Sunday, September 2, 2012

September 13 is National Peanut Day

September is the start of autumn and the harvesting of peanuts. Peanuts are planted after the last frost in April or early May and the heaviest harvesting months are September and October.
The peanuttiest of days is September 13th, National Peanut Day.  Actually, peanuts are not nuts. They are "legumes", like peas, beans, and lentils. Peanuts are one of America's favorite snack foods, and it’s more than a snack food. Peanuts are the main ingredient in peanut butter. Peanuts star in a variety of recipes, and are a topping for countless foods and desserts. Many Chinese recipes use peanuts in main menu items.

Peanuts once took the rap as a not so healthy food. More recent research suggests that peanuts can reduce cardiovascular disease and lower triglycerides in the body. Peanuts are high in protein and fiber, and are now believed to help curb hunger and therefore help in diet control.

Celebrate National Peanut Day by eating Virginia Peanuts wherever and whenever during the day that you can. Eating Peanut Butter counts, too. Want to try something different (and peanutty, of course), try some Peanut Soup or Peanut Straws.

The Virginia Peanut Festival in Emporia, Virginia will be Sept. 20-23. The Virginia Peanut Festival will celebrate its 50th Anniversary. The majority of exhibits and entertainment are free to the public. There will be storefront displays, a parade, arts and crafts, antique farm equipment, a quilt show, a peanut cook-off, music and great food. A carnival will be back with even better rides than last year, ones that will appeal to the young and young at heart. Virginia is for lovers.....Emporia-Greensville is for nuts.

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