Cashews are huge in the vegan community right now as they make for delicious, creamy alternatives to dairy products, but they also possess a multitude of health benefits! These nuts are packed with potential and are an excellent addition to any plant-based diet.
To discover just how versatile, impressive, and healthy cashews are, keep reading!
Health Benefits of Cashews
Ginger Energy Bites/One Green Planet
Cashews are loaded with nutrients like vitamins K, E, and B6, as well as minerals like zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, iron, and selenium! Some of the most impressive health benefits of consuming cashews include the following:
1. Fights Heart Disease
Consuming cashews on a regular basis can help fight heart disease by lowering bad LDL cholesterol levels, while improving good HDL cholesterol levels. This is because they contain a compound called phytosterol, which slows the rate of cholesterol absorption. These nuts also can also combat oxidative stress and inflammation.
2. Promotes Strong Bones
Cashews contain key minerals for bone health. Magnesium in particular is especially important. This is because magnesium makes the bones firm, aids with calcium absorption, and stimulates the production of calcitonin in the thyroid. Calcitonin is a hormone that preserves the bones.
3. Healthy Source of Fat
Cashews are truly brain food. Because the brain relies on healthy sources of fatty acids to function properly, an intake of healthy fats are recommended. Fatty acids found within cashews are involved in the function and synthesis of neurotransmitters, and the improvement of cognitive function.
4. Great for the Skin
Incorporating unsaturated fatty acids into your diet is optimal for glowing skin. Because cashews are rich in healthy fats, as well as the mineral, copper, this makes them an excellent dietary choice for improving your complexion. Copper is involved in the synthesis of skin proteins and it possesses biocidal properties, which combat harmful organisms.
5. Good for the Blood
The copper and iron content found in cashews is great for blood health. Both copper and iron contribute to the blood stream by helping the body form and use red blood cells. When red blood cells are formed and function properly, this ensures that the rest of the body will too.
6. Improves Eye Health
Cashews contain lutein, which acts as an antioxidant that promotes eye health. Lutein is a form of carotenoid that is believed to block harmful blue light from reaching the retina, reducing the risk of light-induced oxidative damage.
Tips and Tricks!
Herbed Cashew Cheese/One Green Planet
A lot can be done with cashews, from creating your own vegan cheeses, non-dairy milks, yogurts, snacks, and tasty entrees.
One of the most exciting ways to utilize cashews is by creating your own vegan cheese. This can be done by throwing soaked cashews into a blender or food processor, with assorted seasonings, and nutritional yeast. If you are looking to make your own dairy-free cheese at home try this Herbed Cashew Cheese, pictured above, Vegan Pepper Jack Cashew Cheese, or this Green Chili Nacho Cheese Sauce.
Making your own cashew milk at home can be much more cost-effective and healthier than buying it in stores. It is also super easy to do! Just blend soaked cashews with water, add any sweeteners you fancy, and strain the pulp through a sieve. Check out this guide for more information!
In addition to making delicious dairy-free alternatives, cashews in their pure form also make for a healthy and filling snack. Simply eaten raw, or roasted, they are delicious either way. If you are looking for a tasty cashew snack, try these Sesame Sriracha Cashews, or these Mexican-Spiced, Chocolate Covered Cashews.
A Few Delicious, Cashew-Based Recipes
There are endless possibilities when cooking with cashews. Here are some vegan recipe suggestions from our Food Monster App.
1. Tofu Veggie Enchiladas with Spicy Chili Sauce and Avocado Crema
Cashews deliver a creamy base to the avocado crema in this tofu enchilada recipe. These enchiladas are truly a sensational combination of flavors.
2. Amaretto Chocolate Cream Cake
This amaretto chocolate cream cake is creamy, sweet, indulgent, and 100% healthy. The delicate texture of this cake is made by blending raw, soaked cashews with cacao powder, dates, and a few other fun ingredients!
3. Cashew Cheese Pizza with Peppers, Mushrooms, and Artichokes
Who doesn’t love a delicious slice of pizza? This cashew cheese pizza with assorted veggies will satisfy all of your cravings. Cashews make for a gooey, cheesy sauce, and the roasted vegetables are extra savory and satisfying. Feel free to swap these vegetables for whatever you like!
For more cashew-based recipes, we recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
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