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Saturday, September 3, 2016

Bambara Groundnuts and Peanuts Are Not the Same

Groundnuts and peanuts are used interchangeably but are not the same.



In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, women in gardens and on small family farms mainly grow Bambara groundnuts.
Selling groundnuts in Burkina Faso
The Bambara Groundnut originated in present day West Africa. According to the national peanut board, the peanut plant probably originated in Peru or Brazil in South America. The name groundnut generally refers to the peanut even though the Bambara variety was cultivated in West Africa hundreds of years before the peanuts introduction. In parts of sub-Saharan Africa, women in gardens and on small family farms mainly grow Bambara groundnuts.

Bambara groundnuts are known by different names:
Jugo beans in South Africa
Ntoyo cibemba in Zambia
Kwaruru, Epa and Okpa in Nigeria
Nyimo beans in Zimbabwe

As a legume, groundnuts and peanuts belong to the botanical family Fabaceae, commonly known as the pea family. Fabaceae includes about 670 types and nearly 20,000 species of trees, shrubs, vines, and herbs. Legumes are a type of plant such as a pea or a bean plant with seeds that grow in long cases called pods. Groundnuts are indigenous African legumes.

The Bambara Groundnut originated in present day West Africa. According to the national peanut board, the peanut plant probably originated in Peru or Brazil in South America.
Organic Bambara Groundnuts
The Bambara Groundnut name originates from the Bambara tribe who now live throughout Mali, Burkina Faso, Guinea and Senegal in Africa. Although considerably less popular throughout the world, cultivation of Bambara groundnut has remained common in all of West Africa.

Grain legumes include beans, lentils, lupins, peas, and peanuts. The Bambara groundnut is a grain legume grown mainly by subsistence farmers in sub-Saharan Africa growing well in poor sandy soil conditions.  The pods are approximately 1.5 cm long, the length of a large petal of rose. Pods may be wrinkled and slightly oval or round, containing one to two seeds. The color of the seeds varies from black, dark-brown, red, white, cream or a combination of these colors. When harvested, the plant is extracted from the soil, exposing the subterranean nuts.

Known as a complete food, the seeds are around 63% carbohydrate, 19% protein and 6.5% fat, making it a very important source of dietary protein for sub Saharan Africans. Bambara groundnut seeds contain about 33% of total essential amino acids; Lysine is the major essential amino acid and represents 10% of the total essential amino acid. Lysine is necessary being one of nine essential amino acids required for growth and tissue repair.
The name groundnut generally refers to the peanut even though the Bambara variety was cultivated in West Africa hundreds of years before the peanuts introduction.
Garden groundnuts

The Bambara groundnut seeds are a completely balanced food and are eaten boiled, roasted, dried and ground into flour. Bambara groundnut seeds are ground into a paste, made in bread and dumplings, and used in fried and steamed dishes traditionally eaten throughout Burkina Faso, Nigeria, South Africa and Zambia. Bambara groundnuts taste like chickpeas with a very mild flavor.



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