This is part of a unit study on cashews and some information on better health.
More to come on this subject and lots of links, so stay tuned…..
For now you will have to do with an Introduction to Cashews and few RECIPES to wet your appetite.
I love cashew butter! My kids love cashew butter too.
You can buy it premade in a jar, a bucket, or you can make it yourself !
You can get raw, roasted, salted, unsalted, smooth, and crunchy. Once opened, homemade cashew butter, and just about any nutbutter, keeps fresh about 8 weeks. Nuts are seeds. Seeds have fats which provide energy to the plant as it sprouts and grows into a new plant. When we open, cut, chop, or blend a seed, the oils or fats are exposed to air. Oxygen in the air causes the fats to oxidize and become rancid. This process can be increased or slowed down by temperature and other processess. This is why you want to consume your nuts and oils in as fresh condition as you are able to.
2 cups of raw or roasted cashews
1 tsp of expeller pressed safflower oil (or more if you want more)
Blend in the blender or food processor until it is the consitencey you like.
Leave it unsalted or add sea salt to your liking.
There are several reasons I like raw cashew butter, the best, for my family.
First of all, cashews have the lowest reactions compared to other nuts. It is really strange because it is related to poison ivy and sumac which I am very allergic to. But once the outer fruit/shell is removed and handled properly, the nuts are soaked and dried, then the cashew nut meat is highly digestible and full of nutrients.
Second, cashew butter is free of salicylates, compared to other nut butters, such as peanut butter, which is high. Salicylates are toxins in almost all plant life. They are present in high concentrations in unripe fruits and unripe vegetables to help keep insects and bacterias away until the plant is ripened. However, some fruits remain high in salycilates like rasberries for example, even after ripening. Some fruits, like tomatoes, are harvested early before fully ripe, and often cooked into sauce or paste and these salicylates become highly concentrated. Salicylates are also present in a lot of preservatives and artificial products added into food and cleaning supplies. So the human body is easily overwhelmed by a toxic load of salicylates on a daily basis. It creates a lot of health problems. It creates a lot of behavior problems too. There are entire medical wings at hospitals dedicated to treating this toxin in Australia and in the UK. But in the United States the medical and food and drug administration just looks the other way. So many families are truly suffering from this toxic overload. In a future article I will write more and provide more links for you.
Third, it is fairly low in amines, which compared to peanuts, pecans, walnuts and several other nuts are high.
My children seem to have the most trouble with nuts that are both high in salicylates and high in amines. And when I say trouble, I mean that if you eat a lot of them and several snacks or days in a row, you tend to notice some side effects. Side effects are different for different people and have a wide range. Could be a behavior change like anger, aggression, confusion, or crying. Could be a sore spot on your mouth or tongue. Could be an achey feeling in muscles or skeleton. Might be a ringing in the ears. Might be a headache, stomach ache, or a rash.
And there are more reasons……. but first I want to share with you the importantance of learning about Salicylates and Amines in foods. I want to help you understand it.
For example, if you eat a food containing high salicilates and or amines once in a while, you may not notice any problems, but if you eat it frequently, or daily, you may notice side effects.
Also the side effects can be immediate or a day or two later. This delay is because these chemicals have a build up effect in the blood stream. The side effects can then last from a few hours to a few days depending on your exposure. This is due to a long half life and the amount of enzymes and sulfation process each person’s body needs to break them down the salicylates, amines, and histamine reaction caused by foods and remove them from the bloodstream. They are toxic. They affect the brain, the blood, and body organs and systems. But the whole process is variable and relys on each person’s own body to remove them quickly and efficiently, before they cause harm.
These substances affect everybody whether you realize it or not. But it affects some to a greater degree. This has a huge impact on children, especially children who are challenged by autism, ADHD, allergies, and asthma, and whos bodies are ravaged by cancer or other disease. Adults with problems such as Lupus, MS, arthritis, and many other conditions are affected to a greater degree too. Also the elderly. Nearly every pain medication contains a synthetic salycilate and I have seen many an elderly person in nursing homes have behavior changes related to the use of these medications. I have seen babies with these changes to after recieving infant and children’s tylenol and similar products.
It seems that many nuts and other foods that are high in both salycilates, amines, and glutimates give the most trouble. Here are a few links to help you learn more:
My suggestion to each person is to do an internet search on this and get educated. This is information available to everyone, though your doctor or dietician won’t likely have taken the time to educate him or herself. Hopefully soon, the medical profession and the nutritionists, FDA, USDA and others involved in helping people live healthy will gain the knowledge to really help people solve real problems rather than put bandaids on the side effects.
Though I enjoy all nuts, Cashew ranks at the top for me in making yummy snack foods for my family.
I eat it on toast and waffles for breakfast. For a quick snack I mix it with honey and put a pat on the childrens plate and a handful of pretzles and sliced apples, or spread on graham crackers. I use it to make cashew butter cookies. I make an awsome cashew butter frosting for chocolate cake and cupcakes. For a decadant treat I mix it with cocoa powder and honey and sometimes add coconut oil and other ingredients. It is especially delicious mixed with ground nuts, seeds, chocolate, and even a touch of coco nibs or coffee beans, and add some dry cereal or granola too. So many yummy variations. It makes a great no bake cookie and granola bars too. I am planning to make cashew butter popcorn soon, and if it is a success, I will show you some future pictures. Stay tuned…..
Here are my favorite Cashew Butter Cookies.
Give them a try!
1 cup Raw Cashew Butter
1 cup butter (preferably from grass fed cows)
(or 3/4 cup butter and 1/4 cup organic expeller coconut oil)
2 1/2 cup Sucanat (Sugar Cane Natural / or Rapadura)
(as you will want an unrefined sugar full of vitamins and minerals for the best possible nutrition)
2 eggs (from free range birds)
3 cups of natural flour (preferably from sprouted grains)
( you can use just about any flour combination!)
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sea salt
Options to Add Or Leave Out depending on the mood:
Choose one or a combination.
1 cup quick oats
1 cup chocolate chips, vanilla chips, or mini chips.
1 cup of cashews.
1 cup of cereal.
2 Tbsp whey protein powder.
2 Tbsp of malt powder.
1/2 cup Flax Seeds
1/2 cup Chia Seeds
1/2 Sunflower Seeds
1/2 cup Pumpkin Seeds
I have made these the regular way with unbleached flour from wheat, with whole wheat flour, spelt, and gluten free flour blends. I have also substituted about a 1/4 cup of the butter for coconut oil or palm oil and it all works great and these are very yummy every time. If you use all coconut oil instead of butter, the cookies don’t stay as soft and chewy. They tend to get a little hard after a few days if they last that long. Don’t use regular cooking oils like olive oil though or you will end up with a greasy cookie.
The trick is to make the dough a day ahead. Then let it rest overnight in the refridgerator and bake the next day. Or freeze and bake later. Letting the dough rest allows the protiens in the flours to relax and makes a very tender yummy cookie. You can drop the cookie dough by spoonful onto a baking sheet or roll into a log shape and slice for a more uniform size cookie.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 minutes. Let rest on a cookie sheet 2 to 4 minutes before removing to a cooling rack. Then ENJOY!
Here are pictures of the plain with no added options listed above.
Dropped by spoonful.
Rolled into a log shape and sliced before baking.
So good and nutritious. You can serve these for family or for company, breakfast, snack, or for desert. They are sure to please.
My family also enjoys this in a bowl RAW and eat it with a spoon!
Don’t tell the kids or the hubby its good for them, they will have an excuse to eat more and more, and you will need to make another batch of dough to bake!
Here is my kids favorite
Cashew Banana Chocolate Sundae!
1 scoop of all natural chocolate ice cream. (your homemade, Alden’s, or Breyers all work great)
1 handful of toasted cashews or 1 tbsp of cashew butter (or a blend, see ideas listed above)
1 sliced banana.
Assemble anyway you want.
It is fun in special parfait glasses and just on a plate too. It is yummy mixed in a cup for a “blizzard” too. Have fun with your kids.
Great just like that.
BBBBuuuuuuuuuutttttt …….If you have access to some all natural whip cream, its even better, and extra special!
You could top it with some chocolate syrup and more cashews or even a fresh cherry or other fruit on top.
This snack is full of great nutrition, if you put it together with wholesome ingredients!
You can find most of these ingredients at Weiser Natural Foods or your local health food store.