Many people find baking a fun or relaxing hobby, but are left with hordes of baked goods they don’t know what to do with. Some people may even have to give up their love of baking when they discover they are intolerant of gluten and can no longer enjoy flour-based treats. Luckily, there are a number of flour alternatives gaining popularity that can allow you to keep baking, enjoy the occasional treat, while not eating gluten. Cashew flour not only does this, but it’s healthy and basically undetectable in many treats. One of the great things about cashew flour is that it can easily be made at home, so as long as you have cashews on hand, you’ll never be out of this key baking ingredient.
Why Choose Cashew Flour?
There are a number of nut-based flour alternatives on the market, the most popular of which being almond flour. These all share many of the same benefits, like lower carbohydrates, no sugar, and no gluten, but there are also some key differences.
One is purely aesthetic: because bulk cashews are not sold in a shell like almonds, they produce an evenly-colored flour, which many people prefer to keep a uniform look in their baked goods. While the texture is almost identical between the two, cashew flour can sometimes offer a more creamy, nutty flavor that some people feel adds extra depth to their dishes.
Cashew flour also has a slight edge over almond flour in a range of nutritional areas. Cashews are very rich in healthy fats and copper, as well as containing a range of vitamins and nutrients.
If a recipe calls for almond flour, cashew flour can be a 1:1 substitute.
How to Make Cashew Flour
Traditional all-purpose flour is difficult to produce, and chances are you have no way to make it at home, unless you live on a farm! Cashew flour can be simply made with nothing but a high-speed blender or food processor and a stock of high-quality raw cashews.
The recipe is as simple as this: blend your cashews until you get as fine of a flour as possible, making sure to scrape down the sides of the blender as needed. Once this is done, it’s helpful to sift the cashew flour through a fine-mesh sieve to remove any remaining chunks. Those chunks can then be returned to the food processor or blender and ground into more flour.
Storing Cashew Flour
The high levels of oil in cashew flour make them more susceptible to oxidation and becoming rancid, meaning they may need more careful storage than traditional refined flour. The best thing you can do is store the flour in an airtight container and then keep it in the refrigerator or freezer until needed.
Cashew flour will last about 6 months in the refrigerator or 12 months in the freezer. If your flour tastes bitter or loses its sweet, nutty smell, it may have gone bad and should be discarded.
Because it is easy to make cashew flour at home, you can make small amounts on an as-needed basis, rather than creating a large amount and storing it for later.
Should I Make or Buy Cashew Flour?
Cashew flour is also available in many grocery stores and health food stores now—so why should you make it? Besides how easy it is, making your own cashew flour ensures you know exactly what is in it. Stores may add preservatives to keep their cashew flour shelf-stable or use cashews that aren’t fresh as a cost-saving measure.
Many store-bought cashew flours are also made using unethical practices. One of the secrets big nut companies don’t want you to know is that they often rely on underpaid and abused workers to harvest their cashews, who then export the nuts to be processed and packaged overseas by laborers in unsafe working conditions who are not well compensated. While these cashew flours may have health properties for your body, they have a negative impact globally.
Beyond the Nut cashews and cashew flour are always ethically sourced using fair trade standards. We work with local farmers and entrepreneurs to keep harvesting and processing local, pay a fair wage, and ensure that all workers are safe during preparation. When you use our cashew flour or make your own with our raw cashews, you can feel good about the products you are buying.