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Chinese Peanuts Cookies

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Peanuts cookies are one of the many Chinese New Year cookies and they are no doubt the most popular and traditional cookies. They are also easy to make, temptingly delicious and melt in your mouth. With Chinese New Year just less than one month away, these cookies will be one of the many festive favourites for gifts or to serve at home to family and friends during their visits. Conventionally, these peanut cookies are made with finely ground peanuts and then combined with all-purpose flour, sugar and pork lard. For my gluten free recipe, I am using a mix of ingredients including ground unsalted peanuts, gluten free all-purpose flour, desiccated coconut and agave sugar. This recipe is also vegan, dairy free, soy free, egg free and refined sugar free.

The peanut plants originated in South America and was first launched in China by Portuguese traders in the 17th century. Scientifically, peanuts are not classified as nuts. They in fact belong to the legume family and hence, associated with beans, lentils and soya. Peanuts (Arachis hypogea) were distributed globally by European traders, and now cultivated widely in tropical and subtropical regions. Peanuts (also known as groundnuts, earth nuts, and goobers) or huasheng in Chinese, are commonly manufactured into peanut oil (arachis oil) used mainly in Chinese and other Asian cuisines. Peanuts are often featured in Chinese dishes like Kung Pao Chicken and in many types of cookies and desserts. Furthermore, peanuts are not only full of flavour, similarly they are also low in carbohydrates, rich in plant-based source of protein, mono and polyunsaturated fats and fibers. The good fats are mostly oleic acid and linoleic acid. Peanuts also has very low glycemic index. Peanuts are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals like vitamin B1 (thiamine), vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B7 (biotin), vitamin B9 (folic acid/folate), vitamin E, copper, manganese, phosphorus and magnesium. In addition, peanuts comprise numerous plant compounds that include antioxidants like coumaric acid and resveratrol. Health benefits of peanuts include: decrease risks of cardiovascular disease; may lower risks of stroke; reduce risks of colon cancer; aid in weight loss; may help prevent gallstones and reduction in the risks of age related neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease.

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