Don't underestimate the power of the peanut

As it’s almost Halloween time, many of us will be celebrating pumpkin (and with good reason), but I’m here to shout about another nutritional ingredient – nuts. Almonds, cashews and pistachios often seem to be highlighted ahead of peanuts, yet when enjoyed in moderation they too provide a number of nutritional benefits.

Peanuts are grown underground and, believe it or not, are actually a legume. Experts believe peanuts can promote feelings of satiety – great for when kids experience mid-afternoon pangs of hunger – while a daily intake of just 40 grams can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

One way to pack your diet with peanuts is through a flavour-packed dressing. Combine two garlic cloves, half a chopped red chilli, two tablespoons peanut butter, one tablespoon agave syrup, two teaspoons each grated ginger, light soy sauce and lime juice and one teaspoon sesame oil in a jar with a lid. Season and add 100-150ml water before shaking well.

I love to drizzle this protein-rich dressing over a salad of cooked prawns and crunchy Asian greens. Prawns are another top source of nutrition – in every 100 grams there are 25 grams of protein and just 115 calories – but this dressing is really versatile, so try it with chicken or beef, if you prefer.

As always, I can’t emphasise enough the importance of eating high-quality produce. By focusing on the nourishing experiences that fresh vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats – such as nuts – offer, you’ll find that you can reach a new health platform in no time.

words by
Catherine Williams, qualified fitness professional and nutrition consultant. She is also the co-founder of Pure Fitness.