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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / South/Central American Cooking / July/August Topic~Cashew's
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    July/August Topic~Cashew's

    Dib's
    Wed Jun 30, 2010 10:10 am
    Food.com Groupie


    The cashew tree is native to South America where it flourishes in Brazil and Peru. In the sixteenth century, Portuguese traders introduced the tree to India where it has more recently become an important export crop equal to that of Brazil. Other countries that grow and export cashews include Sri Lanka, China, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, Colombia, Guatemala, Venezuela, the West Indies, Nigeria, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Kenya. This important crop has the potential to alleviate many environmental problems in the developing world as it provides rural communities with a source of wood for building and cooking, reduces erosion, and provides local communities with employment opportunities and a highly nutritious source of food. It also grows like a weed so it is a super easy crop to start and maintain.
    Cashews, as you know them, are nuts. But the cashew nut is not the only fruit of the cashew trees. The other part is called the cashew apple, which is edible. As the name implies, the cashew apple is a pretty red fruit, high in Vitamin C, very juicy, but a bit acidic so it is used blended with other fruit juices to make a very refreshing drink.
    The cashew nut is inside the funny looking, kidney shaped shell that is attached to the bottom of the cashew apple. Inside that shell is a very nasty, caustic liquid that causes severe burns. Extreme care is taken when removing the shell and skin from the nut. Most cashew nut producers steam the shell open at a high temperature, thus cooking the cashew nut inside. "Raw" cashews have been through this process.
    Cashews are are lower in total fat than almonds, peanuts, pecans, and walnuts. Cashew provide essential fatty acids, B vitamins, fiber, protein, carbohydrate potassium, iron, and zinc. Like other nuts, cashews have a small percentage of saturated fat.

    Any and All Cashew Recipes are welcome in this thread!!!

    Two of mine,
    Cashew Butter Cookies
    Cashew Chicken with Hot Oil Sauce

    What are yours?


    Last edited by Dib's on Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:43 pm, edited 2 times in total
    HotPepperRosemaryJelly
    Thu Jul 01, 2010 2:24 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Thank you for educating me on the cashew! I happen to love them, but always enjoyed them sparingly due to the high fat content. I did not realize that they are so low in saturated fat!
    Very healthy apparently!
    I can't wait to see the recipes come rolling in as I don't have any, but I will soon!!!
    Sincerely, Jelly wave.gif
    Lalaloula
    Fri Jul 02, 2010 1:51 am
    Forum Host
    Oh I LOVE cashew nuts! They are so yummy in sweet and savoury dishes! I could nibble on them all day long! lol

    Here are a few recipes Ive tried using them, which I really enjoyed:
    Summer Blush Dip
    Chunky Capsicum and Cashew Dip
    Asparagus-Spinach Dip (Vegan)
    Gluten Free and Vegan Sesame Truffles
    Herbed Nuts
    Honeyed Cashews With Kosher Salt

    Loula
    Dib's
    Fri Jul 02, 2010 3:03 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Nice Recipes!!! Thanks!
    Roxanne J.R.
    Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:42 pm
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    Oh man cashews are my favourite nut! I actually have a tree in my backyard but it currently isn't flowering or bearing fruit. It has done so 2 times for this year already. I actually don't have any recipes to share using cashews but I like to add it into caramel popcorn or granola bars yum! My favourite way to eat them is just lightly roasted with salt on them though.

    I will share some pictures of the cashew fruit growing, etc. later on in this thread. I have to go look for those photos and make them smaller icon_smile.gif
    Lalaloula
    Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:20 am
    Forum Host
    OMG, Roxanne, Im so jealous of your cashew nut tree! WOW, they are so expensive here, I wish I could just go out in my yard and get some. lol

    Please do share your pics with us! icon_smile.gif

    Isnt it hard to get the nuts out without touching that toxic liquid? Ever since I read about that I wonder how they do it...

    Loula
    Roxanne J.R.
    Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:43 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Well believe it or not cashew nuts are quite expensive here too. But not as expensive as the imported nuts - like pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts. Having a tree is cool. But before you can crack open the seed you need to leave them out in the sun to sorta "dry." I am not sure how long is the minimum required time but my dad always says the longer it gets to "sun out" the better. But you got to be careful of them getting wet during this stage because the nut inside would spoil.

    Well we rub a very thick coating of vegetable oil on our hands before we get started cracking open and removing the nuts from the shell otherwise the oil from the nut case would burn your skin really badly, basically making your skin peel off your fingers or hands.
    Roxanne J.R.
    Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:57 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Unfortunately I don't have pictures of when they are just beginning to grow from the flowers and I need to search more for a picture of the flowers I know I have somewhere. But here are some of the pictures I do have.

    This one is of the young cashew, as you can see, the bottom part which is green is the nut and what it is attached to is the cashew apple. Oh and some flowers in this pic, cool.


    The cashew fruit is growing


    As the cashew fruit matures the seed also matures, changing colour and also the nut shell is getting harder at this stage. In the green stage, the shell is softer.


    The fruit is getting larger and starting to change colour and begin ripening


    Here they are about 3/4 ripe


    This one is more ripe with a smaller cashew fruit


    Another ripe one


    A nice close-up
    Roxanne J.R.
    Sun Jul 04, 2010 7:08 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    You can also roast it in the nut before cracking it open but it is really messy and my dad says he prefers to crack it open like in the following pictures and roast it by baking it in the oven icon_biggrin.gif.

    Okay so this is just a make-shift sorta thing because the professionals have the proper tools to do this which would make the whole process easier.


    These are some halved cashews and we usually take them out with the little "hook-like tool" that we got with our regular nutcracker (which we use to crack the mixed nuts)


    Raw cashews in a bowl


    After roasting in the oven (skin is still on - just like roasting and skinning hazelnuts) except the skinning isn't as easy.


    Finished product all ready to eat or use in recipes, yum!
    Lalaloula
    Mon Jul 05, 2010 5:40 am
    Forum Host
    WOW!!!! I love the series of pics! Thanks for sharing, how informative! It sounds like a lot of work to get the nuts out and ready for eating, so I presume thats also why they are so dear.
    YUM, your pics really make me hungry for some cashews. lol

    Loula
    Susie D
    Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:25 am
    Forum Host
    I enjoyed the pics Roxanne. Thanks for sharing! icon_smile.gif
    Susie D
    Mon Jul 05, 2010 8:38 am
    Forum Host
    Here are some recipes using cashews I've enjoyed.

    Cashew Catfish by Derf

    Mexi Cashews by Gay Gilmore

    Fruity Persian Chicken That's Just a Bit Nuts by mirj
    The Zaar Baar by evelyn
    HotPepperRosemaryJelly
    Mon Jul 05, 2010 10:05 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Roxanne J.R. wrote:
    You can also roast it in the nut before cracking it open but it is really messy and my dad says he prefers to crack it open like in the following pictures and roast it by baking it in the oven icon_biggrin.gif.

    Okay so this is just a make-shift sorta thing because the professionals have the proper tools to do this which would make the whole process easier.


    These are some halved cashews and we usually take them out with the little "hook-like tool" that we got with our regular nutcracker (which we use to crack the mixed nuts)


    Raw cashews in a bowl


    After roasting in the oven (skin is still on - just like roasting and skinning hazelnuts) except the skinning isn't as easy.


    Finished product all ready to eat or use in recipes, yum!


    Roxanne I am sooooo impressed!!! Great progression photos!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with us!!!
    You are so fortunate to have your very own cashew tree in your yard!!!
    I would love to be able to have one here, but it wouldn't make it here in our extremely cold climate. 30 -40 below in the winter...sigh...
    Jelly wave.gif
    Dib's
    Mon Jul 05, 2010 12:28 pm
    Food.com Groupie
    Cashew Butter-Yum!

    Excellent photos and recipes!!!
    Dib's
    Sun Aug 01, 2010 10:39 am
    Food.com Groupie
    Due to site issues in July Cashew's will be carried over to August's Topic of the Month.
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