The cashew apple itself is used in cooking, can be eaten fresh, and is used to make alcohol.
The tree is a tropical evergreen tree that takes three years to mature before producing fruit.
A Little History
The cashew tree is native to Northeastern Brazil, it was introduced to India by the Portuguese in the 1560’s.
The cashew tree then spread to the rest of Asia where the seed is often used in Asian cuisine.
And then the planting of the cashew tree spread to other parts of the world, and is even cultivated in Africa.
For those of us who love cashews, there is good news on the health front.
Cashew nuts are very good for you, full of protein and many essential minerals, they are eaten around the world often in roasted form.
Heart healthy cashews come in so many different forms, from unroasted to being roasted with flavors.
Or simply salty, smoked, or sweetened with a caramel candy coating.
Why Roast Cashews?
What we call raw cashews have already been cooked or more accurately steamed.
Cashews that have not been processed are poisonous to eat because they contain the chemical urushiol.
Normally most nuts are roasted to improve their taste, smell, and crunch factor.
Cashews continue to have the same good benefits regardless of whether they are roasted or not.
However, being roasted for a long period of time can be detrimental to the benefits of the cashew oil.
How to Roast Cashews
I prefer to roast my cashews using a dry roast method in a cast iron pan, I find it to be quick and easy.
With a wooden spoon, I stir the cashews constantly for about 15 minutes while they begin to brown and roast.
Afterwards I allow them to cool down to room temperature in a bowl before eating them.
The oven roasting method is as follows:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Put cashews in a single layer on a tray and bake until brown, shaking the pan often.
If I ever do use oil, I like to use olive oil, which gives the cashews a more dense flavor that I enjoy.
Cashews are gluten free, but some people can be allergic to them.
Even though an allergic reaction to cashew nuts is less common than to other nuts it can still be serious.
Cashews can also be roasted to an air fryer as well.
How to Store Cashew Nuts
Cashew nuts are less likely to spoil versus other nuts, and unsalted cashews are likely to stay good even longer.
Whole cashews will keep longer than chopped cashews, so keep them whole until you need them.
Keep your raw nuts in an airtight container in your pantry for up to three months.
To keep them longer and up to six months the cashew nuts will need to be in a well sealed container in your fridge.
And if you want to keep fresh cashew nuts for up to a year, seal them tightly in a freezer safe container in your freezer.
It is best to keep your cashew nuts in their raw form until you are ready to use them.
Exposure to heat, light or air is going to make your cashews rancid before their time.
You can tell if your cashews have gone bad when they start to have a darkened appearance.
And are beginning to shrivel, or become completely dry.
Tips to Make
If roasting in a pan make sure to stir constantly so as not to burn the cashews because a pan can get very very hot.
A cast iron skillet will hold a lot of heat so no need for the flame to be too high.
If using the oven, shake the tray, and use a spatula to turn nuts over, they should be roasted in about 30 minutes.
How to Roast Cashews Recipes
- 1 cup Cashews