Now that we are all increasingly going plant based either full time or just occasionally , many of us are looking for meat free alternatives that taste good and are as satisfying as our usual diet. If this sounds familiar to your household, don’t forget the cashews! These delicious soft nuts can provide a fantastic protein alternative to meat, fish and dairy produce that will keep the whole family happy.
Many types of nut are suitable as a vegan alternative to animal based proteins but cashews with their soft consistency and buttery flavour hit the right spot and are incredibly versatile and tasty.
So whether you are giving up meat or just reducing your animal based intake for the good of your health and the planet, the cashew nut is a store room ingredient that should never be over looked.
So what’s so great about cashews?
First up, cashew nuts have a fantastic nutritional profile. They are high in vitamins, minerals and protein protein. They are great for heart health as they are a source of polyunsaturated and mono saturated fats which can decrease LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. According to a study produced in the British Medical Journal, the risk of heart disease is reduced by 37% in people who consume nuts four times a week.
The other great factor about cashews is that they are so versatile in cooking. Cashews can work equally well in both sweet and savory dishes. To get you started on cooking with cashews let’s check out a few easy ways to use them.
Curries and stir fries
Cashews are a wonderful replacement to meat and fish in Asian cooking. Try toasting them and adding them to a Biriyani or fried rice dish. Pep up a veggie stir fry by sprinkling cashews over your stir fry at the end of cooking and serve with brown rice or noodles.
Cashews are versatile and can be used roasted or raw in cooking and their protein content will make your meal extra satisfying and filling.
Cashew creamy sauces
Cashews work equally well in pasta dishes. You can use the nuts to make a creamy sauce by soaking them and blending them in a food processor making a healthy and delicious alternative to cheese and dairy products such as cream.
Blended cashew nuts are also fantastic for sweet dishes where they make an exciting and healthy alternative to cream.
Cashews for breakfast!
Add a couple of tablespoons of chopped cashews to your porridge, yoghurt or granola. They pair fantastically well with bananas and will enhance the flavour, texture of your breakfast. In addition cashew nuts will help keep you feeling full until lunchtime.
Cashews for snacking
Of course most of us eat cashews as snacks. They are equally delicious roasted or raw so make a far healthier and tasty alternative to crisps or other processed foods.
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