Nuts About Cashews
These nuts are thought to have originated in northeast Brazil. The kidney-shaped, gray-brown colored cashew nut grows from the bottom of a fleshy stalk that resembles the shape of a pear (though is referred to as the cashew apple). The cashew apple has a bright yellow or red skin and is between 5 to 10 centimeters long. The cashew shell is toxic, that’s why you can only purchase them shelled. Cashews have a distinct sweet, buttery flavor.
Today cashews are primarily produced in India, Brazil, Vietnam and Mozambique. Juice, syrup, preserves, wine and liquor are produced from the cashew apple, though the nut is the main form sold commercially in the U.S.
One ounce (approximately 18 pieces) of unsalted cashews contains 160 calories, 4 grams of protein and 13 grams of fat – mostly the heart-healthy unsaturated type. Cashews are also an excellent source of magnesium and copper and a good source of vitamin K, iron, phosphorus, manganese and zinc.
Cashews can be enjoyed raw or dry roasted as a snack, in trail mix or homemade spiced nuts. Turn them into delicious cashew butter, use them in a stir-fry, on a vegetable side dish (like broccoli) or to top a salad. They can also be incorporated in sweeter goodies like cookies, muffins, candy and chocolate bark. Like most other nuts, roasting them helps deepen their nutty flavor.
Store in a cool, dry location for up to 3 months or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.