Power To The Peanut - Especially When It's Fairtrade!
Fairtrade nut company Liberation Foods CIC is determined to make sure consumers don't forget to go NUTS for Fairtrade during this year's Fairtrade Fortnight (February 25 - March 10) - by buying Fairtrade peanuts.
Fairtrade peanuts are one of the most readily available of all Fairtrade nuts. They can be found in branches of Tesco, Sainsbury's and Morrisons in packs of Fairtrade Peanuts and Raisins. They can also be bought as Salted Peanuts and as Crunchy Peanut Butter through the 'Harry's Nuts!' brand, produced in conjunction with comedian Harry Hill, at Sainsbury's, Waitrose, Oxfam and The Co-operative. Harry makes no money from these products - the brand's all about helping smallholder farmers build better lives for their families by selling delicious nuts.
Peanuts are one of nature's hidden delights:
* They have one of the highest amount of protein of any nut
* They have high levels of monounsaturated fats, thought to lower bad cholesterol
* They have high levels of vitamin B6 which helps deal with stress and depression as well as having many other health benefits.
So it is no wonder that peanuts is the crop chosen for the 'Plumpy Nut' sachets of ready-to-use therapeutic food sent to starving children in areas of drought and malnutrition in Africa.
Peanuts also have good environmental qualities - as they grow they release nitrogen into the soil, boosting its quality; vital especially for farmers in poorer countries.
And from a Fairtrade perspective peanuts are helping to provide a future for smallholder farmers in Malawi who used to grow tobacco but have found the export market for tobacco shrinking, in part because many are giving up smoking over here. As well as being a new export crop nuts are, of course, an excellent crop for the farmers to feed their families.
Taste-wise peanuts are great for savoury dishes, sweet dishes and snacks. Try the delicious Peanut and Banana Cake below, adapted from a Malawian recipe.
There's no better way to Go Further for Fairtrade for Fairtrade (www.fairtrade.org.uk/step) than to go NUTS!
Malawian-style Peanut & Banana Cake
225g plain flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 ½ tsp nutmeg, ground
170g Fairtrade soft brown sugar
2 beaten eggs
4 Fairtrade bananas
60g Fairtrade peanuts
Pre heat the oven to 170C
Cream butter and sugar together
Add the beaten eggs slowly
Coarsely chop the peanuts and roast them in the
oven for a few minutes until they are a darker shade
(be careful they can burn easily)
Add the mashed bananas and nuts to the mixture
Fold in all the dry ingredients
Spoon into a large loaf tin
Bake for 50 minutes