Food in focus: Cashew nuts

Synonymous with snacking, cashews are a deliciously moreish treat. But they’re quickly becoming a popular ingredient in many food products, from cashew butter to cashew milk.

Like all tree nuts, cashews are small but mighty, packed with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that are beneficial to our overall health. They’re also low GI, meaning they provide longer lasting energy and help you to feel fuller for longer.

When compared with other tree nuts, cashews are particularly high in both iron and zinc, which are important for keeping your immune system fighting fit. They also contain a good dose of heart-healthy fats, niacin for brain power, and are a source of protein, copper, magnesium, selenium and thiamin.

Just like fruit and veggies, nuts are an important part of a healthy diet and we should aim to eat 30g a day – that’s about a handful or 15 cashews. Regularly eating 30g of tree nuts a day has been linked to:
 
  • 29% reduced the risk of heart disease
  • 15% reduced risk of type 2 diabetes
  • 15% reduced risk of cancer
Most people don’t eat enough nuts and more than a decade of good evidence is showing that eating nuts does not cause weight gain. In fact, eating them regularly will help keep your weight in check.

While cashews are usually enjoyed raw or roasted, they’re also extremely versatile thanks to their taste and texture. The creaminess of cashews makes them perfect for soups and smoothies, nut butters, nut creams and plant-based milks. They even make a great dairy-free replacement for cheese when soaked and blended with nutritional yeast and water.
 

Why not try these delicious cashew-inspired recipes?

Mushroom and cashew pasta

Dive into comforting guilt-free dinner with this creamy mushroom and cashew pasta. A lactose/dairy free meal that’s quick and easy to prepare and packed with nutrients. Get the recipe here.

Vegan pesto pasta

Creamy cashew milk creates a special twist on a classic - vegan pesto pasta. Ready in just 15 minutes, make it gluten-free by using gluten-free pasta. Get the recipe here.

Baked chai donuts

Spiced baked donuts are great on their own, and even better with a drizzle of caramel sauce! If you don’t have a doughnut tin, these bake perfectly as muffins too. Get the recipe here.  

 

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