Southern-Style Boiled Peanuts

These take a while but make for great snacking food.  And healthy too, believe it or not.  By boiling the peanuts, the antioxidants found in the shell and peanut skin get absorbed into the peanut.  Eating them raw or roasted loses the benefit of all these nutrients.  Who knew?

Southern-Style Boiled Peanuts

What you’ll need:

1 – 2 lbs. green peanuts (fresh from garden, not roasted)

1 gallon of water (enough to cover peanuts 1 – 2 in. in pot)

1/2 cups salt (approx. 1/2 cup per gallon, or to taste)

smoked ham hock (optional – added flavor)

sliced pickles, peppers (optional – added flavor)

Rinse unshelled peanuts in cold water until water runs clear.  In a pot (with lid) large enough to hold both peanuts and water, fill with peanuts and add water.  Make sure you have enough water to cover peanuts by about 1 – 2 inches.  Cover peanuts with salt.  If using a ham hock, you can add less salt.

Cover pot and boil peanuts for approximately 2 – 3 hours at a gentle boil, not rolling.  Times will vary depending on how dry your peanuts are to start; the greener the peanut, the less time to boil.  Continually maintain water level and check after 2 hours for doneness.  Peanuts should be soft to chew, but not mushy.  Cook until done, taking care not to over cook – or you’ll lose the nutritional benefits!  Remove from heat and drain.  You may allow them to sit in the salted water, if you prefer a more salted taste.  For an added kick, throw in some cayenne or spicy Cajun seasoning!

Note:  if you have dried peanuts–not roasted–you can still boil them.  You simply have to re-hydrate them by soaking the nuts in water for 24 hours prior to boiling.

Enjoy warm or room temperature, shelling as you eat them.  Peanuts should keep for a few days without refrigeration.  They can be cooled and frozen indefinitely, using airtight containers.

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