Cashew nuts are native to Brazil but they are grown in many other countries including India and here in Vietnam. Cashews have become popular throughout the world for their soft flavor, creamy texture and amazing health benefits. They are used as a snack or as an addition to salads, smoothies, stir-fries and other meals.
Let’s talk more about their health benefits:
- They contain fatty acids that are very good for heart
You have probably heard that fats are bad for you, however, that is not true about all fats. Cashews contain monounsaturated fats which actually decrease risk of cardiovascular disease and therefore make your heart actually healthier.
- Healthy and delicious for vegans/vegetarians
Cashews are a great source of copper which is usually found in animals like crabs, mussels, oysters. Since these are not an option for vegans, cashews are a great substitute for copper coming from animal sources.
Since cashews are so rich with fats, they are a great replacement for heavy cream made from cow’s milk. If you were used to eating creamy dishes, going vegan/vegetarian will be much easier for you. You can prepare delicious cashew sauces, fillings or dressings by soaking cashew nuts over night in water, then blending them the next day. You can add other ingredients and make this mixture taste sweet or savory.
- Preventing blood diseases
As previously mentioned, cashews contain copper, which is very important for the elimination of free radicals from the body. In many cases, if you have copper deficiency, this can automatically lead to iron deficiency such as anemia. Therefore regular consumption of cashews may prevent blood diseases.
- Healthy skin and hair
Cashews improve the quality of your hair. They help in the production of skin and hair pigment called melanin. In addition to eating cashews, you can apply cashew oil on your scalp and skin. Due to high level of selenium is not only good for your skin but it helps prevent cancer as well.
- Protects eyes
If your eyes often suffer from various infections cause by pollution or pollen allergy, luckily there might be a solution. Cashews contain a very important antioxidant called Zea Xanthin, which according to the experts is directly absorbed by our retina. Based on this fact, not only people with eye problems but also the elderly benefit from daily cashew consumption.
- They prevent the formation of gallstones
Eating nuts, including cashews, reduces the risk of stones in the gallbladder. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, frequent nut consumption is associated with a reduced risk of needing surgery to remove the gallbladder.
Let’s cook 😉
Yummy Cashew Caesar dressing (vegan)
- 1/2 cup cashew nuts
- 1/2 cup water (or as needed)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 teaspoons capers
- 1 clove garlic
- If you have a high-powdered blender you can skip straight to step 2. If you have a regular blender, you may want to soften the cashews first to ensure they blend smoothly. To do this add the cashews to a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes until the cashews are very tender. Drain and rinse with cold water before using.
- Add the cashews to your blender along with all the remaining ingredients and blend until completely smooth, stopping to scrape the sides as needed. For a thicker dressing, use less water. Store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to a week. The dressing gets thicker as it cools, great for dipping! If needed you can always add more water to thin as desired.
Home-made cashew butter
- 2 cup raw cashew halves (roasted will work – see notes)
- Dash of sea salt
- 2 to 3 tsp any other flavoring or sweetener of choice – Cinnamon, vanilla, chili pepper for savory version, coconut sugar, maple syrup, etc)
- Optional for creaminess – 1 tbsp coconut oil or grapeseed oil
- To make it more creamy, first grind your cashews in a blender then transfer to food processor. This is not necessary but I find that the cashew blend better that way.
- Add your seasonings then blend in food processor. 5 minutes at a time for about 15 -20 minutes.
- After blending for 5 minutes, scrape the sides of the processor and mix, let the processor cool then begin blending again for another 5 minutes
- It usually takes about 15-20 minutes unless you have a high powered food process. If you’d like a creamier texture, just add a tbsp of oil during the last 5 minutes of processing.
- Once smooth, spoon into a glass jar to store or just eat right away! haha.
- Makes 1 + cup.