How does a nut sneeze? It says “caaaaasheeew!”
This childhood joke always brings back the memory of savoring delicately flavored Cashew Nuts with cousins and laughing at the silliness of the joke. They’re native to Brazil but are popular throughout the world. It is commonly referred to as ‘Kaju’ in India and is used in cooking many Indian dishes for creating an upscale and creamy base like the all-time favorite shahi paneer. It is eaten as a healthy snack, added to smoothies, salads, desserts, and countless other dishes. Amongst all the dry fruits and nuts, cashews are a favorite as they have a soft consistency and a sweet nutty flavor. Aside from being so delicious cashew nuts also offer extraordinary health benefits.
- Helps boost brain functions:
The brain needs a gentle supply of fatty acids to remain active. Cashew nuts are an excellent source of healthy fats and they may support cognitive functions of the brain and improve its overall health. The nutrients in cashew may help boost brain functions and keep the memory sharp. Cashews have the ability to level up your brainpower and impact the brain’s growth and development in a positive way.
- Aids heart health:
Cashew nuts are beneficial for our heart health. They are rich in essential fatty acids, potassium, antioxidants, phytosterols, phenolic compounds, and oleic acid which are essential for heart health and make the blood vessels strong. The monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids found in cashews can help decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels. This reduces the danger of cardiovascular disease and heart attack.
- Help in reducing blood pressure:
Cashew nuts are rich in healthy unsaturated fats. It also contains minerals like magnesium, potassium, and L-arginine. All these nutrients help to reduce blood pressure by dilating the blood vessels.
- Helps boost immunity:
Cashew nuts contain zinc which is an immunity-boosting compound. It is vital for the basic processes of the cell. Regular intake of cashews may provide you with the specified amount of zinc and other vitamins that will help enhance your immunity.
- Aid bone health:
Cashew nuts are rich in copper, calcium, manganese, and magnesium which are beneficial for bone health. Copper helps in keeping the joints flexible by synthesizing collagen and its deficiency may lead to joint dysfunction. The magnesium in cashews is important for bone formation as it helps with the assimilation of calcium into the bone. Manganese in combination with calcium and copper has been shown to forestall osteoporosis.
- Helps in weight management:
Cashew nuts are high in calories, proteins, and fibers that keep you fuller for an extended time and kill your cravings. This can help you prevent overeating and gaining weight. It also helps in thermogenesis, which is the production of warmth within the body. This can help boost the metabolism and prevent excessive weight gain. Since nuts are high in calories, it is however essential to consume them in moderation.
- Good for skin:
Cashew nuts contain a natural oil that is rich in selenium, zinc, iron, and antioxidants. It is quite beneficial for the skin and keeps the skin looking young and fresh. Copper improves the production of elastin and collagen. Collagen is an integral structural protein that is responsible for the elasticity of your skin and may help prevent signs of aging.
- Good for hair:
The copper present in cashew nuts helps produce the hair pigment ‘melanin’ that enhances the hair color. The presence of essential fatty acids helps in making the hair shiny and healthy.
- Aids in preventing eye problems:
Cashew nuts contain the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein. These antioxidants are absorbed in very small quantities into the eyes and are essential for defense against damaging UV rays. They assist in UV filtering and shielding. It helps reduce the risks of developing age-related degeneration (AMD) and cataract.
Cashew contains a distinctive creamy richness and has been used to prepare many dishes since ancient times. This nut had incredible health benefits and is being extensively used to prepare dairy alternatives also like cashew milk and cream. It is a blessing for lactose intolerants and vegans. These two cashew nut recipes have recently come into the picture and are becoming quite popular.
Golden Cashew Nut Latte:
This golden latte is luscious, creamy, extremely fragrant, and wonderfully healthy. It is packed with turmeric, ginger, and sweet honey. It is a rich and filling milky beverage that can be served hot or cold.
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1.5 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
- A small slice of freshly peeled ginger
- 1 tablespoon raw honey(vegans can use jaggery powder instead of honey)
- A pinch of Himalayan pink salt
- Blend the cashews with water in a blender until you get a very smooth mixture.
- Add turmeric, cinnamon, ginger, honey, and salt and blend well.
- Taste and add some more raw honey as per your taste.
- Pour into your favorite cup, garnish it with some cinnamon powder and serve.
- Enjoy a luscious, creamy, and delicious drink!
Vegan Cashew Cheese:
Himalayan Natives 100% cashew nuts can be used to prepare this vegan cheese. This cheese is a non-dairy cheese spread made with softened cashews. Vegans do not eat dairy cheese so this is a great alternative for them. Vegan cheese can be prepared by soaking cashews in water until it softens, then draining and blending them to form a smooth paste. This cashew nut cheese is perfect for mac and cheese, as it spreads on your favorite bread, and can also be used to serve with nachos, burrito bowls, tacos, and more!
- 4 cups raw cashew
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- ¼ cup lemon juice (or Apple Cider Vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (or coconut oil)
- 1 tablespoon Himalayan Pink Salt
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Soak the cashew nuts in a large bowl at least twice their volume and cover with about 3 inches of water until softened, for about one hour.
- In a blender, combine soaked cashews with nutritional yeast, lemon juice, olive oil, salt, paprika, garlic powder, 1 cup water and blend until smooth.
- For a thinner cheese, continue adding water until the cheese reaches desired consistency.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- It can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 4 days.
- Enjoy it with your favorite dish!
Check out our Instagram post about this fluffy vegan cheese. Do try the recipe and share your thoughts about it in the comments section of the post.