Thursday, November 12, 2015

Dry Roasted

This is a minor and seemingly insignificant side note, but a good example of taking charge of a situation and making things happen rather than whining about it. For the record I am extremely adept at whining. I'm a big snacker and am hungry all of the time. I love things like french fries, cheese crackers, and chips and salsa, and would be eating constantly if I wasn't conscious of all the added calories. Snacks work well because I can nibble while I'm doing other things like cooking or even doing poster boy work.

Peanuts are a good snack in this regard because they are tasty, easy to chomp on, high in protein, and reasonably satisfying. Sure, they are higher in fat, but are low in carbs, and the fat is a healthy fat. Whatever be the case, they are the snack of choice. Plus, I get sated on them, whereas I could easily eat an entire bag of chips. The problem I've run into is finding a good source of healthily prepared nuts. Most commercial brands use cottonseed oil (a big no-no) or dry roast them with all sorts of crap to make them look and taste appealing. I want dry roasted peanuts with salt.

Over at the Coop they have Virginia peanuts which are tasty and cheap. I bought them for awhile until I stopped and read the fine print on the ingredients and found that they are cooked with soybean oil, which is another unhealthy oil. I was so bummed. They carry dry roasted peanuts, which are a good option, but they only sell the unsalted version. I've tried to salt them at home but it just doesn't work out that well. Clearly I was going to have to take matters into my own hands.

Enter raw peanuts, which are readily available at any health store. They are pretty disgusting to eat on their own, but what I do is soak them quickly in a brine, drain, and then cook in a roasting pan in the oven, salting occasionally. It is interesting how they transform into this pale, earthy-tasting legume into a crunchy masterpiece with that delicious roasted peanut flavor. It takes about 20 minutes and I've had to fiddle a little with the conditions, but I think I've arrived at the optimal conditions. Yes, it's a hassle, and I have to continually attend to the cooking, moving the nuts around for even cooking and salting. Toward the end, I need to monitor their appearance so as to not over cook them, but in the end it's worth it because I get the snack I've been searching for, and as I mentioned, I'm all about snacking.

Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Daniella Segura for the pic.

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