Peanuts. Photo curtesy of Microsoft clip art.

George Washington Carver and other uses

Bleach cartoon. Picture courtesy of Microsoft clip art. The peanut is a vital and useful crop around the world. From food to fertilizer, every part of the peanut has a variety of uses. The seed, or nut, itself is quiteDynamite cartoon. Picture courtesy of Microsoft clip art. nutritious, full of things your body needs like proteins and carbohydrates, and most often used as a food source. It is usually eaten whole, either raw, roasted, or broiled, or as an oil. In fact, peanut oil is so commonly made that it makes the peanut the fifth most important oilseed in the world, beaten only by soybean, palm, colza, and sunflower. The other parts of the plant, such as the shells and greens, are utilized for animal feed or non-food uses. These non-food uses range from fuel for burning to being an ingredient in shampoo. Other such non-food uses in which some part of the peanut arePeanut butter cartoon. Picture courtesy of Microsoft clip art. ingredients include, but are not limited to, kitty litter, paper, bleach, shaving cream, linoleum, cosmetics, paint, and explosives.

George Washinton Carver statue in the George Washington Carver Garden in Missouri Botanical Garden. Photo courtesy of XPI3 Beqy of Flickr. I'm sure that most of us have, at some point in our lives, heard of George Washington Carver, the Peanut Man. Contrary to his name, the Peanut Man did more than just work with peanuts. Carver also worked on coming up with more uses for the sweet potato and cowpea. In 1916, Carver wrote his most famous bulletin, How to Grow the Peanut and 105 Ways of Preparing it for Human Consumption. However, it wasn't until 1921 when he lobbied to Congress on behalf of the peanut industry that Carver became well known. People were so impressed with his work with peanuts that he was shot into the limelight andGeorge Washington Carver. Photo courtesy of Maia C. from Flickr. given credit for discoveries he did not make or claim to have made, such as peanut butter. Even though Carver may not be responsible for all the peanut discoveries he is accredited with, he is still responsible for making the peanut famous and allowing the industry to prosper.

There are countless recipes involving peanuts that can be found in cookbooks or on the internet. Here is just one of my favorites. It is a peanut butter frosting that goes great on chocolate cakes:


1/2 cup butter, softened
1 cup creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons milk, or as needed
2 cups powdered sugar

1. Place the butter and peanut butter into a medium sized bowl and beat with an electric mixer.
2. Slowly and gradually mix in the sugar.
3. When the mixture starts to get thick, add milk the one tablespoon at a time until all of the sugar is mixed in and the frosting is thick and spreadable.
4. Continue beating for at least 3 minutes until the frosting is light and fluffy.

Makes about 2 cups of frosting.


For more examples of peanut recipes, please click on the link above to see the 105 recipes George Washington Carver himself thought were worth trying. Other good places to look are cookbooks or internet searches.

Peanut allergies are very common and can range from mild to lethal. If you happen to be allergic to peanuts, please stay strong and ignore the call of this lovely legume. For more information on peanut allergies, please visit


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