What is a Blanched Peanut?
First and foremost, you’re probably thinking to yourselves, “what are blanched peanuts?”To answer that question we have to start with a brief description of peanut anatomy. Peanuts are harvested with a hard outer shell, like you find on baseball peanuts. When the shell of a peanut is removed there is still a skin on the outside of the nut. If you don’t remove the skin from the peanut you get redskin peanuts. A blanched peanut is one in which the skin is removed. The blanching process is done by putting the peanuts in hot water for about three minutes, then rapidly cooling them and rubbing off their skins. Once, the skins have been removed spread them on paper to dry and refrigerate. Once they are cool and dry, voila- you have blanched peanuts!
What are the Advantages of a Blanched Peanut?
Blanched peanuts have a slightly soft texture and no shells. Blanched peanuts are great for DIY personal roasting, cooking, or baking (they’re great for making peanut butter). Depending on what you’re using the nuts for, redskin peanuts can be tricky to cook with. The skins often turn very flaky when cooked and you may find yourself constantly having to pick out the skins for appearance purposes. That’s why the smooth, clean blanched peanut can be invaluable in the kitchen!
That said, unblanched peanuts definitely have their purposes too (unblanched redskin peanuts make for great peanut brittle). The skins add a hint of flavor and are packed with nutrients that are ordinarily hard to get. Unblanched peanuts contain more nutrients (the skins pack a ton of hard-to-get nutrients), they are perfect for snacking. The satisfying, nutty flavor of a roasted redskin peanut alone is delicious even without candy coating. In the end though, it comes down to personal preference in the age-old debate of blanched vs unblanched peanuts. Try them both to find out which you prefer.
Are blanched peanuts raw?
Technically, yes. Blanched peanuts are still considered raw. The blanching process isn’t enough to fully cook them, unlike the process of boiling peanuts. As such, for your protection any peanuts labeled as RAW should be cooked prior to consumption. While they look tasty enough to eat straight out of the package, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Don’t worry though, roasting blanched peanuts is easy to do, and there’s nothing better than warm peanuts fresh from the oven (just make sure they’re cool enough to eat… they’re so good you want to be able to taste them).
Can you roast blanched peanuts?
Absolutely! Roasted blanched peanuts make a great snack, and they can be tossed in any pasta dish or salad for a great protein boost. It couldn’t be easier to roast them either, simply place the blanched peanuts one layer deep in a shallow baking pan. Roast 350° F for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat just short of desired doneness as peanuts continue to cook as they cool. As soon as they start to turn golden they are done. Season immediately. Let cool and happy eating!
Whether you enjoy tasty blanched peanuts for cooking and creating or those unblanched peanuts full of flavor and nutrients for snacking, both choices are tasty and nutritious. Studies have shown that eating a healthy amount of peanuts daily may help reduce the risk of heart disease. For more on peanut nutrition, we have a page packed with facts about the health benefits of our favorite legume. Added bonus- peanuts are delicious! Blanched or unblanched, no matter what you choose, an ounce of our USA grown Virginia Peanuts a day, may help keep the doctor away.