Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

December 27, 2012

In Good Taste: Peanuts

Connie Blommers

Knoxville —  

According to the National Peanut Board, a research and promotion program funded by farmers, peanuts contain more than 30 essential vitamins and minerals. This fundamental nutritional value, they claim, is one of the reasons why peanuts have remained a staple of American diet and culture for so long.  Peanuts are good sources of vitamin E, niacin, folate, protein and manganese. A Purdue University study found that blood levels of magnesium, folate, alpha tocopherol, copper and arginine also increased during periods when test subjects were consuming peanuts. The researchers at Purdue hypothesize that the combination of monounsaturated fats with these heart healthy vitamins and minerals together account for decreased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with eating peanuts.

This delicious holiday treat is easy and chocolate has some benefits of its own:

Crockpot Fudgy Peanut Clusters

- 1 16 ounce jar of salted peanuts

- 1 16 ounce jar of unsalted peanuts

- 1 package of chocolate bark (or 3 cups chocolate chips)

- 1 bag of butterscotch morsels

- 4 ounce block of German chocolate (semi-sweet)

- 10 Kraft caramels (the individuals from a bag)

Break the chocolate bark into blocks and place in crock pot. Now break up the German chocolate block and put in crock pot. Add the remaining ingredients. Place a paper towel on top of the crock pot before placing the lid on. Turn the crock pot on low and cook for two hours. DO NOT remove lid. I know it's tempting, but it's very important to not remove it. At the end of two hours, carefully remove lid and paper towel. Stir mixture to incorporate everything well. Now drop by the spoon full onto waxed paper and let them set up well.