Cashews are a snack that could help reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. Research also points to the benefits of cashews on your skin and hair, and even your nerves, due to their powerful micronutrient content. Not really a nut, a seed originally used to treat ailments.
One cashew contains about 21% protein, 46% fat, and 25% carbohydrates. A one-quarter cup serving contains about 200 calories, 5 grams of protein, 9 grams of carbs, and 16 grams of fat. Cashews possess a healthy balance of fat types — 62% of the cashew’s fats are monounsaturated fat (MUFAs), while 18% are polyunsaturated fats (PUFAs). Due to these MUFAs and PUFAs, cashew consumption leads to lower risk for a variety of diseases – including cancer, obesity, and heart disease.
This recipe requires two ingredients- cashews and sea salt, but it does require a good food processor and a little bit of time. I suggest you make it while you are doing something else in the kitchen because periodically you will need to scrape down the sides and as we move through the stages.
Let's get started!
1 lb of raw cashew pieces (Trader Joe's)
1/4 tsp of sea salt
Put the cashews into food processor. Your cashews will go through many stages until it becomes butter:
First stage: Chopped nuts. Just let the processor do it's thing.
Second stage: Fine powder. Here is where you will have to stop the processor often to scrape down the sides and break up the build up on the bottom.
Third stage: Clumps. Now the cashews are sticking together. This would be a good time to turn off the processor and let it cool down for a bit. While it is cooling down go ahead and break up those clumps. You may have to do this a few times.
Fourth stage: Cashew dough ball. This stage freaked me out. It looks like pizza dough. How could it ever turn into a nut butter. Trust me, it will get there. Break this dough ball and turn the processor back on. You may have to do this more than once.
Fifth stage: Cashew butter! Now the oils in the cashews are being released. The butter will start to get really hot so you may want to stop for a bit and let it cool down. Let it run for a minute or 2 to really get those oils out which will allow the cashew butter to get really creamy. This is where you add the salt.
I know this sounds like it will take forever but really it is just about 10-15 minutes. I cleaned the counters and organized the pantry while the processor was working its magic on my cashews. It was scrumptious on these lemony raw vegan crackers I found at Raley's. It would also be great on a piece of whole grain toast. You could add a couple of tbsps to a cup of water and blend for cashew milk, or just add a tbsp to your next green smoothie.
Store in the refrigerator.
Recipe by Raw Chef Debra Garner
To learn more about the raw food/plant-based diet and Debra's services please visit her website.