Those close to Georgann; owner of Georgie’s Custom Catering, know that Georgie is not a fan of peanut butter. But, it’s difficult to imagine a world without peanuts, and especially peanut butter. So, we’re celebrating National Peanut Month with our fans.
National Peanut Month isn’t unique to the edible history of the popular nut. In fact, despite the popularity of the snack friendly nut there’s a whole wonderful history of origin and household uses. For, example, did you know the peanut did not originate in the United States?
Let’s travel back in time to find out how peanuts became an American staple.
Peanuts—which are not actually nuts, but legumes, are indigenous to South America; most likely Peru. Explorers from Spain and Portugal brought them back to Europe, and also to Africa, where their popularity flourished. Not long after, Africans being transported to North America during the slave trade brought peanuts along with them.
Fast forward a few hundred years.
George Washington Carver is often considered to be the “father” of peanuts. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, cotton was a widespread crop, and Carver, who was an expert on plants, knew that cotton plants used up much of the nutrients in the soil. To replenish them, he suggested that farmers plant peanuts, among other crops, in between cotton crops for healthier soil. It was an added bonus that farmers who did this could glean the benefits of the nuts they were growing: a high protein food that could be used in a variety of ways.
Carver innovated hundreds of uses for peanuts: plastics, paints, dyes, and even soap! However, he is not credited with inventing the ever-popular peanut butter that’s a staple in our kitchens today.
Originally, one type of peanut butter was patented by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg, of Kellogg’s cereal, who created a raw ground peanut paste for his patients who could not chew. It was ideal as a meal replacer because of its health benefits and protein content.
We cannot talk about National Peanut Month without talking about Peanut Butter!
With peanuts becoming more popular, people started to experiment with the process of making peanut butter. They soon discovered when the creamy concoction was made with a roasted version of the nut the final result was much tastier. This new and improved peanut butter was a hit at the 1904 World’ Fair in St. Louis, and the rest is history!
Peanuts have a long and complicated history.
They are a staple in lunch boxes across the states; usually slathered on bread with jelly. If you don’t go nuts for peanuts, don’t forget to check with Georgie’s Custom Catering about their special menu options, and ask about peanut-free options. But, if you’re a fan of the versatile legumes, Georgie’s has plenty of menu options to satisfy your love of the nutty flavor.
We’ll round off this love fest with a simple, naturally gluten-free recipe for peanut butter cookies!
3-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies
A great, quick and easy, gluten-free treat.
- 1 cup of peanut butter
- 1 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- Optional: vanilla, sea salt, chocolate chips
methodPreheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and line a baking sheet with parchment paper In a medium bowl, mix together the peanut butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla if you’re using it. You can use an electric mixer, or just a fork to combine the ingredients.
If you love the peanut butter and chocolate flavor combo, now is the time to stir in about a half cup of chocolate chips, though if you added more it probably wouldn’t be a bad idea!
Form the dough into balls, and plop them on the baking sheet, leaving an inch or two in between each cookie. Flatten with a fork to create the traditional cross hatch pattern.
If desired, sprinkle a pinch of high-quality, flaky sea salt on top of each cookie (this is especially delicious if you used unsalted peanut butter. The cookies might be too salty if you used salted peanut butter).
Depending on your oven, bake for 6 to 8 minutes. When they’re done baking, let them set on the baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack…or your mouth!