September 13 is National Peanut Day in the USA. It’s a particularly special holiday for Georgia, which produces more peanuts for the nation than any other state — more than $600 million worth of them every year.
To celebrate the peanut, we’re taking a cue from George Washington Carver and looking beyond using them just as savory snacks (boiled, roasted, salted or buttered). Instead, we’re going to look at some other uses for peanuts and peanut butter that you’ve probably never imagined.
You’ll never look at the trusty legume the same way.
1. Use the shells as a replacement for cat litter.
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The National Peanut Board says that peanut shells can be used as an alternative to cat litter. Just soak them and combine them with baking soda and dish soap, and you’ve got a post-peanut-consumption pet supply. The only problem is that you’ll have to eat a whole lot of peanuts every week to keep the box full.
2. Use peanut butter to clean vinyl, leather and other surfaces that need to shine.
The natural oils in peanut butter can help buff out stains and leave a shine on harder materials that could use a little brightening, The Ready Store wrote. Just make sure to use smooth instead of crunchy, and add a little extra scent to cover up the peanut butter smell.
3. Save them, plant them, and grow your own.
Growing your own peanuts is a great way to learn how to care for plants and to start producing your own tasty supply of snacks. According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, they can be planted shelled or unshelled. Plant them one inch deep in full sun and water weekly, transferring to a garden when they get bigger if you’ve started them inside. When the leaves turn yellow, it’s time to harvest.
4. In a pinch, use peanut butter as a shaving cream.
The oils in peanut butter work like a shaving cream and will get you through that emergency shave before the big meeting. It may not work as well as real shaving creme, as Fox News found out, but it gets the job done.
5. Compress the shells and use them in your barbecue grill like charcoal.
Peanut shells can be compressed into briquettes and used just like charcoal in your grill or to start a fire. It’s a bit of a process, but it works so well that researchers have been trying to figure out ways to use it to help provide heating and cooking fuel to places like Haiti that are running out of wood.
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE