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Nutty for Peanuts

School's out! Time for cool and tasty treats made with everybody's favorite, peanuts. Peanuts are good for you, with lots of fiber, protein, iron, and calcium.* Here are four easy recipes to try while chilling this summer. After the recipes, we have listed a few books for the nuttier side of your summer reading.

Peanut Butter and Jelly Bars

1-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1-3/4 cups (11.5-oz. pkg.)
milk chocolate morsels
3/4 cup coarsely chopped peanuts
1/2 cup jelly or jam

Preheat oven to 350° F. Combine flour, graham cracker crumbs, baking soda and salt in a small bowl.

Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and peanut butter in large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in egg and vanilla extract. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate morsels and peanuts. Press three-quarters of the dough into an ungreased 13x9-inch baking pan.

Bake for 15 minutes; remove from oven. Dollop jelly by heaping teaspoon over partially baked dough. Let stand for 1 minute; spread to cover. Dollop remaining dough by heaping teaspoon over the jelly.

Bake for an additional 20 to 25 minutes, or until edges are set. Cool in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars.

Serve with a tall glass of milk.

Makes 4 dozen bars.

From That's My Home: Recipes for Kids

Nutty Banana Pops

1 cup Peanuts; chopped
6 oz Chocolate chips
1/4 cup Milk
4 Ripe bananas
8 Popsicle sticks

Pour nuts onto a plate.
Line a baking sheet with waxed paper.
Combine chocolate chips and milk in bowl and microwave until melted, about 1 minute.
Peel bananas.
Cut each banana in half.
Insert a popsicle stick into the fat, cut side of each banana.
Pick up a banana by the popsicle stick.
Dip banana in melted chocolate then roll in peanuts.
Set on cookie sheet.
Repeat with all.
Freeze bananas for at least 1 hour.

From YumYum.com

GORP: Good Old Raisins and Peanuts

Put a half a cup of salted peanuts and a half a cup of raisins into a zippered plastic bag. Fasten, shake, and enjoy on the trail, in the car, or at the pool

Peanut Butter Shake

4 ice cubes, crushed
1 1/4 cups nonfat milk
3 tablespoons reduced-fat smooth-style peanut butter
1 large banana, peeled and cut into large chunks
1 1/2 cups nonfat vanilla ice cream, softened

Combine crushed ice, milk, peanut butter and banana in blender. Pulse until mixture is smooth. Add ice cream. Whirl until shake is thick and creamy. Pour into 4 tall glasses. Serve immediately.
From Recipes to Go.

Going Nuts in the Library

Allie the Allergic Elephant by Nicole Smith.
Unfortunately, not everybody can enjoy peanuts. If you have friends who are allergic, this story can teach you which foods might have peanuts as a hidden ingredient.

George Washington Carver: Peanut Wizard by Laura Driscoll.
"Annie Marcus is just nuts about peanut butter! When Annie finds out that George Washington Carver was responsible for the popularity of peanuts, she picks him for her scientist report. Annie learns all sorts of fascinating info-George Washington Carver was born into slavery, but his dedication and unquenchable thirst for knowledge drove him to become a professor at a time when most institutions of higher learning were closed to blacks."
Part of the Smart about Scientists series.

Peanut Butter and Jelly: A Play Rhyme.
Take this book along with you on your next babysitting gig. Little kids will love moving their hands and feet (instructions included) as they "make" a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

*This information comes from the EDinformatics article, Peanuts: Nutritional Information.