Are cashews acidic: Nuts which are healthy and generally recommended are acidic or alkaline?
Alkaline Nuts Guide (and Which Nuts Are Acidic)
Alkaline Nuts Guide (and Which Nuts Are Acidic)
This is a question that comes up all the time in my coaching membership (we do a live Q&A every month), and I haven’t addressed nuts in my ‘Most Alkaline Foods’ post…and honestly, I can’t believe it!
Nuts are a huge part of the alkaline diet, and so in this quick guide I am going to share which are alkaline and acidic, (or I should say alkaline-forming, and acid-forming) and give an overview of each of the alkaline nuts to share their benefits, nutrient profile and share a few alkaline recipes with you too.
Do you want to know which nuts are alkaline and which are acidic? If so, you’ve come to the right place! In this article, we will discuss the alkaline and acidic properties of various nuts. We will also provide a list of alkaline forming nuts and a list of acidic nuts. So without further ado, let’s get started!
We will answer questions such as:
- Are peanuts alkaline?
- Which is the most alkaline nut?
- Which is the most acidic nut?
- How many nuts you can eat on an alkaline diet?
- Should I worry about the fat content in nuts?
- Which has the best nutrient profile?
Let’s get into it!
Which Nuts Are Alkaline?
The short answer is ALL nuts are alkaline except peanuts. Some are better (or more alkaline) than others, but really you can eat all nuts.
There is just one thing to look out for. And I’ll get to that in a moment.
First, I want to address the question of peanuts.
Are Peanuts Acidic or Alkaline?
Peanuts are most definitely acidic. They are incredibly vulnerable to mold, during the growing, harvesting and storage phases, and over 25 strains of bacteria are commonly found on them. One particular mold, a carcinogen called aflatoxin, a natural toxin produced by certain strains of the mold, is very concerning.
These acid-forming molds have no place in an alkaline diet (where mold is one thing we are definitely trying to avoid!). Not only is aflatoxin consumption linked to cancer, but it can also stunt the growth of children and cause liver toxicity. It is especially dangerous for pregnant women, as aflatoxin has been linked to stillbirths and low birth weights. It can also cause skin rashes, pale skin, hair loss, and abdominal pain in adults.
And when you think about how peanuts are most often consumed – as peanut butter (highly concentrated acidic peanuts!), it’s never a good choice.
Even if you purchase organic peanuts or peanut butter, it is inevitable that nature’s wrath will find a way to impact the taste.
What these manufacturers fail to mention is that they use the peanuts with less mold for your cocktail peanuts, and the ones with more mold for peanut butter- since it gets mashed up anyway!
The problem is that the mold spores in the peanuts, while they may not be visible to the naked eye, are still present. As you eat them, these microscopic organisms release their toxins into your system which can cause a myriad of health problems.
So that’s the acidic nuts covered! Let’s get into the rest, and the best choices.
List of the Nuts that Are Alkaline
These are the nuts I like to consume regularly on the alkaline diet:
Macademia nuts are so healthy and alkaline. They are an incredible source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3’s and 6’s, so a perfect choice for alkaline dieting. They are also alkaline-forming when digested, and provide good amounts of dietary fibre.
Although they are high in fat, macadamia nuts contain primarily monounsaturated fat, which is the heart-healthy type of fat that can help reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
Macademia nuts have the highest fat content, making them the most calorific nut and therefore are a great source of energy, and brain power.
A cup or 132g of macadamia nuts contains:
- Calories: 945
- Protein: 10.3 g
- Fat: 100 g
- Carbs: 16.9 g
- Fiber: 10.6 g
- Sugar: 5.46 g
- Calcium: 92.4 milligrams (mg)
- Iron: 3.5 mg
- Magnesium: 156 mg
Walnuts are another alkaline nut to incorporate into an alkaline diet whenever you can. They provide essential fatty acids in addition to protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
Plus they are the best nut-source of omega 3, making them one of the more alkaline nuts. Walnuts are also an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, the plant-based omega-3 fatty acid. One ounce of walnuts provides a significant amount of total fat, including monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats.
A 1-ounce (30-gram) serving of walnuts — about 14 halves — provides the following essential nutrients:
- Calories: 185
- Water: 4%
- Protein: 4.3 grams
- Carbs: 3.9 grams
- Sugar: 0.7 grams
- Fiber: 1.9 grams
- Fat: 18.5 grams
Cashews are alkaline-forming in the body, and also provide fats, protein and fibre.
The essential fatty acids found in cashews can help lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and heart attack.
According to a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition, people who consume nuts more than four times per week may have 37% lower risk of coronary heart disease compared with those who seldom or never consume nuts.
Cashews also contain vitamins C and B, including 7 micrograms of folate.
One ounce (28 grams) of unroasted, unsalted cashews provides you with around:
- Calories: 157
- Protein: 5 grams
- Fat: 12 grams
- Carbs: 9 grams
- Fiber: 1 gram
- Copper: 67% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Magnesium: 20% of the DV
- Manganese: 20% of the DV
- Zinc: 15% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 13% of the DV
- Iron: 11% of the DV
- Selenium: 10% of the DV
- Thiamine: 10% of the DV
- Vitamin K: 8% of the DV
- Vitamin B6: 7% of the DV
Almonds are alkaline forming when digested and provide good amounts of fats, protein, dietary fibre and vitamins & minerals.
Almonds are a fantastic source of antioxidants, magnesium, vitamin E and manganese, plus the fats omega 6, 9, 3 and small amount of saturated fat (80% monounsaturated, 15% polyunsaturated, and 5% saturated)
They are also incredibly high in antioxidants, which help protect cells from oxidative stress, which can damage molecules and contribute to inflammation, aging, and diseases like cancer.
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of almonds contains:
- Fiber: 3.5 grams
- Protein: 6 grams
- Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated)
- Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI
- Manganese: 32% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
- They also contain a decent amount of copper,
- vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and phosphorus.
Brazil nuts are an excellent source of nutrition, providing fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They’re particularly high in selenium, a mineral with potent antioxidant properties. Eating Brazil nuts may reduce inflammation, support brain function ,and improve your thyroid function and heart health .
Brazil nuts provide good amounts of fats in addition to protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals.
They are an alkaline nut that contains the highest amount of selenium than any other nut, with a single nut containing almost 200% of your daily need.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect cells from oxidative damage, supports the immune system and may reduce the risk of certain cancers. Plus it also helps with thyroid health and metabolism.
These are one of my favourites because you don’t need to eat a lot to get that selenium hit!
A 1-ounce (28-gram) serving of Brazil nuts contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 187
- Protein: 4.1 grams
- Fat: 19 grams
- Carbs: 3. 3 grams
- Fiber: 2.1 grams
- Selenium: 989% daily value (DV)
- Copper: 55% DV
- Magnesium: 25% DV
- Phosphorus: 16% DV
- Manganese: 15% DV
- Zinc: 10% DV
- Thiamine: 15% DV
- Vitamin E: 11% DV
Pecans are rich in antioxidants, which can help delay the progression of degenerative neurological diseases like amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. Pecans can also help lower LDL levels.
Pecans are packed with vitamins and minerals like Vitamin E, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iron, and calcium. All these nutrients can help boost your immunity and keep you healthy. Pecans have also been found to contain high levels of dietary fiber which is beneficial for your digestive health as it removes toxins from our bodies.
Additionally, studies have found that consumption of pecans has been linked to reduced risk of certain cancers and heart disease. They can also help lower cholesterol levels, which helps reduce your risk of stroke and other cardiovascular problems. Furthermore, they are a great source of healthy fats that can help keep your skin looking youthful.
One ounce (28 grams) of pecans contains the following nutritional value:
- Calories: 196
- Protein: 2.5 grams
- Fat: 20.5 grams
- Carbs: 4 grams
- Fiber: 2.7 grams
- Copper: 38% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Thiamine (vitamin B1): 16% of the DV
- Zinc: 12% of the DV
- Magnesium: 8% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 6% of the DV
- Iron: 4% of the DV
How to Eat Alkaline Nuts Every Day (Including Alkaline Nut Recipes)
Alkaline nuts are quite easy to include in your daily diet. You can simply snack on a handful of nuts throughout the day or add them to salads and stir-fries for added crunch.
A combination of almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts and macademia nuts at your desk for a handful here and there throughout the day is an incredible snack. You will be surprised at just how filling this is (especially when you combine with alkaline seeds such as sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seed etc.) and it can easily fill that snack-attack time in between meals. Also excellent with an alkaline herbal tea!
Here are my top quick tips to get plenty of nuts every day:
- Simply a bowl of raw nuts (as above)
- Make alkaline nut milk by soaking cashews, almonds, etc overnight before running through a cold-press juicer such as a Hurom. Juice the nuts and run through some filtered water as you go and it makes absolutely delicious fresh nut milk. The dry fiber that is left over can be used in baking.
- Put nuts into your alkaline smoothies – cashews, brazil nuts, almonds, and walnuts all work perfectly for this and add the healthy fats and other alkaline nutrients and minerals listed above.
- Roughly chop nuts into salads and stir-fries – cashews go especially well with chilli and basil (one of my favorite Thai dishes is Pad Kee Mao and I always throw in a few cashews too…which I know isn’t traditional but it works so well with the basil and chilli!)
- Make nut butter such as this awesome recipe from our friends at Food Matters
Some of My Fave Alkaline Recipes
No Bake Bliss Balls (great snack)
Creamy Cashew Curry
Creamy Vegan Cashew Dressing (Caesar Alternative)
Gluten-Free Paleo Granola
No-Bake Ginger Cookies
How Many Nuts Can You Eat on an Alkaline Diet & Should I Worry About Fats?
As with most of my teaching try not to overthing living alkaline! Don’t stress about nuts (or fat, more on that in a minute). As long as it isn’t peanuts, all other nuts are alkaline, and you can eat them freely. Eat them without overthinking. I am quite sure you’re not going to suddenly go doolally for nuts and eat 800 walnuts a day. These alkaline nuts are filling – they are full of fibre, protein, fat and micronutrients, which will leave you feeling lovely and satisfied and full. You won’t have the urge to overeat them.
If you want to have a quantifiable measure, eat around 1/2 to 1 cup of nuts per day. That’s a good amount, and definitely not over eating.
With regards to nuts and worries about eating ‘too much’ fat, let’s keep this simple: you can’t eat too much HEALTHY fat.
The fats in nuts are healthy, cholesterol-lowering, heart healthy fats.
These fats will also not cause weight gain. They simply won’t. This is not how the body works! It doesn’t just ingest fats in food and the fat simply sticks there, hanging around. Mark Hyman explains it all well here, and I discuss it in my in-depth guide here.
The body holds on to and generates fat cells when it is out of balance, and toxic, acidic foods will put it out of balance (including unhealthy fats such as trans-fats, cheap seed and vegetable oil like canola, and plastic awful crap like margarine).
The fats in nuts will support the body to balance, maintain an alkaline environment, and provide the body with the tools it needs to burn fat and speed metabolism.
And that’s a wrap of the most alkaline nuts, and how to use them! Give these ideas, snacks and recipes a try (avoiding peanuts and peanut butter!), and see if you can start incorporating nuts into your daily alkaline diet.
Are Cashews Alkaline Or Acidic Nuts?
Cashews are truly nuts which famous over the world. Some people call it seeds because of their growth in the fruit of the cashew.
Most nuts are good for the stomach, but those high in fats and fructans may cause gas and symptoms similar to heartburn.
Some nuts are good, and some are bad. So is cashew alkaline, or is it also acidic?
Cashews are acidic, though dried cashews are slightly less acidic than salted cashews.
The article is all about the cashews nature, how much is safe on acid reflux or GERD, which type of cashews create more gas, and many more interesting queries.
See At A Glance
Are cashews alkaline or acidic fruit?
Cashews are less acidic and have a PH is 5.7 to 6.2. Where dried cashews have PH 5.985, and salted cashews have PH 5.988.
Technically the nut is acidic, but the PH value is near 7, which is neutral, and we consider more than 4.6 on the PH scale is ok to eat.
If you don’t know, then remember peanuts, pistachios, walnuts are also acidic nuts.
Are cashews ok for acid reflux?
Cashews are heart-healthy and help to keep blood sugar levels stable. If you ask me if there is a link between acid reflux and cashews, I must say yes.
Cashews can cause gas because they are high in fructans and GOS, which can irritate your stomach and cause acid to form.
If you do not have acid reflux and have a healthy digestive system, you can eat a small amount because it is high in nutrition.
Several foods are known to cause heartburn in a large group of people. The majority of these foods relax the esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle that connects your esophagus to your stomach. Acid can start flowing into your esophagus when this muscle relaxes, having caused heartburn.
Some nuts are high in alkaline like almonds, flaxseeds, chia, pomegranate, etc. These are recommended during acid reflux.
Are roasted cashews alkaline?
Roasted cashews are also acidic, and it contains salt and other seasonal ingredients that do not make the nuts alkaline. However, roasted cashews are safer from the bacteria’s point of view, but it fewer vitamins and minerals.
Are raw cashews alkaline?
Raw cashews are also acidic, but sprouts are a little bit alkaline. Moreover, raw seeds are high in nutrition.
Is cashew milk acidic?
Cashew milk is more acidic compared to dried one. The pH is 5.6 and contains high sugar that is also responsible for gas-forming.
If you want to drink alkaline milk, almond milk is a good choice during acid reflux situations.
Is cashew butter acidic?
Homemade cashew butter is not too bad during acid reflux because the pH value is near neutral. The cashew butter pH is 6.0 to 6.3. Though it is acidic in scale, this pH range does heavily affect the stomach. But make sure the cashed butter does not have any added sugar.
Read More- Mangoes effect on Acidity
Is cashew juice acidic?
You love to drink cashew apple juice which is highly acidic. The juice contains ascorbic acid, which is higher in amount than orange juice.
Read More- What does mean while you crave for Orange juice
Does cashew nuts have acid?
What Does It Mean When You Have Cravings?
Cashew nuts contain many acids like-
- Anacardic acid
- Ascorbic acid
- Palmitic acid
- Oleic acid
- Stearic acid
- Linoleic acid
Why are cashews good for you?
Cashews are high in vitamins and minerals like manganese, magnesium, protein, fiber, iron, vitamin K, B6, etc.
1. Cashews contain a lot of fiber and protein. This combination reduces hunger and keeps you full for a long time. This allows you to cut out unnecessary meals, which aids in weight loss.
2. Limited consumption of nuts helps to lower bad cholesterol and protect your heart from various types of diseases.
3. The nuts help to reduce inflammation in your because its high in antioxidants and polyphenols.
4. Cashews are low in sugar and high in fiber, which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable. That’s why it’s a good choice for diabetes patients. However, always consult with your doctor if you suffer from any chronic and severe diseases.
5. Manganese and magnesium are good for stomach health and fiber that helps to minimize the risk of constipation.
However, most of the proton pump inhibitors contain magnesium and its use to minimize stomach acid secretion.
Wrap up on cashews and their nature
As you know, 3 out of 1 Americans suffer from acid reflux symptoms that’s why knowing the list of foods and nuts is always a healthy option to stay away from painful situations.
However, the cashews nuts are acidic and may cause gastric problems because of fructans. Some report says cashew butter is less acidic compare to other forms.
Moderate amounts are safe to maintain a healthy diet.
If you want to live a healthy lifestyle, you should include fruits like dates, watermelon, and cantaloupe, as well as nuts like almonds, snacks like hummus, and drinks like rooibos tea, herbal tea, green Lipton tea, and so on.
Stay healthy and fit with Heal Health family.
Remember, the above answer is clearly meant to provide general health information only and is not a substitute for a doctor’s opinion or treatment recommendations.
Are cashews good for an alkaline diet?
Cashews are mildly acidic, and that does not too change stomach pH. You can add in your diet and 3 to 4 cashew nuts are healthy to eat.
If you want to add to your alkaline diet, then, must consult with your diet planner they can suggest which amount is good for you.
Does cashew upset your stomach?
If you have stomach problems or any type of gastric problem, cashews may cause gas and make you feel uncomfortable after eating a few nuts.
Some people think laxative effects may occur because of eating cashews. You have to eat 1 kg cashews per week to get these effects.
What happens if you eat cashew every day?
If you don’t have any gastric issues, then 3 to 4 cashews are good to eat. It helps you to maintain a healthy weight.
How cashews grow / What is useful and how it is used in cooking – an article from the “What to eat” section on Food.ru
Nut or fruit
The plant belongs to the sumac family, is on a par with pistachio and mango. Therefore, the culture is not a pure nut. To see how cashews grow in nature, let’s move to the tropics of Thailand. It is there that plantations and factories for growing walnuts are concentrated. In addition to special places, trees are found in wild forests and even on city streets.
Brazil is considered to be the birthplace of cashews. The tree on which it grows is called Indian walnut or acajou. And the largest crops are grown in Thailand.
The stem of the anacardium, which is the correct name for the culture in botanical terms, is medium in size and can grow up to 10 meters in length. His pride is an incredibly magnificent crown. From the side, the plant may look like a giant broccoli. On plantations, branches are regularly pruned, giving them a neat shape.
Acajou does not shed its leaves and stays green all year round. In nature, it blooms once a season. But with proper care, it is covered with small flowers and up to three times.
The cashew flowers are muted red and clustered in panicles. They open for a long time, so the flowering period can be delayed for several weeks. The tree brings the first fruits in the fifth year of life under certain conditions. The Indian tree is suitable for a tropical climate – hot and humid.
The branches of some Indian trees grow so low that, under the weight of leaves and fruits, they go all the way to the ground. In contact with moist, warm soil, the branch gives its roots and shoots. Thus, one plant can occupy entire glades. For example, not far from the Brazilian city of Natal, a tree was discovered that had grown over 2 hectares of land. Locals say that it has been growing there since the end of the 19th century.
Beautiful, poisonous and dangerous
Among other cashews, it is distinguished by the fact that its nut does not grow inside the fruit, but outside. After the tree has faded, pseudo-apples of yellow or pink color ripen on it, a nut is “suspended” from the bottom of each. This false fruit has nothing to do with the famous fruit: in shape it looks more like a sweet pepper or an elongated pear. In fact, this is just an overgrown pedicel of a plant without seeds inside.
Indian cashew apples are edible: they are fibrous like persimmons and sour like kiwis. But they live exactly a day, they are not stored longer, so you can try the curiosity near the farms where the tree grows. In Thai markets, look for it under the name “Kazhu”.
Historians and linguists argue about the origin of the word “cashew”. Some say that the Portuguese caju was transformed from the Indian acaju, which means “yellow fruit.” Others believe that the Greek language gave them the name: the first name sounded like kardia, since the shape of the apples resembled the shape of a heart.
One such apple produces one cashew. Such a modest harvest is the first reason for the high cost of nuts on the market. The second is the difficult process of harvesting. Tearing cashews from a pseudo-apple will not be difficult, it is much more difficult to get the nut itself. Its shell is impregnated with caustic resin. It cannot be opened with bare hands – on unprotected skin, the acid leaves a chemical burn and painful blisters.
Toxic resin evaporates completely at high temperatures. Therefore, the nut is first fried directly in the shell, and only then it is cleaned. This is done manually by specially trained people. A professional cashew cleaner is easily recognizable by the scars on his palms – even experienced cashews do not always manage to get rid of the caustic shell without injury.
By the way, cashew fruits are not picked from the tree, but picked up. I think they fall from the branches themselves when they are fully ripe. The cleaned ones are sent to factories, where they are sorted, sorted and packaged for sale.
Where the nut is grown other than Brazil
Cashews can grow in 32 countries around the world, but Brazil and Thailand share the lead in growing and exporting. The first – on the rights of the historical homeland of the nut. It was in South America that European discoverers discovered trees with bizarre fruits.
The rest of the modern market is in the southern countries of Asia and Africa: Vietnam, Nigeria, Indonesia, Iran and, of course, India can produce cashews. Together they grow up to 2.5 tons of nuts every year.
The Indian tree is propagated by seeds. In order not to delay the process for many years, they are germinated right in the poisonous shell before planting. In hot countries, this happens on plantations, and where it is cooler, in greenhouses. The germinated seed is first planted in a pot of soil, when several large leaves appear, it is transferred to the ground. Before the tree brings the first harvest, it will take several years.
The climatic conditions of Russia are not suitable for cashews. In our country, it can grow only in specially equipped greenhouses: it is expensive and difficult to produce it in large quantities, so you are unlikely to find domestic cashews. The closest country from where the nut comes to our shelves is Azerbaijan.
Benefits and harms of cashew nuts
contains B vitamins, vitamin A, iron, zinc and calcium;
natural antiseptic. Nuts contain a substance that can kill bacteria in the mouth;
less allergic than any other nut;
is very high in calories: 100 g of nuts contain 500-600 kcal, which is comparable to a full meal.
People with gastrointestinal diseases, metabolic disorders and obesity should use cashews with caution. But everyone else should not get carried away: doctors recommend not eating more than 50 g of such nuts per day.
How cashews are eaten in different countries
Before being eaten or sent to the table, the nut is roasted. Although cashews can be eaten raw: they are soft, sweet, with a slightly creamy taste. If you hold a nut in your hands, it will leave a subtle smell and a greasy mark on your fingers.
Cashews are good as an independent snack, and due to their high calorie content, they can become a full-fledged snack. In Europe, they like to roast nuts with caramel, while in our country they are often served in company with dried fruits and candied fruits.
Nuts make delicious vegetable milk and healthy oil.
Cashews are an essential ingredient in Asian cuisine. There, the nut is used as an additive to salad, rice and meat dishes. The most famous of the recipes is Thai chicken.
Cashews are good not only in the kitchen. In Brazil, Peru, Venezuela and Haiti, it is considered a medicine. Some remove warts with walnut oil, others lubricate wounds for healing. It is also believed that cashews are a natural aphrodisiac.
What can be done?
Learn interesting facts about other plants whose fruits we used to see every day. For example, about why buckwheat is also a nut, but peanuts are not.
Find out more about other nuts:
Healthiest nut named
All about pine nuts. What are useful, how to choose and store
A nutritionist listed the useful properties of pecans
Cashews – description and varieties, composition and calorie content, benefits and uses of cashews
Cashew is an amazing product. This is a panacea for many diseases, and a dangerous poison – all in one bottle. With its help, they escape from snake bites, treat the skin, produce drying oil, but it can also provoke blistering and even suffocation.
TABLE OF CONTENTS:
- Nutritional value and composition of cashews
- Description of cashews
- Taste of cashews
- Use of cashews in cooking
- Uses of cashews in the household 90 052
- Cashew ripening season and storage conditions
- Types and varieties of cashew
- Useful and harmful properties of cashews
- Interesting facts about cashews
I got acquainted with this overseas miracle before my transition to vegetarianism, when I was expecting my first child. For some reason, I constantly wanted cottage cheese (may the vegans forgive me!) – I ate it 2-3 times a day in huge portions mixed with dried fruits and nuts.
In the market, I found such a wonderful lady who had this stuff in bulk. Now I understand how to choose the right dried apricots, prunes, raisins, dates and nuts, and then I chewed everything. And in my understanding, I ate healthy food!
So, among the nut-dried fruit abundance, I met strange cream-colored “squiggles”, a little dry, sometimes in halves, sometimes whole “squiggles”. The inscription read “Cashew”, and I decided!
These strange-looking nuts were delicious both solo and as part of my homemade curd mass. In a word, almost my entire pregnancy passed side by side with them.
When the child was 8 months old, I became a vegetarian, a little later I went vegan and almost a year and a half raw food diet – that’s when cashews got a second birth in my diet. I learned a lot of interesting recipes with their participation, some of which you will learn below.
In the meantime, let’s find out what kind of interesting product this is, where it came from and what it tastes like.
Nutritional value and composition of cashews
Nutritional value per 100 g
|Vitamins and minerals
|E, B3, B5, C, B1, B6, B9, K, P, Mg, Ca, Na, Fe, Zn
Cashews are slightly alkaline to your body as they have a slightly acidic pH of 5.0-6.5.
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Description of cashews
Cashews – aka cashew (in English), aka caju (in Portuguese), aka Anacardium occidentale (Anacardium occidentale – in Latin), akazhu, he or Indian walnut. This plant is a species of the Anacardium genus, Sumac family.
Close relatives of cashews, also bearing the “surname” of the Sumakhovs, are our favorite Indian mango and pistachio, as well as the mysterious dragontomelon, schinopsis, pachykormus, mombin and others.
Externally, the plant of interest to us is an evergreen tree, the height of which in captivity, as a rule, does not exceed 12 meters, and in natural conditions it can reach 30. The cashew crown is so spreading that its diameter is often equal to the height of the tree.
It is densely decorated with dense, leathery, bright green leaves of elliptical or ovoid shape. Their length varies from 4 to 22 centimeters, and their width – from 2 to 15. But the trunk of the tree is short, and, moreover, also incorrectly branched.
In appearance, the flowers of the plant are not particularly remarkable, but they are very fragrant. They are small, with 5 petals, pinkish-yellow in color, can be female, male or bisexual. The flowers are clustered in numerous groups in the form of panicles, the length of which can reach 20 centimeters.
3 months after the flowering of these delicious-smelling panicles on the branches of cashew trees (cashew trees?!), the fruits of the original form appear. These are such orange, red or yellow, depending on the type of plant, either pears, or apples, or paprika, the length of which can reach 12 centimeters.
They really look like fruits, but in fact they are stalks and are called “pseudo-fruits”, “false-fruits” or “hypocarias” in scientific circles.
Nevertheless, this strange formation is called “cashew apple” among the people and is actively eaten in the regions where it grows. It tastes sour and astringent, and in structure it is dense, fibrous and at the same time juicy.
The fruit is exactly the product that we are accustomed to consider a cashew nut, but in its original form it is covered with a double shell – first smooth, and then rough, more dense. But in the heart of this natural packaging lies the very delicious pulp that is sold on our shelves. The weight of one nut can reach 1.5 grams.
You must have seen these unusual nuts! What do they remind you of in shape? At the beginning of the article, I called them squiggles and squiggles. Someone claims that they look like mini-boxing gloves, and to someone they resemble human ears.
Cashews can be compared with a question mark without a dot, with the letter C, with the moon, with a comma, with a children’s inflatable telephone receiver (remember the clown Polunin with his “assassy”?!). What are your options? Support my association game! 😉
Cashew Origin Story
This amazing nut comes from America, where it was discovered by Portuguese navigators in the 16th century. It was they who opened it to the world, but long before the arrival of curious travelers, the fruits of the plant, along with the bark and leaves, were actively used in the household (if you can call it that!) of the Tikuna Indians who lived where Brazil is now located.
The Tikun people gave the tree the name “yellow fruit” or “acaju”. Remember, his stalks are most often orange or yellow? Well, the ones that are “apple”. So it was from this word that the Portuguese term “caju” originated, which formed the English “cashew”, and the Russian people only had to transform this name into “cashew”.
Interestingly, in some other Latin American countries, the cashew nut is not cashew at all, but merey or maranon. This is a modified name for the Brazilian northeastern state of Maranhao, where the nut was first found.
Let’s get back to the Portuguese. With their submission, the overseas product spread first to India, and then to African countries. Currently, he is a favorite of the inhabitants of Thailand, China, Iran, Indonesia, Azerbaijan, Malaysia and more than 20 countries with a suitable climate.
This is where cashews are grown commercially and are dispersed throughout the world. The top three countries producing this product are Vietnam, India and Nigeria.
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These nuts taste, oddly enough, nutty. 🙂 But at the same time they are pleasantly sweet – not cloying, but with a slight hint of sweetness. Perhaps that is why cashews are so popular in many countries.
Only roasted cashews can be found on sale, in which, after heat treatment, the taste becomes brighter. Gentlemen, raw foodists, do not rush to be indignant and do not rush to look for the raw fruits of this plant. It is unlikely that you will find them – there is a good reason for that, which I will tell you about a little later, when I talk about growing such a tree at home, as well as about the dangers of its fruits.
The stalks of the plant called apples are also eaten, but only in the countries where they grow. Juicy pulp deteriorates very quickly, and therefore you need to go to Thailand or China for it. Where do you want to go? There you can try tart-sour “cashew false fruits” as part of various dishes – jams, marmalade, jellies, sauces are prepared from them.
“Cashew apples” are pressed into juice, which, by the way, is no less popular in Latin American countries than orange juice, which has become familiar to us. Would we call it apple-cashew? What do you think? Would you like to try it?
To further develop the culinary theme, I invite you to our virtual kitchen, where I will introduce you to the gastronomic use of nuts available to us.
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Cashews in cooking
Cashews make vegetable salads more satisfying.
At this point, I usually start my song about how it is best to eat nuts separately from other products. Firstly, they are already satisfying, and, secondly, their taste is worthy of the closest attention. Unfortunately, fried cashews are a little dry, and therefore they can be soaked in drinking water for a couple of hours. The pulp is saturated with moisture and becomes pulp in the truest sense of the word – tender, pliable, juicy.
I really love the combination of these nuts with brown rice and from time to time I cook a delicious vegetarian pilaf from these products. It can be spicy with the addition of fresh ginger (or garlic), prunes, salt and curry spices, or it can be sweet if you put raisins or pieces of dates in rice.
Delicious “squiggles” after stewing become even tastier – they swell and soften, and their presence gives the pilaf a subtle nutty tint. Here I am writing all this and I understand that today or tomorrow I will definitely cook this dish! According to the described principle, you can make pilaf from bulgur, pearl barley, buckwheat and other cereals.
You can wrap rice with cashews in pre-blanched (boiled) cabbage leaves – you get vegetarian cabbage rolls, or you can stuff paprika “cups” with them to make stuffed vegetarian peppers. Did you do it?
I know that vegans and non-strict raw foodists really appreciate this product for its creamy texture. How to achieve it? Very simple – soak the nuts for several hours in water (at least 2-3), and then chop in a blender with a little water.
Preferably a very powerful blender. You can add mustard, lemon juice and asafoetida to such a mass – you get an ethical mayonnaise. And if you put a banana or honey with avocado into it during the “blending” process, then you will have an original dessert. I tried both options, I liked it!
Cashews are also appropriate in light vegetable salads – they make them heavier and more satisfying. For example, you can combine these nuts with celery and lettuce, or you can add them to the tomato-paprika duo.
Carrots, all types of cabbage, cucumbers, beets, radishes, turnips, pumpkins, Jerusalem artichokes, your favorite greens – try different combinations with these sweetish squiggles.
An excellent duet – cashews and cheese! You can use soft varieties, or you can combine nuts with hard cheeses.
Try an unusual salad featuring the hero of my article today, a juicy pear, brie cheese, arugula and olive oil. I think you will appreciate it!
Often they become a decoration for various raw food and vegetarian desserts – you can put cashews on nut-dried fruit-honey balls, or you can roll them inside such sweets (there will be a surprise!). They are also good as sprinkles for cakes or pastries.
I know that in Asian cuisine, these nuts are combined with mushrooms, such as shiitake, as part of various dishes. Who prevents you from mixing them with more affordable champignons or oyster mushrooms? Only, in my opinion, such a duet is hard to digest. Keep that in mind!
I prefer vegetable dishes with these nuts – I combine them with steamed, stewed and fried cauliflower and broccoli, with fried eggplant or zucchini.
Add soy sauce, ginger or garlic to this dish for an original flavored appetizer. Like the idea? Have you tried cooking something similar? What are you doing in the kitchen with cashews? Please share your signature recipes.
And let me remind you that cashews, like any other nuts, should be consumed in small amounts – no more than 100 grams per day, so that indigestion does not happen.
Use of cashews in the household
Cashew oil is valued by both doctors and cosmetologists.
We cannot boast of any original way of using cashews on the farm – we simply do not grow it for this purpose. But tropical countries, where the nut feels at home, widely use the constituent parts of the plant for various purposes. I wonder which ones? Let me tell you.
For example, Brazilians firmly believe that cashews are a sure way to increase sexual desire and have long been using it as an aphrodisiac.
Everyone knows how passionate the Brazilians are – what is their world-famous incendiary carnival! In addition, Latin Americans widely use cashews as a natural remedy for colds and bronchitis, digestive problems and poisoning, headaches and toothaches. It also helps with asthma.
They treat warts and remove freckles. Africans draw tattoos with it. Also, this plant is a natural antiseptic and tonic. Naturopaths recommend including its fruits in the diet of people suffering from malnutrition or low hemoglobin.
And the Indians often use the husk left after the extraction of the cashew fruit as a powerful antidote for snake bites.
From the shells that protected the pulp of the plant, liquid and solid fractions are obtained. The first is used for the production of medicines, varnish, rubber and drying oil, and the second – in the manufacture of brake pads and pads for them. Nut brakes! Who would have thought! 😆
Valuable oil is pressed from these nuts, which is used in medicine and cosmetology. It has numerous useful properties – tones, nourishes, softens, fights bacteria, viruses and microbes, reduces pain, relieves spasms. If you find it on sale, then you can safely smear it on the skin or use it inside, but before that, still test it on the crook of your elbow – what if you have an allergy?
If your cashews are doing well, you can try growing them on your windowsill. Why not Brazil? 😉
How to grow cashews at home?
You can become the owner of a unique house plant if you manage to get its raw seeds. In ordinary stores, as I wrote above, you are unlikely to find them, but in specialized, horticultural ones it is easy. Plant seedlings are also sold, which will make the process of growing it even easier.
So, we germinate the purchased seeds. Surely you know how this is done, but I will repeat once again – soak the nuts overnight in cool water, change it to fresh in the morning, and so for two days. After that, leave your seed without water and wait for the first sprouts to appear, spraying them from time to time with a spray bottle.
Be aware that raw nuts are poisonous due to the caustic substance cardol found between the pulp and the shell.
Roast cashews just to eliminate the presence of poison. It is for this reason that the water from the seeds must be drained very carefully so that it does not fall on you.
After the sprouts have hatched, each of the nuts should be placed in a spacious pot (at least a liter in volume) filled with light, breathable soil. Position your seedlings in a sunny location, make sure that the air around is not dry – in short, try to create a hot, moisture-saturated climate for the plant so that it feels like home in the tropics.
Then after a couple of weeks you will enjoy the first cashew greens. They will grow well in the conditions described above. The shadow, of course, is acceptable, but very rarely and dosed. And the tree loves when it is sprayed – the air must be moist!
It turns out that by planting cashews, you get a kind of pet – cute, but capricious and demanding attention. If you are not stingy and give it to your pet, then in two years it will reward you with apples and nuts. Are you ready for this gardening experiment?
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Cashew ripening season and storage conditions
These funny things cashews hang from trees.
The good news is that these nuts “live” on our shelves all year round. Wanted cashews in the middle of winter? No problem – go and buy, you just need to know which ones are worth spending money on and which ones should be avoided.
How to choose the right cashews?
I hope I convinced you that the raw fruits of this plant are almost never found in shops and markets? Yes, in fact, it’s not worth looking for them – it’s too dangerous. But it’s worth hunting for high-quality roasted nuts.
They can be sold in halves or whole squiggles. It is the second option that is the most optimal, since in this form cashews better retain the remnants of their useful properties.
Vacuum is the best packaging for them, since harmful microorganisms do not multiply in an airless space. Your task is to carefully check whether traitorous mold is hiding among the nuts, whether they are too wrinkled.
Cashews sold by weight are less useful, but in this case you are given the chance to sniff the product. If you smell a musty or damp smell, don’t waste your money. Too dry fruits, resembling a hunched, wrinkled old woman, are also not a bargain – they will not taste good.
Carefully inspect the nut flesh for dark or light spots – they should not be. The color of the product should be uniform – beige or cream.
How to properly store cashews?
If you have followed these simple tips, then you have certainly chosen high-quality nuts. And this is very good, since you can keep them for a while. So, placed in a hermetically sealed glass or ceramic container and placed in a dark, cool place, whole cashews can lie for a couple of months, provided that you regularly sort them out and see if mold has appeared.
If you place your purchase in the refrigerator, it will stay there for about six months. Frozen nuts are stored for a year, but, for my taste, they become nothing after heat treatment with a “-” sign.
Do not store cashews for more than the 12 months indicated. No, of course you can do it, but why? After all, the nuts will become dry and bitter. Doubtful pleasure, isn’t it?! 🙂
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Types and varieties of cashews
Fruits that are on sale, depending on their quality, are divided into 20 varieties. So, from 1 to 8 varieties are the most delicious and healthy nuts, as they are whole, light, almost white (or cream, or beige), as they are processed at minimum temperatures, which means they retain a maximum of valuable properties. They are without any spots and are larger than the rest. It is for such cashews that you should go to the store or to the market.
Nuts belonging to 9-12 variety groups are processed at higher temperatures than those mentioned above. Due to this, they are darker – light brown, but also without spots and whole.
13th grade – whole fruits with a sweet taste, may be shriveled and shiny.
Grades 14 to 20 are damaged nuts. Depending on the group, such pieces can be large or small, but not less than 1. 7 millimeters.
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Useful and harmful properties of cashew
Cashew milk is many times healthier than cow milk.
The benefits of cashews
- Cashews are rich in B vitamins, and therefore have a beneficial effect on the state of the “attributes” of female beauty – skin, hair and nails.
- The presence of magnesium in this product makes it useful for those who suffer from diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
- Saturated fatty acids, which are present in these nuts, also have a positive effect on the functioning of the cardiovascular system. They are also good for the brain.
- For the same reason, they are effective at elevated pressure.
- Cashews reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol in the blood.
- The dietary fiber contained in these fruits improves the digestion process, provided that they are not abused.
- The iron included in their composition improves blood composition and increases hemoglobin.
- The antibacterial property of cashews makes them an effective remedy against diseases of the oral cavity – it is enough to chew a few “squiggles” regularly, and the condition of the gums and teeth will noticeably improve. Believe the African tribes who have long used this simple method!
- Do you remember that this product is an aphrodisiac? Not surprisingly, it improves the functioning of the male and female reproductive organs!
- Cashews are perfectly absorbed by the body, and therefore they can be safely included in the diet of people who are weakened after operations, chemotherapy.
- Paradoxically, these nuts can also be consumed by those who want to lose weight. The body accepts them well, and, therefore, is quickly saturated with their help. You ate a handful of delicious fruits, ate and did not have time to get better!
- This product boosts immunity and provides the body with antioxidant protection.
- It is also indicated for skin problems, provided that it does not cause allergies in the patient.
- The sweet taste of these nuts makes them natural antidepressants. Eat delicious “krivulki”, and your mood will noticeably improve! Checked. 🙂
- The use of such a valuable product helps people suffering from diabetes. Scientists have found that these fruits improve their condition, and also help healthy people avoid this disease. The glycemic index of cashews is very low – only 15 units.
- It is also indicated for pregnant women not only because of the high iron content, but also due to the presence of folic acid (vitamin B9), which helps the fetus to develop normally. Maybe that’s why I gnawed on these nuts so actively during pregnancy? Nothing like the child turned out, developed. 😀
If you are carried away by the sweet taste of these nuts and eat more than your body needs, prepare for the symptoms of poisoning. You will soon feel them. This is nausea, reaching vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea. In addition, the abundance of fatty foods adversely affects the functioning of the liver. It is unlikely that you will ever want to consume more than 100 grams of cashews per day after that.
People prone to allergies may have reactions in the form of skin redness, rashes, itching. This product cannot be classified as very allergenic, however, such consequences take place, in fact, as well as individual intolerance.
But the worst thing is to come across the raw fruits of this plant and not know that they are very dangerous. Above, I already mentioned that between their shell and pulp contains a caustic substance consisting of phenolic resin, cardol and anacardic acid. Such a vigorous cocktail, when in contact with the skin, causes quite serious burns, and when inhaled, swelling of the larynx and even suffocation.
Here are some harmless healthy nuts for you. Can you imagine how every minute the risks are those people who process cashews? 🙁 Yes, they need to give milk for harm, cashew!
So, if you go to the tropics and meet a pretty tree with bright pear apples and nuts, do not try to extract the fruits yourself.