That buttery little crescent-shaped snack we all know as the cashew nut is actually part of the cashew apple which grows on the cashew tree in coastal areas of Brazil. Us folks here in North America enjoy snacking on these little guys, but in the Caribbean and in Brazil, cashews are considered a delicacy.
Have you ever seen a cashew in its shell?
I’m willing to bet you haven’t because they are always sold shelled. Why? Because inside the shells is a poisonous resin called cashew balm that has to carefully be removed before the nuts are able to be eaten.
That resin is actually used to make insecticides and varnish!
Once they’re shelled, cashews are extremely nutritious. These guys are less fatty than other nuts, and most of the fat they do contain is the same heart-healthy mono-unsaturated fat that we find in olive oil.
Cashews contain all kinds of protein, iron, selenium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, and zinc. They are also a good source of antioxidants and phytochemicals and they contain no cholesterol.
These nuts are excellent for everything from our cardiovascular health to our hair. The magnesium they contain is good for our bones and the copper in cashews helps promote flexibility in our joints. Cashews can also lower our blood pressure.
The magnesium in cashews makes them a natural mood lifter, too! Magnesium produces serotonin – nature’s anti-depressant. Eat a handful of cashews when you’re feeling sad and it may help boost your spirits.
All of these benefits in cashews and they’re delicious to boot! Eat them as a healthy snack between meals, toss some cashews into your next stir fry or curry, or enjoy them in the form of cashew butter on an updated PB&J!
So many reasons to choose cashews! Unless you have kidney or gallbladder problems. That’s because cashews contain oxalates which, when too concentrated in bodily fluids, can crystallize leading to health problems. If you have existing gallbladder or kidney issues you may want to avoid eating cashews.
Now it’s time for your Trick:
To bring the flavor of cashews to a whole new level, try roasting them! Pop them in the oven at 170F for about 20 minutes and you’ll preserve their healthy oils while creating a delicious snack!
And your Tip:
Cashews contain a good amount of oleic acid making them more shelf stable than other nuts, but they still should be stored in a sealed container in the fridge. They’ll last there for about six months. You can keep them in the freezer for a year.
And your Recipe:
Six Ingredient Low Carb Cashew Chicken
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breast meat cut into strips
- 1/3 cup cashews divided
- 2 cloves garlic pressed
- 1 teaspoon grated ginger
- 3/4 cup low sodium chicken broth Or use homemade bone broth
- Heat half of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add chicken strips and quickly sauté until browned and cooked through; remove from skillet and keep warm.
- Process 1/4 cup of the cashews in a blender or food processor until finely ground; set aside.
- Heat remaining oil to the skillet; add garlic and ginger and stir-fry for just 15 seconds.
- Stir in ground cashews then slowly add chicken broth, stirring until well blended. Let sauce simmer for a few minutes to reduce slightly then return chicken to the skillet and heat through.
- Chop remaining cashews and serve on top of chicken and sauce.
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