Monday, December 20, 2010

Monday's Menu: Properly Prepared Cashews- A Great Snack!

As an early Christmas present, my Mom bought me a Nesco Gardenmaster Dehydrator, and I couldn't wait to use it. I peeked in my freezer to see what organic nuts might be hiding in large freezer bags, just waiting to be properly prepared.

To my delight, I found a large bag of organic, raw cashews hiding behind a bag of ice. I immediately measured out 4 cups, soaked them in a water & sea salt mixture for 6 hours, and popped them in the dehydrator for drying/light toasting. I left them in for 24 hours, and the result: crunchy, lightly salted, and extremely yummy cashews!

I love cashews because they are high in protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, and selenium. They are also high in antioxidants and phytochemicals- these properties protect from heart disease and cancer.

Plus, they taste good!

We love combining cashews with organic raisins for a quick snack, but you can be as creative as you want. They'd taste great in a trail mix with other organic dried fruit. I also enjoy sprinkling some over salads, or as a yogurt topping. Yum yum yum!

Here's a fantastic recipe for making your family properly prepared cashews. I adapted it from Sally Fallon's Nourishing Traditions cookbook. (I highly recommend that cookbook, by the way! It would make a great Christmas present.)

Properly Prepared Cashews (Soaking & drying the cashews prior to eating them makes them MUCH more digestible, which is very important for your overall health)

4 cups raw, organic cashews
1.5 tablespoons sea salt, such as Real Salt
Enough spring/filtered water to completely submerge the cashews

Pour the cashews into a large glass bowl. Add in the salt and stir around a little with your fingers to evenly distribute. Pour the water over the bowl, completely submerging the cashews, and cover the bowl with a lid or towel. Soak the cashews for 6 hours. If you soak them longer than that, they can become slimy.

After 6 hours, drain them in a colander and spread out on dehydrator trays, or on stainless steel baking trays for the oven. Set the temperature of your dehydrator to 160, or in your oven to 175 or 200. (Cashews are actually not truly raw, due to a toxic oil that must be removed before selling, so you won't be destroying any enzymes by the heat)

Turn on the heat, and let the cashews "bake" for about 24 hours, or until totally dry, and crunchy. Store in a small glass jar, or in
phthalate & PVC free plastic bags. (Whole Foods sells some good ones.) If you are going to keep them longer than a week or so, (ours always get eaten faster than that) then store them in the fridge.

Then enjoy!!!

No comments: