Why are they called nuts? Actually, nobody really knows. Alternative names for peanuts back in history are “ground nut” or “ground pea.” They sort of look like pea plants while they are growing but then they produce a nut like product, so did “ground pea” and “ground nut” become a “pea nut” hence “peanut”? That’s really one lost to history. It’s a domesticated food that is native to the Americas, which European settlers started taking a liking to in their gardens as they populated the new world.
Ironically it wasn’t until the turn of the 20th century that people started eating peanuts in mass quantities. Before that time people grew peanuts not for themselves but to feed to the livestock. A combination of pushing from government programs and marketing led to it’s widespread use and consumption. That grew into a product that is very pervasive in our food supply at this time.
Because peanuts are a legume just like beans are, Paleo diets exclude them from their list of foods for the same reasons. So whether it is in the form oil used for cooking, butter used for toppings or flavoring or in their whole form, don’t use this if you are trying to adhere to a Paleo eating style.