When is a nut not a nut? When it’s a seed! Believe it or not, despite the name, cashew nuts are actually the flowering seed of the cashew plant, which hangs beneath the cashew pear.
They became known as nuts because they possess many of the same physical and nutritional characteristics as true nuts such as hazelnuts.
The cashew nut is a healthy snack to graze on, but it can also be worked into a whole range of recipes to give you and your food an extra boost.
It is a favourite in the vegan community because of the vast amount of benefits it offers, but it is also great for anyone to work into their diet for a healthy hit.
The cashew has always been a popular nut, but it has recently seen a surge in fame as it contains nearly as much protein as an equivalent sized portion of meat, making it a vegan favourite.
Cashews are rich in healthy unsaturated fats and protein as well as being low in sugar. They are a great source of fibre and also contain phosphorus and potassium which when consumed in certain amounts is used in the production of energy and maintenance of the your nervous system, respectively. This is particularly the case of roasted cashews such as these Holland & Barratt Roasted & Salted Cashew Nuts.
Cashew nuts are also thought to be lower in calories compared with other nuts, and not all of them are absorbed by the body.
Find out more about ‘Cashew nuts health benefits’ in our helpful article and see a breakdown of their nutritional values.
The cashew nut doesn’t just add a little crunch to a recipe, it is also slightly sweet and buttery, making it extremely versatile.
It can be found in all sorts of things, including trail mix, stir-fries, granola and nut butter to put on your toast.
They have long been a big part of Asian cooking and can be found in many Chinese and Thai recipes.
Cashews can also be part of a store cupboard essential such as pesto. Just pour 150ml of olive oil into a jug along with 50g of cashews, one clove of garlic, 50g of hard cheese and 200g of greens such as cooked broccoli, soft herbs or rocket. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and then blend it into a coarse paste to mix in with your pasta or spread on your bruschetta.
Cashews can also be part of a vegan nut loaf. Simply blitz 300g of mixed nuts with a stock cube.
In a pan, gently fry a finely chopped onion, two celery sticks, a leek and two carrots until softened, then add two crushed garlic cloves and cook for a few more seconds.
Tip the vegetables into a bowl and add four tablespoons of cashew butter, the chopped nuts, 180g of cooked chestnuts, 75g of dried cranberries, 20g of parsley, the zest of a lemon, four tablespoons of a milk alternative and a teaspoon of sea salt.
Spoon the mixture into a lined loaf tin, cover it with foil and bake it for 30 minutes. You can then remove the foil for the final 20 minutes before taking it out of the oven and leaving it to cool.
Cashew nuts are a great addition to any diet and they can help to boost your overall health.
Even though cashews are not technically nuts, it is not advisable for anyone with a nut allergy to eat them, as they share many of the same proteins as other nuts and may trigger a reaction.