Any part of a balanced, healthy diet includes servings of healthy fats and nuts, like raw or roasted cashews. In fact, compared to other nuts, cashews pack quite a healthy punch! Cashews are rich in protein, healthy fats, and fiber. They’re also full of many vitamins and minerals. While there’s less research done on the health benefits of raw cashews compared to other nuts such as peanuts or almonds, the general consensus is that, like most nuts, cashews can help encourage weight loss, control of blood sugar, and heart health.
Health Benefits of Raw Cashews
Not only are they a great snack, but finding other ways to incorporate cashews into your diet can provide you with the same health benefits. Just one 1 oz (28g) serving of cashews boasts 157 calories, 5 grams of protein, 12 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs, and 1 gram of fiber. With one serving of raw or roasted cashews, you’ll also get the benefit of the following essential nutrients: copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, iron, selenium, thiamine, vitamin K, and vitamin B6.
Raw or Roasted Cashews?
There are generally no downsides to adding cashews – whether roaster or raw- to your diet, so do so at your own leisure and preference. Cashews are considered a tree nut, so for people who have had allergic reactions to tree nuts in the past, it’s probably best to stay away from cashews. If you’ve had reactions to pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, and Brazil nuts, you may be allergic to cashews as well.
However, for most people, studies have indicated that consuming roasted cashews might give you higher doses of health-promoting antioxidants than raw cashews. Just keep in mind that often roasted nuts contain far more oil and salt than their raw counterparts. Depending on your dietary or health preferences, it may be better for you to skip the roasted cashews and eat raw cashews instead. Or, you could purchase raw cashews and roast them at home to your preferences instead. This way, you stay in control of the amount of salt and oil added to your cashews. Here’s a simple, delicious recipe for roasting cashews at home:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Spread unroasted, raw cashews onto a baking sheet in a single layer. Dry roast them in the oven for 8-16 minutes, stirring the cashews every 3-4 minutes to avoid browning and hot spots. Once lightly browned, remove from the oven and let them cool completely before consuming or packaging in an airtight container.
Ways to Get More Cashews in Your Diet
Cashews provide an easy and delicious way to get more fruits and vegetables into your and your family’s diet. Whether you’re adding them to a healthy trail mix as a snack for your kids, or making your own cashew butter to go on just about everything, here are a few easy recipes and ideas on how to pair fruits and vegetables with your cashews.
Making cashew butter at home is incredibly easy, but if it’s one step too many for you, you can always purchase cashew butter from our store.
Simple Cashew Butter
- 4 Cups Lightly Roasted Cashews
- 2 TSP Oil of your Choice
Place your completely cooled, lightly roasted cashews in a food processor and blend. This process can take a few minutes while the cashews break down into a meal texture, then eventually get creamy. Add the oil towards the end with the processor on, once your cashews have turned slightly creamy. Store in a container in the refrigerator.
With your cashew butter, you can please anybody! Here are some of our favorite ways to use cashew butter and make our meals a little healthier:
- Ants on a Log – This one is great for kids, and you’ve probably seen it with peanut butter before. Simply spread cashew butter over a stalk of celery and add raisins for a fun, healthy treat.
- Create a charcuterie board featuring healthy cut-up vegetables, fruits, and crackers. Dip them all in cashew butter.
- Use cashew butter to liven up salad dressings.
- Substitute for peanut butter in a vegetable cashew curry sauce
- Top oatmeal with fresh fruits and a tablespoon of cashew butter
- Spread it on toast and top with sliced bananas and cinnamon
- Add a tablespoon to a healthy fruit and vegetable smoothie
As you can see, the possibilities of how to work cashews into your diet are endless, and we’re sure you’ll enjoy every one.