Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Groundnuts (花生)

Groundnut is also known as peanut or earthnut; I remember reading somewhere that it is known as monkey nuts as well. My first response when I read that was ~ "Huh? Monkey Nut? ". What a cute name.

Groundnut is one of the popular or hot items during Chinese New Year. It symbolises longevity. The word 生 in 花生 (groundnuts in Chinese language) means life.

The normal sized groundnuts vs the big Shandong groundnuts

Groundnuts are popular snacks among Malaysians. One can get all kind of groundnuts ~ different brands and different preparations including the big groundnuts (Shandong varieties) from supermarkets or sundry shops. This time, I bought few packets of Ngan Yin Groundnuts (I guess this is one of the most popular brand over here), garlic flavoured Supernut Groundnuts, Kalimantan Red Groundnuts (Kacang Merah) and the big Shandong groundnuts.

The prosperous Kacang Merah groundnuts

The Kalimantan Kacang Merah groundnuts are really prosperous and 好生养 (hou san yong). So many kids seeds or nuts per shell :P More than 80% of the groundnuts have at least 3 or 4 nuts/seeds. I love the supernut groundnuts with garlic flavour :)

Nice snacks. But we have to keep in mind that peanut has high protein as well as high fat content, hence high calories. Despite the high fat content, peanut butter is still one of my favourites :) Moderation is always the keyword.

*Facts to remember : Peanuts which are infested with fungal aflatoxin and eaten in large quantities can cause liver cancer.

29 comments:

PhotoCrazy said...

Hmm.. I am wondering where you pick up your photography.. those peanut and bak kua photos, are in 3D.. I guess you are using the other camera when you were in the sushi restaurant..

What does peanut affected by fungal aflatoxin looks like? any sample?

Chen said...

photocrazy,
Photography is my new hobby.
I gather some info regarding photography here and there from internet :)
Now still in the learning process..
Yeah.. I use the other camera to shoot the sushi picture.

I don't have any picture of peanuts affected by aflatoxin fungus. I will try to look for one.

Cynthia said...

I alwayws choose the small and smooth 'skinned' peanuts.. my childhood friend told me they happen to be sweeter =) I also dunno lah.. I eat only ..ekek

Wilson said...

Doc, cholesterol and fat is it the same?

Alicia said...

i like groundnuts :D.. especially those boiled in soup.. for packed groundnuts.. only those red and sweet ones :)

Chen said...

Cynthia,
I guess most of us have eaten the fried peanuts sprinkled with salt. Yummy :)

Wilson,
Fat and Cholesterol are different thing but they have close relationship. There are good and bad fat as well as good and bad cholesterol. The bad fat is the saturated fat and trans fat while the good fat is the unsaturated fat ~ both monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. The good cholesterol is HDL cholesterol while bad cholesterol is the LDL cholesterol. Dietary fat intake contributes to rising blood cholesterol level. But not all cholesterol are resulted purely from dietary intake. Our body produce cholesterol as well.

I guess I will write a post on fat and cholesterol in few days time to explain this in greater detail. Too much to key in here or else will take one whole page :)


Alicia,
Soup with boiled groundnut and pork bone? That's yummy.. I like :D

Jellyfish said...

oh...
u din buy the 'thumbs-up' groundnuts ar? :P

yvy said...

i'm VERY scared to eat kacang coz it is said to make ur pimples pop out. so normally stay away from it.

Chen said...

jellyfish,
Got.... Of course I bought that as well... :P
That is one of the most popular brand :)
the Ngan Yin Groundnuts is the "thumbs up" or "Cap Tangan" groundnuts :D

yvy,
U are one of those who will grow pimples easily when they eat kacang?
Too bad :(

agus said...

All this talk of grounduts and no one mentioned menglembu. Some different brands pack their nuts as menglembu groundnuts. They used to come exclusively from the gastronomic small town of menglembu perak. There is even a roundabout in menglembu that displays a huge replica of groundnuts. Used to? Funny thing is, this delicious type of groundnut that we love today is no longer grown there. The plantation has been replaced by housing estates. I wonder where they are planted these days. And why do we still eat menglembu groundnuts when it is not really from menglembu. Moooo....

FH2O said...

talkin of nuts, the cashew nuts i bought in Chiangmai was fragrant and delicious unlike the ones available for sale locally in m'sia! tasteless!
nacadamia, pistachio, cashew, walnut are my order of preferences ...
i m nuts about nuts! but then again what do u expect of a 'monkey'!

Chen said...

agus,
u r right.. The brand and the name Menglembu still continues even though those peanuts are no longer from Menglembu..
I think COW rocks.. That's why people still use Menglembu, hahahha...

fh2o,
hah? nacadamia nuts as well? yum yum...
I always call walnut as brain nut cos it loks like brain hemisphere :P
All the nuts u mentioned are my favourites (but err... I'm not "monkey') :D

Robin said...

Aflatoxins are naturally occurring mycotoxins that are produced by many species of Aspergillus, a fungus, most notably Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus. Aflatoxins are toxic and carcinogenic to animals, including humans. After entering the body, aflatoxins are metabolized by the liver to an intermediate reactive, aflatoxin M1, an epoxide.

You will know that your peanuts or other nuts contain aflatoxin when they are mouldy or greenish in colour or have a powdery coating on it. Throw them all away immediately.

agus said...

That's it! I'm buying groundnuts at the minimart once I get home. The nutty comments are driving me mad!

Chen said...

Robin,
Someone is giving lecture here :)
Thanks for the detailed write up..
Yeah, u r right..

Those can be seen with naked eyes are easy to detect (I mean the peanuts which are infested with fungal aflatoxin) but the problem arise when we eat peanut butter..
Cos we have no idea what sort of peanuts they used to make the peanut butter..
One of my main concern is the aflatoxin contamination in peanut butter :D(
How safe is the peanut butter ??

Chen said...

agus,
hahaha... another monkey? :D
I'm munching groundnuts at the moment :P

Robin said...

yes, in fact most processed food are not so safe, especially when they used mouldy raw material..

Remember, Pedegree Dog food recently recall worldwide all their dog food, because many dogs died after eating their food. In the end, they confessed that aflatoxins outbreaks are found in their raw materials used, barley or some other grains.

I guess everything, like life is, should be taken and done in moderation.

Chen said...

Robin,
Sad to know about the aflatoxin contaminated dog food :(
So many dogs died and fell sick in US end of last year cos of that ...

Yeah, everything should be taken in moderation :)

Winn said...

sore throattttt........
doc..

i'm trying...

pls tell lucas that i love him...

* K-O*

Chen said...

Winn
tell u liao, don't eat so much groundnuts..
now u see what happen lah..

pass poor Winn one Difflam lozenge :D

sbanboy said...

I love peanuts ... hehe Chinese New Year just around the corner .... bak kua here I come ... peanuts here I come ..... ang pow here I come .... aiyak .. must get ang pow from chen ... kekeke

NBB said...

the pics that u took were nice. what digital camera are u using?

Chen said...

sban boy,
err... u didn't mention "lokam I come?" :P
ang pow? must start hiding liao :D

nurul,
Thanks :)
I capture these shots with Minolta Dimage Z2 :)

Sam I Am said...

High Protein Content - 27%

Protein is vital for the growth, maintenance and repair of your body's tissues, and is one of the essential building blocks of all life.
Peanuts beat the pants off most foods in general (and all other snack foods in particular) when it comes to protein content. In fact, they have such a high protein content they're widely used as an alternative to meat in many vegetarian recipes.


Cholesterol Free!

High cholesterol levels are a major concern for many people. But happily, peanuts are 100% cholesterol-free!
This means you can eat them by the bagful without raising your cholesterol level one jot.

Peanuts are also a great source of mono-saturated oils - which are are good oils for humans (see our page on Peanuts and Your Health for the latest research about this).


6.4% Dietary Fibre


Dietary fibre is essential to the smooth functioning of your body's waste elimination process - and if you don't get enough fibre in your diet your body soon blocks up.
Peanuts have 6.4% dietary fibre content so they're very good for your digestion and your bowels.


13 Vitamins and 26 Minerals

Vitamins? Minerals? Peanuts are a veritable treasure trove of them!
All our South Burnett peanuts contain 13 different vitamins (including A, the B group, C and E) along with 26 essential trace minerals, including calcium and iron.

The only thing they don't contain is the high cadmium that's typically found in imported peanuts (which is definitely not good for you!)


Low Salt Content

Many people are surprised to hear that peanuts have a very low salt content - usually only 1.4mg per 25 gm serve.
Salted peanuts, naturally, have a higher content - but it's still only about 107mg per 25 gm serve. This is much lower than most common snack foods such as corn chips and potato chips.

So if sodium is a concern in your diet, you'll generally find that you can safely consume peanuts without any ill effects.


Folate and Antioxidants


Finally, peanuts possess a natural high folate content, along with vital antioxidants.
Doctors and nutritionists now recognise that both of these make a vital contribution to human well-being and that antioxidants also tend to slow down the aging process.

Many food manufacturers now put folate into their food products because of its beneficial health effects. But here at the Peanut Van, all the goodness is put in by Mother Nature herself

Selba said...

First time to hear that peanuts can caused Liver Cancer. All this time, I've been informed that peanuts is very good as Sam I Am mentioned in here.

Robin said...

At least 100 dogs in the United States have been killed in recent weeks by toxic pet food despite a recall of the products, scientists said today.

Some 19 brands of Diamond, Country Value and Professional dog foods have been recalled. But many pet owners are not aware of the recall, researchers at Cornell University said Friday.

Dogs have refused to eat the food and, in some cases, their owners have enticed them with gravy and other lures without knowing they were killing the animals.

Selba said...

robin: OMG... that's really terrible!

Chen said...

Sam I Am,
Thanks for the detailed write up :)

One has to be careful regarding the statement "Cholesterol Free" on the label.
Keep in mind that cholesterol is found in animal-based foods only, not plant-based foods. Plant-based food is cholesterol free.
Saturated fats are found in both.
One has to take into account the content of fat in the food, especially saturated fat and trans fat/trans fatty acid.
Have to bear in mind that saturated fat will raise LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels.
Peanut has both saturated fat and unsaturated fat.
So the statement regarding peanut is 100% cholesterol free is not true :)
cos of the saturated fat content in peanut, it will raise the LDL cholesterol level in the blood :)

Selba,
u miss out something..
Only peanuts which are infested with fungal aflatoxin and eaten in large quantities can cause liver cancer...
Eating clean peanuts won't cause liver cancer :)

Robin,
Sad to know that :(

yvy said...

yar lor....but i'm not a fan of it so, it's ok lar. no loss there. :)