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Groundnut (arachis hypogaea)

An alternative name for a peanut, monkey nut, goober and gooler. The nuts yield edible oil, and are also used to make oilcake for cattle food. They are actually "legumes" and not strictly nuts all.

After flowering, the flower stalks bend and force the pods into the earth so that they can ripen in near desert conditions without desiccation.

When grown, between two and seven kernels are enclosed in a dry, crinkly pod 9This depends on the variety).

The nuts have a fat content of 45-50 per cent (more than double cream); pound for pound, have more protein, minerals and vitamins than ox liver, more calories than sugar. They are used to make groundnut oil or available plain in their pods, shelled and roasted or dry-roasted - when they can be eaten as a snack. Peanut butter is another popular use.

In the Far-East, they are used, ground, in sauces - particularly in Indonesia.

Caution: Goundnuts/Peanuts are heavily sprayed and are subject to aflatoxin, a carcinogenic fungus. It's safer, therefore, to eat organically-grown varieties. See 'Satay Sauce'; and 'Satay Sauce' in our Recipe Section.

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