Another Kind of Groundnut by Coy Domecq

The local agriculture season is well underway and fields of peanuts populate the landscape throughout the region. In addition to our popular goober, another kind of local edible groundnut, though not commonly cultivated commercially, is known by the not-so-creative name of Groundnut (Apios americana). It is also called potato bean and Indian potato. This plant is native to the US and is primarily found in the central and eastern parts of the North American continent. It grows along stream banks, pond margins and in damp lowland thickets. Native Americans incorporated the groundnut into their diet in every group that lived within the plant’s range. It is a twining plant that spreads by way of its underground rhizomes. This plant grows so aggressively that it could be considered invasive under ideal natural conditions.
The ground part of the nut is actually the edible tubers distributed along the roots. The above ground bean-like pods are also eaten. The taste is often described as nutty and sweet. Nutritionally, it has approximately three times the protein than a potato. It is an excellent source of calcium and iron. Medicinally, research studies in non-human test subjects have demonstrated marked beneficial effect in reducing cholesterol, blood pressure, and diabetes. It also demonstrates indirect positive effect, via metabolic pathway enhancement, in its antioxidant content.
The Groundnut plants parts should be cooked before eating them as the heat denatures, or deactivates, components in raw tubers that may affect the health of some individuals.
Another Kind of Groundnut by Coy Domecq Another Kind of Groundnut by Coy Domecq Reviewed by kensunm on 7:00:00 PM Rating: 5

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