Cashews are actually seeds that were originally native to the Amazon rainforest. When you buy raw cashews they are not really raw – They have an outer shell that has to be roasted to draw the edible cashew kernel.
Packed with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they are extremely versatile in cooking. You can toss them in your dishes for an extra crunch or texture, roast them with exotic spices for a yummy snack or make delectable creamy gravies.
Here are some popular cooking hacks with cashews that you can try:
1. Cashew Milk
Cashews are naturally creamy and make delicious milk when blended with water. It takes about a quarter cup of cashews to make 1 cup of cashew milk. Just like its common counterpart almond milk, cashew milk also packs a punch with its amazing nutritive benefits that kids will fall in love with.
To make cashew milk, soak cashews overnight and blend it along with water and a pinch of salt. Add natural sweeteners like agave nectar or palm sugar. Make it thick or runny by adjusting your water consistency.
2. Cashew Cheese
The super trend in vegan cheese, cashews make it possible to satiate your cheese cravings with none of the ill-effects. You can flavour it with herbs, coconut, garlic, avocado and experiment to make spreadable cheeses or sliced cheese.
Soak 1 cup of cashews in 3 cups of water for an hour. Pulse it in a blender along with lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Add a little bit of water and process it to a smooth paste. That’s it! You have a simple cashew cheese spread that can be used for sandwiches and toast. The more you soak your cashews, the more creamier your cheese!
3. Rich Cashew Gravy
Indian gravies made with tomato and onion are good, but you can make it even creamier and tastier by adding cashews and blending it to a fine paste to add to your gravies. From panner butter masala to Navratan kurma, add five to ten soaked cashews for a creamy and delicious taste that will make for a lip-smacking feast. You can also add them to soups to make it thick without adding cream or any dairy products.
4. Cashew Cheesecake
Everybody loves cheesecake but when you are up for a change go dairy-free with cashew cheesecake. It’s more rich and decadent and an ultimate luxurious affair. Make homemade cheesecake to celebrate your love for vegan cakes. Use crushed hazelnut meal to make the crust along with a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder, maple syrup and vanilla essence. For the filling blend in soaked cashews along with coconut oil, cocoa powder and maple syrup. Set the crust and spoon the cashew filling on top of the crusts. Freeze it for a couple of hours. Top if off with chocolate sauce and hazelnuts. Delicious cheesecake ready!