Ginger & Peanuts: Two Great Tastes from Under the Earth

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[Photograph: Lee Zalben]

Peanuts and ginger have quite a bit in common. To start, both foods grow underground. Peanuts and ginger are both used in mass market staples (think peanut butter and ginger ale), and both are nutritional powerhouses, with peanuts offering protein and antioxidants and ginger being a powerful digestive aid along with having anti-inflammatory properties. Recent studies even suggest that ginger may aid in the fight against cancer.

But what I find most interesting about these two foods is how they are both used in a number of different sweet and savory recipes. Americans love peanuts and peanut butter in sweets, but around the world peanuts are also used in savory sauces, stews, and curries. And while ginger pops up in soda, cookies, and even ice cream, it is equally well represented in stir fries, with fish and seafood, in soups, and, of course, pickled on sushi platters.

I recently enjoyed peanuts and ginger together in these delicious little treats made by The Ginger People and it got me thinking more about this flavor combo. I love simple ginger tea, and I was wondering if I could somehow work peanuts into this warming beverage.

It turns out that you can brew "tea" from peanuts, and with some added ginger and a little honey, it becomes a delicious drink that is wonderful with toast or cookies.

Do you have a favorite way to combine peanuts and ginger in either a sweet or savory way?

About the author: Lee Zalben was a PB&J-loving kid that grew up to be the founder and president of Peanut Butter & Co., which began as a Greenwich Village sandwich shop serving nothing but peanut butter sandwiches and expanded to include the now-famous line of all natural flavored peanut butter. Lee is a graduate of Vassar College and enjoys traveling the world in search of interesting foods made with peanuts, tree nuts, and seeds. When he's not working, eating, flying or writing, he enjoys scuba diving and training elephants.

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