Peanuts are a healthy source of protein, vitamins and minerals; but for some individuals, peanuts are a health hazard. Peanut allergies among children have risen, doubling between the years 1997 and 2000, according to Food Allergy Initiative. Therefore, increasing the awareness of different foods that contain peanuts can help keep significant allergic reactions to a minimum.
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Peanut butter is made directly from the process of creaming peanuts. Peanut butter is generally easy to store and can last for a significantly long period of time unopened.
Ethnic foods such as African, Chinese and Thai foods are often made with peanuts or peanut oil, or they often contain trace amounts of peanuts. Also at ethnic restaurants, cross-contamination may occur from pots and pans used to cook food containing peanuts.
Peanuts and peanut oils are used as sauces to add flavoring to dishes. TeensHealth notes that peanut butter or peanut oil is commonly used by chefs and cooks as a thickening agent for sauces in foods such as chili.
Peanuts are commonly used as an ingredient in food bars, energy bars and protein bars. These bars are used either as meal replacements or to provide high amounts of nutritional calories. Because peanuts are high in protein and healthy nutrients, they are used in these bars.
Candies often contain nuts. Candy bars, peanut brittle and bite-size candy such as M & Ms are made with peanuts. As long as you do not have peanut allergies, eating candy that contains peanuts is a healthier option than consuming candy without nuts. This is because the nuts add a valuable amount of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats to the candy bar.
Nu-Nuts are artificial nuts that often contain some amount of peanuts. According to Children’s Hospital of Boston, nu-nuts are made by removing the natural peanut taste from peanuts and then flavoring them with other nuts such as pecans or walnuts.
Nougats are a whipped candy that comes in a variety of flavors and contains different ingredients. Peanuts are one of the ingredients that can be used in the making of nougat.
Pesto is often used in Italian pasta dishes. Peanuts are one of the ingredients commonly used in the making of pesto.
Muffins and Breads
Muffins and breads may have peanuts added to them. Also, peanut oil or flour can be used in the making of an assortment of different breads. Cross-contamination can occur in bakeries. Therefore, if you are highly allergic to peanuts, avoid bread products made from places that use peanuts in their baking.
Desserts such as cookies, pastries and brownies often contain peanuts. Peanuts are used to add flavor and a crunchy texture to these common desserts. Also, peanuts are often used in ice cream. When eating at an ice cream parlor, cross-contamination is likely to occur, because the same scoops are used for all the flavors.