➤ by Sylvie Fulson
Cashews are simply amazing. What are cashews good for? Well, let me tell you!
Besides adding them to all sorts of stir-fries, salads, and pasta or noodle dishes for a delicious crunch factor, you can also blend them into all sorts of delicious creams, cheeses, salad dressings, sauces, soups, and more!
You would be amazed at all the different types of foods you can make with raw cashews. In fact, it is a key ingredient in “veganizing” many of the German recipes that call for cream. Here’s a list of what you can make with cashews without using any dairy whatsoever:
That’s a pretty incredible list!
A lot of German recipes call for butter, cream or milk. But if you’re looking to cut back on dairy, cashews are a fantastic alternative to making delicious and creamy recipes without compromising flavor or richness. Check out my version of Oma Gerhild’s traditional German cauliflower soup as an example.
Well, for one, they are high in fat, so they add wonderful creamy richness to any recipe.
Cashews also contain quite a bit of starch, more than any other tree nut, and so they are a perfect alternative to thickening agents, such as flour or cornstarch. And since flour and cornstarch have very little to offer, nutritionally speaking, I would dare say cashews are a better alternative because you get the added benefits of a whole food with vitamins, minerals, and fibre. Can’t go wrong with that!
And even though a potato is often used as a thickening agent in certain recipes and is also a whole food high in starch, the fat content in cashews makes for creamier, richer food. Not to mention, they’re also a great source of protein for all you protein lovers out there!
So while butter and cream are traditional ingredients in creamy German soup and sauce recipes, cashews make a great heart-healthy alternative.
Whenever I’ve made a creamy soup for others, I’ve often been asked how I get my soup so creamy and delicious without using cream. They’re always surprised to hear that the creaminess comes from cashews. Wunderbar!
If you’re not familiar with raw cashews, they have a lovely mild, buttery flavor. Which is another reason why they are the perfect dairy substitute. Because they have such a mild flavor, they can be used virtually undetected in any kind of dish, whether savory or sweet. And the buttery flavor adds creamy richness to any recipe.
Cashews are truly amazing!
Many recipes that call for blending cashews recommend that they be soaked first, usually for at least 2 to 4 hours, and sometimes overnight, regardless of the type of blender you have.
Personally, if you have a high-powered blender, I do not think that soaking the nuts first is necessary. It is very very rare that I will soak my cashews first, and my recipes always turn out perfectly creamy and perfectly smooth.
However, if you will be using a regular blender or a food processor, then soaking them is highly recommended. Soaking the cashews softens them and will help achieve the smooth creamy texture you’re looking for.
Tip: You can purchase cashews in bulk and soak them all at once for several hours (the longer you soak them, the softer they become). Drain and rinse, and then divide them into 1/2 cup or 1 cup portions and store them in the freezer. When a recipe calls for soaked cashews, you’ve got them all ready to go. No need to thaw!
So! What are cashews good for? Just about everything. ;)
If you would like to learn more about cashews, check out: www.aboutnuts.com/en/encyclopedia/cashews/.
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