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Cashew is a fun nut to snack on all year round, and November 23rd is his holiday.
The cashew nut we love so much is the fruit of the cashew tree, which develops from the fruit pimple, where the cashew flower comes out. The fruit cannot be eaten without processing because its peel contains resin that can cause the body to react to poisoning. That is why cashews are sold after they have undergone a process of heating and peeling. Cashews have great nutritional value. It contains lots of antioxidants, vitamin B and minerals like iron, zinc, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It is recommended to buy it as natural as possible and without added salt.
The cashew tree also has an edible fruit, called a "cashew apple" and is pear-shaped, edible and has a soft and sweet texture. The cashew apple is coated with a delicate peel and contains no seeds.
The cashew apple
Cashews on the tree
The cashew tree originates in northeastern Brazil. Today it is grown in extensive areas of South America. Cashews also reached Africa and Southeast Asia by the Portuguese between the 15th and 17th centuries, when they were a colonial empire and their merchants would roam and discover the world. Today, cashews are grown commercially in 32 countries around the world that have tropical and subtropical climates, mainly in Vietnam, Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast, India, Brazil and Indonesia.
The cashew tree has a convoluted trunk like a spiral and a texture reminiscent of leather, and it reaches a height of 12 meters. Its flowers are small, at first they have a light green color and then they turn red, with each of them having five thin and sharp petals.
The largest cashew tree in the world is the Cashew of Pirangi which covers about 7,525 square meters and is located in Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil. Its size is like 70 cashews together, and when you walk where it is, you feel Who walk in a whole forest of cashew trees, when in fact it is only one tree
From the cashews it is possible to make a drink that resembles milk and also vegetable cheese. Cashew cheese is rich in unsaturated fat that is good for heart health. From the cashew cheese you can make a vegan cheesecake, vegan pizza, vegan macaroni and cheese and actually use it as a cheese substitute in any dish that contains cow's milk cheese.
A simple and easy recipe for cashew cheese:
Soak 1 cup of fresh cashews overnight in cold water.
In a food processor or blender, grind the nuts with a little water until you get the desired texture, juice of half a lemon, 1 tablespoon of quality raw tahini (optional) and 1 clove of garlic (optional) and a little salt.
The cheese is ready when a uniform and smooth paste is obtained. The cheese can be kept for a week in the refrigerator in a closed container.
If you want, you can also add herbs you like, brewer's yeast or pine nuts.
In Latin America, cashew apple fruit is also made into a drink.
Cashews cause fewer allergic reactions than nuts or other peanuts.
The cashew nut first came to Goa, India, by the Portuguese, between 1560 and 1565. From Goa it spread throughout Southeast Asia, and eventually, reached Africa as well.
There is also cashew oil which is a delicious addition to a salad or sauce.
Many parts of the plant are used for medicinal purposes.
The cashews we eat also have a dark side: the cashews industry in backward countries uses people who peel the nuts with bare hands and are harmed by the toxins in its shell. Besides, their working conditions are poor and wages are meager. In recent years, the struggle of European activists for fair trade in cashews and the provision of working conditions and job security for people working in the cashew industry has intensified. When buying cashews, you should find out where it came from and buy from countries where there is fair trade.
How to celebrate Cashew Day?
There are so many snacks that contain cashews. You can savor them today, just you should check that they are as little processed and salted as possible to enjoy the health benefits of cashews. You can enrich your salads with cashews. It is today to make cashew cheese which is a great and healthy substitute for regular cheese. Instead of cow's milk, you can try a cashew drink today, which, as we mentioned earlier, is very rich in minerals and vitamins from plants.
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