Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Microwave crisps and home grown peanuts

Yep, it's the scariest time of the month again, my little slot on BBC Radio Devon at 3.30 this afternoon.

Shep and Jo are allowing me on once again, this time to talk about microwave vegetable crisps and grow your own peanuts.

Microwave vegetable crisps
Take raw vegetables, something like parsnips, beetroot and carrots all work well, wash and then slice them thinly with a potato peeler. Dry them in kitchen paper, put them in a bowl and toss them in a little vegetable oil. Microwave on full power for about 2 minutes, depending on how many crisps you're doing. Season and eat - how simple is that?

Possibly the most confused plant out there is the peanut plant. It's the Platypus of the plant world. Technically peanuts (also known as monkey nuts) are not nuts at all, but part of the bean family, or Legumes, but they grow in a similar way to potatoes with the nuts forming under the surface amongst the roots. Confused? - you're not alone, so are they!

Growing them is really easy and lots of fun. Go to a health food shop and buy a monkey nut (a peanut with the shell on). Carefully peel away the shell to reveal the nut, and plant it in a wide pot about an inch under the surface. Pop it in a warm place, on a windowsill or in a green house, water well but allow good drainage.

The plant will grow, and flower, and little runners come back off the plant down to the soil surface again, where they burrow down and on the end of each one a new peanut will grow. It takes about 6 months, and when the bush looks to be dieing back and goes yellow, then the nuts are ready to harvest.