Peanut Lovers Are Coming Out

If you love peanuts, try visiting these fun spots while on your next trip. Many offer unique photo opportunities.

Peanut Destinations

Peanuts are grown commercially in 15 states-Georgia, Texas, Alabama, North Carolina, Florida, Virginia, Oklahoma, New Mexico, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arizona, Arkansas, Mississippi, California and Tennessee-and served in a wide variety of ways throughout the country.

That means it's possible for peanut fans to take their love of peanuts on the road.

• Celebrate USA-grown peanuts at peanut festivals across the south, like the National Peanut Festival in Dothan, Ala.

• Stop into the cozy little sandwich shop in Greenwich Village, New York, called Peanut Butter & Company. They're famous for their handmade peanut butter and unique sandwich combinations.

• Go to Peanut Butter & Ellie's in Portland, Ore. This is a café for kids, offering PB&J sandwiches without the crust and 20 toppings for custom creations.

• Visit the place where Dr. George Washington Carver started it all-Tuskegee, Ala. Carver researched and developed more than 300 uses for peanuts in the early 1900s and is considered "The Father of the Peanut Industry."

• What's said to be the world's largest peanut-actually a statue of a peanut-can be found sitting atop a brick perch along the interstate in Ashburn, Ga. Ashburn is also home to the world's largest peanut-shelling plant.

• Plains, Ga. is home to the Jimmy Carter Peanut. This 13-foot statue of a peanut has a smile that resembles that of the former president and has been around since 1976.

• Lexington, Ky. has more than horses. It is the home of the Jif® factory, the largest peanut butter factory in the world. One in ten peanuts ends up in a jar of Jif®.

USA-grown peanuts and peanut butter offer more than 30 essential nutrients and phytonutrients, including protein, vitamin E, folate, niacin and magnesium; are naturally cholesterol-free; and have zero trans fats. So stop along the roadside and have some boiled peanuts-a peanut lover's favorite and a delicious surprise for those who have never tried them.

Americans eat enough peanut butter in a year to make more than 10 billion peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

However, peanut butter is more than just an ingredient in a sandwich. For example, here's a new twist on an old favorite to take on the road:

Peanutty Trail Mix Bars

11/2 cups whole grain flake cereal

1 cup whole grain "O" shaped cereal

1/2 cup chopped dry-roasted peanuts

1/2 cup dried fruit such as cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots or figs

1/3 cup honey

1/3 cup packed golden brown sugar

3 tablespoons peanut butter

In a medium bowl, stir together cereals, peanuts and dried fruit. Combine honey, brown sugar and peanut butter in medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Pour over cereal mixture and stir until well coated. With back of oiled spoon, press mixture into lightly greased 8-inch square pan. Cool. Cut into 9 pieces.

Serving size: 1 piece

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About The Author, Stacey Moore
For more fun facts and healthful recipes, visit eat more than 600 million pounds of peanuts and 700 million pounds of peanut butter each year.