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Cashews

By EAT SMARTER
Updated on 18. Aug. 2016

Everyone believes that cashews are a type of nut, but in fact they are a stone fruit.

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What To Know About Cashews

In Thailand the fruits of the cashew tree are also known as the “mango of the forest.” Botanically the evergreen plant is in fact closely related to the mango tree. It’s fruits are unique in that it provides two of them: one is the colorful cashew apple from which Brazilians boil into juices and jams, and the other is the cashew nut, dangling in its hard shell next to the fruit. More specifically, the cashew apples are simply the thickening of the fruit stalk and are not real fruits; the actual fruit is the cashew nut. This contains hidden kidney-shaped seeds, the cashews. To gain access to the coveted cores, a large amount of effort is required. This means that the very hard shell needs to be cracked, which is usually done by hand after roasting the cashews. After cracking, the cores are heated to remove the brown seed coat.

Origin: The cashew originally came from South America; today they are mainly grown in India, East Africa, Brazil and Asia.

Taste: The almost white cashews shine with a very mild, delicate and slightly sweet taste. Their consistency is much softer than true nuts and slightly creamy and buttery.

How Healthy Actually Are Cashews?

With only 22 g / 1.48 oz. fat per 100 g / 3.52 oz. per serving, cashews are relatively low-fat nuts. Their high protein content and their 270 mg / 9.52 oz. of magnesium per 100 g / 3.52 oz. make them the perfect comfort food for vegetarians and vegans. In addition, cashew nuts contain tryptophan, linked to the "happy-maker" hormone called serotonin produced in the brain. With impressive 450 mg tryptophan per  100 g / 3.52 oz, they are a true super fruit.

Nutritional information per 100 g / 3.52 oz. serving of cashew nuts
Calories 572 calories
Protein 17.5 g / 0.61 oz.
Fat 42 g / 1.48 oz.
Carbohydrate 30.8 g / 1.08 oz.
Fiber 3 g /  0.1 oz.

Cashews: Good To Know

While an allergy to cashews occurs relatively rarely, when it does, it may lead to particularly violent symptoms. Many experts advise to take caution if you know you have other nut allergies . The risk for a cashew allergy is increased in nut allergy individuals.

Shopping And Cooking Tips For Cashews

Shopping: The shell of cashews is not only extremely hard, but also contains toxic oil. The cores themselves are inedible. That's why you can buy cashews peeled and dried. If you attach importance to sustainable cultivation and the highest quality, it is recommended to purchase cashew nuts from organic farming and fair trade.

Storage: In sealed packaging, cashews are durable in a cool, dry place. Opened packages should be sealed again as air-tight as possible or eaten up quickly because cashews quickly take the flavor of other, strong-smelling foods, and also can quickly become rancid.

Preparation: If you want to use whole cashews, for example for roasting, it is recommended to chop the nuts because they can burn quickly in the pan due to the nuts very irregular shape. Chopping is easy: Simply place the cores on the cutting board and mince using a large, heavy knife.

Preparation Tips For Cashews:

Whether you are making a pastry, rice dish, pasta dish, salad, poultry, fish or vegetables, with their mild taste, cashew nuts can be used in many ways and go with almost everything. They harmonize well with Asian dishes in the wok, but you can also find them whole or chopped sprinkled over European dishes.

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