Whereas they may appear to be a easy sufficient snack, cashews have fairly the historical past. Native to Brazil, cashew timber have been found by Portuguese colonizers within the 1500s, and their fruit, which produces nuts, was rapidly traded world wide. At this time, you possibly can nonetheless discover cashew timber in South America’s rainforests. However, in line with Statista, at present’s main exporter of cashew nuts is definitely almost 6,000 miles away in Tanzania.
At this time, all around the world, cashews are beloved for his or her versatility (significantly in terms of making vegan milk, cheese, yogurt, and cream), but additionally for his or her dietary advantages. Right here, we dive into the entire advantages of cashews, a few of the finest merchandise in the marketplace, in addition to some tasty recipes to make with cashews because the star ingredient.
What are cashews?
The scientific title for the cashew tree is Anacardium occidentale. This produces a pepper-shaped drupe often known as the cashew apple, or if you happen to’re in Central America, a marañón. Beneath this grows a small tree fruit which is formed like a kidney, and inside that’s what is often known as the cashew “nut” (even though it’s technically a seed).
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Whereas they develop in a method that’s similar to legumes, cashews are usually not categorized as such as a result of they develop inside a tough drupe shell, not a pod (like peas, for instance).
Are cashews wholesome?
It’s price noting that of their raw-shelled type, cashews are toxic to people. It is because the shells comprise urushiol, a combination of natural and poisonous, compounds. When human pores and skin comes into contact with urushiol, it might trigger an itchy, pink, and painful allergic response—think about if you happen to brushed up towards some poison ivy, for instance, which additionally accommodates urushiol.
However many of the cashews you should purchase within the retailer have been cooked and processed, so that they’re completely fit for human consumption. They usually’re nutritious, too, as they’re a very good supply of protein, fiber, iron, and unsaturated fat, in addition to copper, zinc, and magnesium. To learn from this diet, consultants suggest you devour round 15 cashew nuts per day.
Advantages of cashews
Diet apart, cashews produce other advantages, too. Due to their creamy texture, they’re an efficient dairy various, and are used to make milk, cheeses, yogurts, and cream that style like dairy, however are completely plant-based.
That is, after all, higher for the animals. Round 270 million cows are pressured to supply milk yearly, and most of them reside in cramped, soiled manufacturing facility farming situations. (Based on one 2019 research, greater than 99 p.c of US cattle are manufacturing facility farmed.)
Cashew dairy alternate options are additionally higher for the surroundings than dairy, which is extremely resource-intensive. Plus, all the livestock trade produces 14.5 p.c of worldwide greenhouse gasoline emissions.
Based on the BBC local weather change meals calculator, which relies on Oxford College analysis, consuming one glass of dairy milk three to 5 occasions per week contributes 131 kilograms to an individual’s annual greenhouse gasoline emissions. It provides that consuming a handful of nuts for a similar period of time contributes to 2 kilograms of emissions.
Cashew makes use of and merchandise
The flexibility of cashews means they’ve been utilized in many various methods by recipe creators and types alike. In fact, they’re simple to snack on as they arrive, however if you wish to attempt one thing extra progressive, listed below are just a few examples of a few of the recipes and merchandise on the market.
Nuts for Cheese
1 Cashew cheese
When blended and mixed with components like dietary yeast, cashews have a really comparable style and texture to cheese. This is the reason Canadian model Nuts for Cheese selected to make use of fermented cashews as a base for merchandise like its Un-Brie-Liavable brie various, its Tremendous Blue, and its Chipotle Cheddar Fashion Wedge, that are stocked in shops like Complete Meals and Sobeys.
In London, the UK’s first vegan cheesemonger La Fauxmagerie additionally sells cashew-based merchandise from artisan manufacturers. It sells merchandise from Palace Tradition, for instance, which makes use of natural cashews to make Mouldy Goaty, which is creamy, delicate, and tangy, similar to goat’s cheese.
Widespread US model Miyoko’s Creamery additionally depends on cashew milk to make its vary of vegan mozzarellas, cream cheeses, in addition to Smoked Gouda Cultured Plant Milk Cheese, Aged Sharp English Farmhouse, Contemporary European Truffle, and extra.
However if you happen to’d prefer to get inventive within the kitchen and have a go at making cashew cheese by yourself, this recipe from vegan chef Chad Sarno will stroll you thru the method from begin to end.
2 Cashew yogurt
The vegan yogurt class is rising. In 2021, it was valued at greater than $2 billion, and it’s anticipated to succeed in almost $10 billion by 2029. Quite a lot of nuts and grains can be utilized to make yogurt, and cashews aren’t any exception.
Take Forager Mission, for instance, which makes a complete vary of yogurts, together with Vanilla Bean, Unsweetened Plain, Strawberry, and Peach, all utilizing cashew milk as a base. Canadian model LeGrand additionally makes plant-based yogurts utilizing cashews, rice, and coconut cream. And even Dealer Joe’s has its personal cashew yogurt choices, together with a seasonal pumpkin spice taste.
Once more, if you wish to make your individual, you’re not in need of choices. Do that On the spot Pot recipe for instance.
3 Cashew milk
There are such a lot of vegan milk merchandise in the marketplace. However whereas oat arguably is likely one of the hottest, it’s essential to not neglect concerning the humble cashew, too.
Plenish, Forager Mission, Dream, and Elmhurst are only a few examples of a few of the manufacturers providing vegan cashew milk at present. And, after all, you can also make your individual if the temper takes you.
4 Cashew cream
If it’s doable to make cashew milk and yogurt, it stands to motive that cashew cream exists too. Though, it’s not as widespread as a few of the different merchandise on the checklist. That mentioned, you should purchase it from Spanish model Ecomil, which sells a sugar-free natural cooking cream, made with cashews, or, you can also make it from residence!
This recipe, for instance, takes simply half-hour to throw collectively, and all you want is a few uncooked cashews and one cup of water.
5 Cashew Butter
Transfer over, peanut butter, you’ve acquired competitors. Similar to its rival, cashew butter is creamy, crunchy, and an awesome supply of protein. Plus, it’s simple to pay money for, too. Even Complete Meals provides a cashew butter in its 365 vary.
Different manufacturers with cashew butter merchandise embody Maisie Janes and NutRaw, which makes a pistachio and cashew butter. Artisana Organics additionally sells uncooked cashew butter, and you should purchase a peanut-cashew hybrid from Wild Associates.
There are additionally many simple recipes for cashew butter accessible. And if you happen to want inspiration for find out how to use it, you possibly can observe our nut butter information.
1 Mac & Cheese
Is there something extra comforting than a heat bowl of creamy macaroni & cheese? We’ll reply for you: no. This recipe combines a cashew-based sauce with components like dietary yeast and coconut milk. It’s tremendous fast to make, too, and actually, when you’ve tried it, you’ll wish to make it each single weeknight for the remainder of time.
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The key to a scrumptious and moreish lasagna is perfecting the bechamel. And this recipe produces a velvety, creamy model of the basic French white sauce utilizing, you guessed it, cashews. Merely layer it up with the filling of your alternative. Will you go together with vegan meat or greens?
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Vegan Heritage Press
A tasty, comforting favourite, Horchata is a well-liked drink alternative in all places throughout Mexico. Whereas conventional recipes typically name for cow’s milk, it’s not a necessity, as this recipe proves. Merely combine cashews with dates, water, and cinnamon! Nope, there’s nothing else to it, it’s as simple as that.
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4 Cashew Dill Yogurt Salad Dressing
Nothing jazzes up a salad like the best dressing. This recipe will present you find out how to improve your lunchtime go-to by making a cashew dill topping. It’s somewhat extra sophisticated than a few of the different choices on this checklist, however your tastebuds will likely be grateful you’ve put within the time.
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A creamy, indulgent, decadent cheesecake dessert doesn’t require dairy. As a substitute, swap out dairy cream for a cashew cream base. You’ll barely discover the distinction, and neither will your family members. You’ll be preventing them for the final piece!
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Candy, salty, moreish, fudge is the last word candy deal with. And also you’ll be happy to know, it’s tremendous simple to make vegan. To make this tasty recipe, all you want is a few cashew butter, maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla paste, and salt. Even higher, it’s no bake! (Though you have to to put aside three hours for freezing time.)
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