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Simply Nutritious, Quick and Delicious

Jenna Smith, Extension Educator brings you helpful tips to make meals easy, healthy and tasty!
Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles

I'm Nuts about Peanuts!

Peanuts are an essential ballpark snack food, but they may also be an ingredient in mealtime cuisine, including appetizers, entrees, salads and desserts. Peanuts, also referred to as groundnuts, are actually a legume like beans and peas. This unique plant produces its fruit (nut) below ground, unlike tree nuts, such as walnuts or pecans, which produce their fruit above ground. India and China are the world's top producers of peanuts, while the U.S comes in third and are mainly grown in the south, particularly in the state of Georgia.

Nuts, seeds, and soy are less commonly consumed protein foods, according to the USDA's new 2015 Dietary guidelines. That's no surprise considering the popularity of meat. But peanuts are also a source of fiber, good fats, and over 30 different vitamins and nutrients. It's recommended to have about 1 ½ ounces of nuts daily, which is about 1 ½ handfuls or 1/3 cup.

Peanuts can simply be pureed in a food processor to make peanut butter or blended with chickpeas, garlic and lemon juice to make hummus. Chop nuts and add to couscous, quinoa or a noodle dish. Stir peanut butter into soy sauce to coat meat, tofu or vegetables. Mix peanuts with popcorn and raisins to make a trail mix or add to a homemade granola. Liven up salads and oatmeal or sprinkle on frozen yogurt. Peanuts, or most any tree nut, can be a staple in the household!


Thai Chicken Peanut Noodles (Printable PDF)

12 oz. whole wheat egg noodles

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cubed

¾ cup strong brewed tea

? cup natural creamy peanut butter

¼ cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 Tablespoon rice wine vinegar

3 Tablespoons packed light brown sugar

2 teaspoons sriracha sauce

1 Tablespoon sesame seeds

Freshly chopped cilantro for garnish

Chopped peanuts for garnish

Cook noodles according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat oil in skillet on medium-high heat and cook cubed chicken until no longer pink. In a small bowl, mix together brewed tea, peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar, brown sugar, sriracha sauce and sesame seeds. Add sauce to chicken and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Toss noodles into sauce. Serve and garnish with cilantro and chopped peanuts.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutrition Facts (per serving): 300 calories, 9 grams fat, 430 milligrams sodium, 38 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 23 grams protein

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