An ounce of information
Published on 05/24/2023 in Peanut Science
A blanched peanut is simply one with the skin removed.
When a peanut is harvested, its hard outer shell is kept intact, and under this shell the nut is wrapped in a red skin layer. To remove this skin layer, peanuts are passed onto a long dryer and roasting machine. Mild heat is then introduced whilst the peanut travels on a metal mesh conveyor belt through a series of chambers which vary between hot and cold, in order to reduce temperature shock. Once the peanuts are out of the roaster, either air pressure or rollers are used to apply friction and remove the skin of the peanuts .
Blanched peanuts, by their nature, don’t have shells, and typically acquire a slightly soft texture. They’re ideally suited for roasting, cooking or baking, and they make especially good peanut butter. Red-skinned peanuts, on the other hand, can be tricky to cook with. The skins often turn flaky when cooked and bits can easily crumble away, affecting the appearance of your dish. Smooth, clean, blanched peanuts make for a much easier experience.
Red-skinned, unblanched peanuts certainly have their benefits: They make for great peanut brittle, the skins add a subtle flavour, and they contain more hard-to-get nutrients than blanched peanuts. As a result, they’re great for snacking, thanks to their delicious nutty flavour when roasted, even without any sugar or candy coating.
Ultimately, the winner of blanched peanuts vs roasted peanuts comes down to personal preference – so we recommend giving both a try!
Technically, blanched peanuts are still considered raw. The blanching process is so quick that it doesn’t fully cook or boil the peanuts. To be safe, they should therefore be cooked prior to consumption, typically by roasting them. There’s little better than warm peanuts fresh from the oven.
Absolutely! Roasted blanched peanuts make a great snack, and can be easily added to pasta dishes or salads to add a tasty hit of protein.
Blanched peanuts are typically roasted at home laid out one layer deep in a shallow baking pan, and roast at 350°F/180°C for 15-20 minutes. They’ll tend to cook a little further as they cool, so it’s best to remove them from the oven just before they look completely roasted – usually as soon as they start to turn golden. Larger scale manufacturers use machines for their blanching and roasting. Several snack manufacturers roast their blanched peanuts just a few hours before producing the snack to retain the nuts’ fresh aroma and nutty flavour.
Whether you prefer blanched or unblanched peanuts for snacking and baking, both make for tasty and nutritious ingredients. Studies have even shown that eating a typical amount of peanuts each day may help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
The raw peanuts vs roasted peanuts debate still rages today. So which is best? The truth is that it depends on taste, and what you’re going to be using the peanuts for. If you’re making snacks or confectionery, roasted blanched peanuts are often the favourite choice, but for cooking or baking, it makes more sense to use raw peanuts that can add even more to the flavour profile of your dish.
Whichever you go for – raw or roasted, blanched or unblanched – peanuts will add nutrients, flavour, and texture to a wide range of dishes, snacks, and baked goods.
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