Learn a few fun facts about peanuts as I recap the peanut farm tour in Richmond, VA. Plus, I share my favorite peanut recipes with ya’ll. A couple weeks ago, I jetted off to Richmond, VA to tour a peanut farm and learn about all things peanuts. I love any excuse to go down South and experience that warm Southern hospitality. And hospitality we did have. The owners of Hope & Harmony Farms, Jeffery and Stephanie Pope, invited us into their GORGEOUS home which is surrounded by cotton fields. It was my first time seeing vast fields of cotton like this and it was breathtakingly beautiful to look out and see a field of white. DYK that peanuts and cotton are rotated every couple years to manage pests and reduce fungals? After a quick stop at Jeffery and Stephanie’s home, we hopped back on the bus to pay a visit to the peanut farm.Most people are shocked to learn that peanuts actually grow underground (I know I was).
There are four different varieties of peanuts:
- Runner – with a small, consistent size, these peanuts are used primarily for peanut butter
- Valencia – on the sweeter side, these are mostly grown in TX
- Virginia – the largest peanut, Virginias are used mostly for snacking
- Spanish – the smallest, nuttiest peanut, this variety is used mostly in confections
Other fun peanut facts:
- Peanuts contain more protein per ounce than any other nut (7 grams!)
- There are about 540 peanuts in one 12oz jar of peanut butter
- Peanut butter must contain at least 90% peanuts
- 60% of peanuts grown in the U.S. are used for peanut butter
- Peanuts are a sustainable crop – peanuts use 4.7 gallons of water per ounce which is significantly less than other nuts that use closer to 80 gallons per ounce. No part of the nut is wasted – peanut vines are used as cattle feed or compost and the shells are also used as animal feed or biodiesel.
- Thanks to advancements in technology in harvesting crops, the average crop yield is 4500 lbs of peanuts per acre! That’s a whole lotta peanuts. Especially considering the yield was 3500 lbs per acre just ten years ago.
After eating one too many peanuts off the ground :), we went back to Hope & Harmony Farms for an amazing peanut-inspired lunch. I told you their home is gorgeous!
The setup for lunch was so pretty! Fresh sunflowers and cotton were used as tablescapes.And at our place settings was our very own peanut butter spoon. YES.Lunch was absolutely delicious. A few things on the menu were:
- Peanut hummus with green peanut oil
- Baby field greens with rum-cured apricots, shaved Parmesan, honey-roasted peanuts, charred shallot vinaigrette, cornbread crouton and “habanero peanut” deviled egg
- Peanut slaw with Virginia collards, shaved sweet potato, scallions and sweet chili sauce
- Pan-fried potato salad with peanut-oil fried potatoes, shaved red onion, roasted garlic, fresh sage and smoked sea salt tossed in whole-grain mustard
And the desserts were unreal. I was so excited when I found out we would get to try all three (I couldn’t choose!)
- Triple-chocolate cheesecake with chili peanut dust
- Southern sweet potato pie with peanut brittle crust
- Southampton parfait with cinnamon yogurt, candied peanuts and Maker’s Mark gastrique
After lunch, we got a behind-the-scenes look at the production facility for Hope & Harmony Farms.I love their branding and packaging.A big thank you to the National Peanut Board and Hope & Harmony Farms for hosting us! Do you love cooking with peanuts as much as I do? Check out my favorite peanut recipes below!Spicy Peanut Tofu & Bok Choy Rice BowlDark Chocolate Peanut Butter Hemp Heart BitesCollard Green Wraps with Tofu and Thai Peanut SauceChocolate Peanut Butter Oatmeal Smoothie
Tell me, what’s your favorite way to use peanuts in the kitchen?