CASHEWS

Cashews are crunchy, buttery, and slightly sweet. They are probably first in line in the favorite nut category.  (recipes)

cashewyumminessSince the cashew tastes sweet and is plentiful with the good fats and starch that your brain and body love, it is a good option for snacking. It’s also a good mood food.

From a culinary perspective, Cashews are easily added to a variety of dishes increasing the options to savor your meal. They are versatile and a mainstay in the raw, vegan, and vegetarian kitchens. Cashews are also very popular in Indian and Asian cuisine. I use cashews for a variety of crazy things...mostly influenced by my raw food days. I love to shake things up by replacing cream with homemade Cashew milk. I use them as thickeners for soups. They make a fabulous buttery, raw piecrust! They’re also great to crumble on top of veggies and toss into a stir fry.

Even though almonds tend to get the rave reviews for healthy eating options, Cashews offer a more diverse influence on your overall well-being. Their abundance in minerals, like copper and magnesium make them especially beneficial for your mental health.  In fact, research demonstrates that eating a small handful a day improves your mood and some studies have shown two handfuls a day to be as effective as certain pharmaceuticals.  Cashews are high in antioxidants so they help decrease oxidative stress. The copper in cashews contributes to collagen production, which is what keeps the tissue in your body healthy and plump. It also adds to strong bones and connective tissue.

I highly recommend getting some Cashews in your pantry.

For my cashew milk recipe click here: Cashew Milk

Or you can try this if you’re feeling adventurous:

Cashew Pumpkin “Cheesecake”

  • 2 cups raw cashews (soaked)
  • 2 cups fresh grated pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup agave
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ginger

Directions

Soak cashews in water for at least 1 hour, then drain. I usually soak them overnight. Blend all ingredients in a food processor until combined and creamy.  Pour mixture into small ramekins or a glass baking dish. Cover tightly and let it set in the freezer for at least 4 hours. This will harden the coconut oil and set the cheesecake. After this time, transfer the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least one hour before serving.  Of course, you can also not freeze it and eat it as a dip! Yum.

If you’d like to add a crust to your cheesecake you can blend two cups of almonds or walnuts with 1 cup of dates in a food processor. Add a tablespoon of water if that helps to get things moving. Press the mixture into the bottom of a spring-form pan and pour the other ingredients over the top. Follow the same procedure; freeze for about four hours, and then refrigerate. When opening the spring-form pan, gently insert a knife along the edge of the cheesecake, so that it does not stick to the edge of the pan.