Peanuts are a plant.1 Peanuts are botanically classified as the plant family Leguminosae, or legumes, but for culinary research, peanuts are considered a nut.2 Peanuts originated in South America. Peanuts are also known as groundnuts, earthnuts, and goobers.3 Peanuts are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, healthful fats, and many key vitamins and minerals.4

Because peanuts are legumes, they have the amazing ability to fix valuable nitrogen into the soil just like other legumes. The higher the protein content of a plant, the more nitrogen that will return to the soil, and peanuts are packed with protein.5 The rhizobium bacteria, or more specifically known as Bradyrhizobiuma is the certain type of bacteria that peanuts are able to convert, or “fix” their own nitrogen, which helps make them a naturally sustainable crop. Peanut shells are also a terrific source of nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.