Today is National Peanut Day! For this week’s segment of On the Menu, Katie Francisco, registered dietitian, from Mercy Health Saint Mary’s, is here to

discuss the newer recommendations from the National Institutes of Health to help reduce future peanut allergies, as well as to share a few peanut recipes with us.

Peanut Facts

  • Peanuts are technically a "legume," not a nut. A legume is the pod or seed of a plant that will open on its own where as a nut has a hard shell and does not open without our help. Pecans and hazelnuts are true nuts.
  • Peanuts are an excellent source of numerous nutrients including: Niacin, Folate, Fiber, Vitamin E, Magnesium, Phosphorus and Protein.
  • Peanuts have received a lot of negative attention as peanut allergies have actually doubled in the last ten years in the United States.
  • Peanut allergies are a negative response by the immune system to peanut protein. They can be mild, like a rash, to severe, even life-threatening.
  • According to the LEAP study, early introduction of peanut-containing foods to infants is safe and lead to an 81% reduction in development of new peanut allergies


Peanut Butter and Butternut Squash

Makes 7 – ¼ c servings- great for kid and babies


  1. 1 10-oz package of frozen pureed butternut squash
  2. ¼ cup peanut butter


Thaw and heat butternut squash in microwave according to package directions. Stir in peanut butter until completely smooth.

Kale Salad with Peanut Vinaigrette

Serves 4



  • ½ bunch kale (about 3 cups)-chopped touch stems removed
  • ¼ head Napa or Chinese cabbage-thinly sliced
  • ½ bunch mint (about 15 mint leaves)-thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions-thinly sliced
  • ½ cup of roasted garbanzo beans


  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 small Serrano chili, seeds removed, finely minced
  • 2 dashes of low-sodium soy sauce (about ½ teaspoon)
  • 1 tablespoon creamy peanut butter
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/8 cup peanut oil
  • ¼ cup roasted peanuts, chopped


  1. Mix all the greens together and toss. Mix garbanzo beans into the greens.
  2. Whisk the lime juice, white wine vinegar, minced chili, soy sauce and peanut butter together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the peanut oil until fully blended.
  3. Toss the greens and dressing in a large bowl. Top with the chopped peanuts. Enjoy!

Modified from Julia Nordgren, MD

Curried Peanut Cauliflower Rice

Makes 6 – 1.3 cup servings


  • ½ head cauliflower, separated into florets
  • 1 tablespoon peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 medium apple, chopped
  • ¼ cup salted peanuts
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped


  1. To make the cauliflower rice, place the florets in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until it looks like rice. Stop and stir as needed to get all the florets equally broken down.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the peanut oil over medium heat and add the onion. Cook for 1-2 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more, stirring. Next, add the ginger and spices and stir to coat the onions. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring, but do not allow the onion to brown. Add all the cauliflower at once and stir well to incorporate the onions and spices. Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently to keep from sticking. Turn off the heat and stir in peanuts, raisins and cilantro. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Recipe from the National Peanut Board

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

Serves: 18 - 24 cookies


  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup organic peanut butter (or almond butter)
  • ⅓ cup honey – locally sourced if possible
  • Optional:
  • ½ cup chocolate chips
  • ½ cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped dried fruit and ¼ cup nuts


  1. Preheat Oven 350 F
  2. Mix all the ingredients together, stirring well.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. Drop the batter on the paper, a heaping tablespoon for each cookie. Gently press with a fork to help the cookies spread.
  4. Bake for 8 minutes. Cookies should start to brown slightly around the edges. They will appear soft.
  5. Let the cookies cool for 5 minutes (they will firm up as they cool).

Recipe modified from Author: Erica Hale


Courtesy: Mercy Health Saint Mary's