion actually grows under the soil. The plants have small yellow flowers toward the bottom that self-pollinate and then lose their petals. Once the stem gets heavy and leans toward the ground, the pollinated ovary buries itself in the soil and begins to form a peanut. Isn’t Nature incredible?

In addition to being chock-full of healthy fats, vitamins, and antioxidants, peanuts help prevent colon cancer, gallstones and Alzheimer’s disease. Peanuts grow in the ground, so from a TCM perspective, these crunchy legumes benefit the Stomach and Spleen, the organs associated with the Earth element and the Late Summer season. Peanuts also support good digestive health and help stimulate breast milk production.

From peanut butter and jelly sandwiches to sweet peanut soup and pad thai, peanuts are used around the world in many types of dishes, both sweet and savory. Check out our recipe section for some interesting peanut recipes. Or try this recipe for Boiled Peanuts.

Boiled Peanuts

2 pounds raw peanuts, in shell

1/2 cup salt

3 bags black tea

1 teaspoon sugar

5-10 star anise or 1 Tablespoon Fennel seeds

1 teaspoon mushroom powder (optional)


Wash the peanuts well. Then place them in a large pot and cover with water. Add all remaining ingredients to the pot. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and continue to simmer over low heat for 1 hour. Turn off the heat and leave the pot covered overnight. Be sure not to agitate the water. Use a slotted spoon to remove the peanuts from the water. Serve warm or at room temperature.

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