Properties of cashew
Cashews grow on an evergreen tropical tree of family sumach (Anacardium occidentale L.). The fruit resembles a pear or an apple, has yellow, red or pink color with a thin skin. In fact it is not a fruit but overgrown stalk. The real nut is hanging on the end of the stem. It is the seed of a tree. Nut kernel is covered with a double skin, more precisely, shells. By form it resembles a miniature human kidney. Cashew is a close relative of the mango , but the fruits of these two plants are dissimilar.
Peduncle of cashew is also consumed. It is used in jams, stewed fruit, spices, alcoholic beverages.
The benefits of cashew nuts
Scientists believe that the benefits of nuts in general are very high, and that they are the “food of the future“.Cashew nuts are a positive example. They contain vitamins and minerals with beneficial effect on blood vessels, nut improves brain function, helps the stomach and intestines, improves immunity. Regular using of nuts lowers blood levels of low density cholesterol. These nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids omega-3, omega-6, omega-9, which improve sex life.
As an aid cashews are used when a person has psoriasis, malnutrition, disorders of metabolic processes in the body, anemia, dental pain. When you have gum diseases – cashew is not recommended because the nuts are pretty hard.
High levels of fat in the cashew does not lead to human obesity, and the proportion of fat is less than in other nuts.
Simultaneously, cashews have a high calorie content, although less than most other nuts. A large number of nuts is not good for liver. Some people have nuts allergies.
Nutritionists advise to eat for a day not more than 30 grams of nuts.
The Australian Government, for example, has always paid great attention to the health of the nation, it encourages people to regularly eat cashew nuts. It supports the development of the industry of growing and production of cashew nuts though they earlier there never grew up there.
Separate guidelines exist for children. First, all the nuts, in varying degrees, are allergenic foods. Second, children who are overweight are not recommended to use as many nuts as children with normal or low weight.
It is preferred baby food with nut fillings – it has balanced composition.
Requirements for quality
Cashew nuts from Vietnam have special taste.
Nuts for sale are produced by removal of the shell and husk. They should be dry and have a characteristic shape. They are available fried or unroasted, whole or in pieces. Nuts should have no traces of the insects and have a natural odor.
In Vietnam they use internal standards for cashew, published back in 1998, the requirements of which are lower than the international ones.
Cashew varieties are formed in the following order.
Varieties of white whole nuts from the 1st to 8th – are nuts of white or pale-ivory or light ash color without black and brown spots. The lower the grade, the more nut in 1 kg, that is, the largest are first-class nuts.
Varieties of whole roasted nuts from the 9th to the 12th – the same as the nuts of 3-5 grades, but their color is darker due to too high temperatures during drying or frying.
13th grade is sweet whole cashew nuts. In addition to general requirements, they must have characteristic form. Wrinkled and shiny nuts are allowed to fry.
Grades of damaged cashew nut are from the 14th to the 20th – nuts with various injuries and pieces of various sizes up to 1.7 mm (0.08”).
Tips on buying and storing
Buy whole cashew nuts – they are stored longer. You must also reject wrinkled, dry, moldy nuts. Long term storage in the warmth make all nuts, including cashews, bitter because of the high content of oil. Therefore it is better to store them in an airtight container, in which they can be stored up to one month, and in the fridge – up to six months (in the freezer – up to a year). In any case, after long storage you should thoroughly check nuts inside and out, split them, and pay attention if there is a strange smell and taste.
Cashew nuts, like other nuts, are rarely the main ingredient in the dish, only when they are roasted or mixed with honey. In other cases, cashews are complement for the taste and nutritional value of meat and vegetable dishes. Chicken is stuffed with cashews, they are used as a garnish for meat dishes, baked in yogurt.
Honey roasted cashews recipe
- Cashew nuts – 450 g
- Honey – 2 tbsp
- Maple syrup – 1.5 tbsp
- Butter – 1.5 tbsp
- Salt – 1 tsp
- Vanilla Sugar – 1 tsp
- Sugar – 2 tbsp
- Cinnamon – 1/4 tsp
Rice with minced meat and cashews
Ingredients: long grain rice - 900 g, two bulbs of onions, chopped 4 cloves of garlic, chopped chives – 1/4 cup, parsley – 1/4 cup, butter – 3 tbsp., beef – 250 g, 250 g of ground pork, tomatoes – 250 g, 100 g of cooked ham, seedless raisins – 100 g, 400 g of green beans, cashew nuts – 200 g, grated cheese – 3 tbsp, salt and black pepper to taste.
Cook the crisp rice. In a frying pan fry it in butter until the appearance of fragrant, add chopped onion, garlic, chives and parsley, then add the minced meat and tomato slices, pre-peeled. Add salt and pepper to taste. Leave a stew with the lid closed on a low heat for 20 minutes.
Add to cooked rice braised beef, raisins, bacon, nuts and green peas, stir well. Cover the pan with a lid and let stand for a few minutes on hot electric stove (turned off) or over low heat on a gas stove.
Spread cooked rice on a large platter, sprinkle with cheese and herbs.
Beef with cashew
Ingredients: 500 g of beef (sirloin), cut into thin plates (across the grain), 4 tbsp. of peanut butter, 4 spring onions, cut into 2 cm slices (1”), 1/2 tbsp. of minced fresh ginger, 1/2 tbsp. of minced garlic, 2/3 cup of cashew nut, 4 tsp. of cornstarch, 4 tsp. of soy sauce, 1 tsp. of sesame oil, 1 tsp. of oyster sauce, 1 tsp. of chili sauce.
Preparation: Incandescent 2 tablespoons of peanut butter, saute the meat in it for 3 to 5 minutes, then remove from the pan. Incandescent the remaining oil, put the onion, garlic, ginger and cashews. Cook 1 minute. Put the roasted meat. Mix the starch with the remaining ingredients and add to the pan, stirring, bring to a point where the liquid comes to a boil, then let thicken.
Cashews with sweet potatoes
Ingredients: 6 medium sweet potato tubers, half a cup of brown sugar, one-third cup of coarsely fractured nuts, 1/4 teaspoon of ginger, 1/2 tsp. of salt, 250 g of sliced peaches, 3 tsp. of butter.
Preparation: Boil sweet potatoes in salted water. Dry, peel and cut into large slices.
In a small bowl combine brown sugar, cashew nuts, ginger and salt.
Dish will consist of two major layers, so the potatoes, peaches and sugar mixture should be prepared to be divided in half.
Put in a pot with a diameter about 30 cm (12”) and depth of 15 cm (6”) the layer of sweet potatoes, the top layer of peaches, then a mixture of brown sugar with cashews, etc. Repeat this procedure using the remaining half of the ingredients. Put on top the small pieces of butter. Bake in the oven with the lid closed for 30 minutes. Open the lid and bake for another 10 minutes. Before serving pour the syrup.
Fudge with cashews
This dish with the successful preparation is good for children. Special attention should be paid to the quality of nut. Necessary to select the most fresh and whole nuts.
Ingredients: 500 g of sweet condensed milk, 2 tbsp. of golden syrup, 4 tbsp. of cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, 50 g of butter, 200 g of toasted chopped nuts, 1 tsp. of natural vanilla, some colored paper for wrapping of food.
Preparation. Put in a pan condensed milk, golden syrup, cocoa powder, salt and butter. Cook over low heat, stirring, until the mixture becomes very thick. Add prepared cashew nuts and vanilla, mix well. Put the mixture into a greased pan of 15 cm (6”) in height and press. Cut into squares while it is still warm. Allow to cool before it is cut into smaller pieces. You can wrap them in colored baking paper.