The humble cashew nut is – if we were to voice our opinion – the best nut of all the nuts. It’s got such an easy texture (and by easy we mean soft yet hard enough while being smooth too), a mild flavor, and a cute little shape. It’s got personality. And it’s so yummy to boot. At Capedry we have the most beautiful cashew nuts, sorted with care and ready for you to snack on to your heart’s content.
But we bet you didn’t know that when eating a cute little cashew nut, you are in fact not eating a nut but a seed! Cashews are actually the seed positioned at the bottom of the cashew apple fruit – a yellow or red, soft, fleshy tree fruit with a weirdly acidic taste. The cashew is encased in a few layers of the toxic shell that take quite a bit of effort to remove and get that final yummy cashew ‘nut’ out that we so love. That’s why, in communities where the trees are grown, the cashew apple is more widely consumed than the nut! Lucky for us we’ve found a way to let that little nut escape from its shell and allow it to shine in all its glory!
We can be so grateful that we can snack on cashews as they are one of nature’s best. Cashews are known to contain a lot of good fats (unsaturated fats) which are known to improve heart health, assist in weight management and obesity, and regulate blood sugar thereby being super beneficial for anyone living with diabetes. Each little ‘nut’ is made up of 21% protein and 46% fat making it an awesome high-protein, high-fat snack (anyone following a Banting Diet? This nut is for you!). But remember – too much of a good thing is always bad. So keep your portions in check. Try and keep to a handful of cashews (or mixed nuts) a day and choose the unsalted variety for the best heart-healthy option.
A great recipe to make using plain, unsalted cashews is Cashew Butter. We are sure you’ve heard of Almond Butter by now and the old favorite Peanut Butter. But why not give those two a rest and try something new and different? Cashew Butter is SUPER simple to make and takes no more than 15 minutes of your time (most of that is spent staring at the food processor anyway). Not only can you spread it on toast, scones, muffins, dip your apple in it, top a plain baked sweet potato with it, or throw it into your smoothies or milkshakes. You can also bake with it and use it in a myriad of awesome healthy desserts! Here are a few links to some fantastic bloggers who use cashew butter to make yummy treats for the whole family.
Cashew Butter Cookies: http://detoxinista.com/2015/06/cashew-butter-cookies-paleo-vegan/
Berry + Cashew Butter Smoothie Bowl: http://willfrolicforfood.com/2016/08/starry-night-smoothie-bowl-mango-berry-cashew-butter-hemp-hearts-honey-recap-bossbaberetreat-minneapolis.html
Cashew Butter Protein Bites: http://thealmondeater.com/2015/09/cashew-butter-protein-bites/
Banana, Cashew, + Chia Seed Smoothie: http://www.jaroflemons.com/banana-cashew-butter-chia-seed-smoothie/
Yields around 1 – 1 ½ cups
320 g ( or 2 cups) raw cashew nuts**
1 tsp vanilla extract / ½ tsp vanilla bean powder / ½ vanilla pod
pinch of salt
½ tsp of cinnamon
1 tbsp cocoa powder (to make a healthier Nutella-type spread!)
Take your raw cashew nuts and pop them into a food processor. Turn the processor on and let the mixture blend. Every now and again scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl and blend again until you get a super creamy, slightly drippy consistency. The natural oils from the cashews will come out and moisten your nut butter – but if you feel like it needs to be more drippy you can add a teaspoon of melted coconut oil. When the butter is almost done, add your optional ingredients and blend again to combine. Store in a glass jar.
**to boost the flavor of your Cashew Butter, we’d recommend roasting your cashews first. Pop them onto a baking tray and into the oven at !80C for anywhere from 5 – 10 minutes. KEEP CHECKING THEM as they can burn very easily. Once roasted, you can pop them straight into the food processor and start making your butter.